We had an absolutely fabulous time visiting with my family.
Duhdee and my dad spent a lot of time fishing with mixed results. Duhdee managed to somehow catch fish that were not much bigger than the lures he was using, that takes talent. My poor dad said he needs to “reset” his fishing rod so that it catches the proper sized fish again, lol. Twice during the week I dropped Monkey off at the boat launch so he could join Duhdee and Grampa out on the boat for a few hours. He LOVED it. Grampa’s boat has lots of gadgets with buttons and he was captivated but all the mischief he could get up to. Grampa was pretty laid back about it all but he was glad Monkey didn’t discover the button to raise the engine on the boat out of the water until the very end of the last day on the lake. Here’s hoping Monkey forgets that little tidbit before our next trip (but who really thinks he will???) since having the motor out of the WATER makes trolling and returning to dock a bit difficult.
During my Monkey-less hours I indulged in a time-honored tradition with my mom. Visiting yard sales! I didn’t buy much, since everything we buy has to be packed up and dragged back home! Duhdee had put in a request for a small cast iron skillet to join the two larger cast iron skillets I’ve already bought for him at yard sales and I was happily able to fill his order. He really enjoys cooking with cast iron and I enjoy eating so I consider it $5 well spent. Now he needs to season it, which sounds complicated and an awful lot like work so I’m glad it was his idea and not mine to buy it.
When Monkey and I were left to our own devices we spent quite a lot of time riding Grampa’s quad up and down the mountain. Grampa bought us a special harness that lets us strap Monkey securely to our chest which means we can steer and control the machine and not have to worry about Monkey landing on his head! It’s quite nice. Monkey is OBSESSED with riding the quad. He woke up every morning and headed straight for the harness and started signing “go, go, go.” He even started saying it but it comes out “doe” and not “go.” I would tell him every morning that he first had to eat breakfast, brush his teeth and get dressed before we could go and he was mostly OK with that answer the first 10-15 times, then he’d start to get very sad. The boy can really tug a heart string too, let me tell you. He’ll put his palms to the side of his head and CRY the most pitiful cry. Such a sad Monkey. But he still had to eat, brush his teeth and get dressed! He was not all that impressed with me in the mornings.
Besides riding the quad his favorite vacation activity was throwing rocks in the little brook that runs through my parents’ property. He could do this for an hour, easily. The first couple of days were rough since my patience for this activity was quite short. I finally smartened up and found that with enough bug repellent, a chair and a decent book I could outlast Monkey and we were all much happier.
Let’s see, what else? He made up a sign for “fire” that includes a vocalization “Dir!” he does the “more” sign vertical instead of horizontal. We tried showing him the correct sign but he likes his, thank you very much and will not be dissuaded. I’m sure he’ll get it right at some point but for now I’ll add this to the list of quirks (like everything animal-ish that is not our dogs = cat!) that I find so charming about my little Monkey.
The last night we were at camp I had hoped to get ice cream, go “moosin'” and then have a camp fire. That’s a pretty ambitious schedule with a 4 year old when you finish dinner after 7PM and town is 7 miles away. When we returned from moosin’, Monkey was ready for bed so I put him down and then joined everyone else around the fire, clutching the baby monitor in my hand. I heard a little bit of initial giggling but then it was quiet and we assumed Monkey was asleep. NOPE. The reason I couldn’t hear him on the monitor was because he’d gotten out of bed and come downstairs to turn on the TV (TV does not work, it’s there for DVDs) and then decided to lay down in front of the TV that wouldn’t turn on for him. Duhdee found him there on the floor (still awake) when he went inside for a bathroom break. Monkey then joined us for a half hour around the camp fire and I was a happy Umma indeed.
There are lots of little stories to share about the new things that Monkey is doing and the things that he’s saying. I need to get a little bit of sleep though. I will end with probably the highlight of the trip though…
Monkey is very uncertain about his Grampa. We don’t see as much of my parents as we’d like and when we do it’s usually an “event” so it’s noisy and busy and we are all running every which way. Monkey does fine with this busyness it’s just that he doesn’t get very much one on one time with anyone in particular. And my dad is not one for sitting still anyway. Even on vacation he’s always “puttering around.” Seriously, he mowed their non-existent lawn (that’s a good story) TWICE in just over a week. He just makes up work when he has too! ANYWAY, the point is…Monkey is uncertain about Grampa. He’s very shy around him and often leaves the room or hides his face when Grampa addresses him. After spending the hours on the boat together they seemed to be bonding a bit. Monkey was much more tolerant of Grampa’s attention, Grampa could even touch him!
The last hour we were at camp Grampa had us all pose for a family portrait in front of the big dirt pile (part of that good story I mentioned) and they used the quad as a tripod (we’re an inventive lot…also cheap, thus the improvised tripod but I’m guessing you got that cheap bit when I shared our mother/daughter yard saling tradition, right?) and he then had to put the quad away. I thought this was the perfect opportunity to try to force a bit more Grampa/Monkey bonding and tried to put Monkey on Grampa’s lap for a ride.
Being the long, bone-less muscle that he is Monkey was able to effectively communicate his distaste for this particular idea of mine. Grampa was disappointed. I felt bad, really, I had just set my son up to REJECT my father, right? Very smart move, Umma. Ugh. ANYWAY, I then had a brilliant idea. I put Monkey in the raised seat BEHIND Grampa and showed him how to hold on. He actually let me set him down and held on! Grampa slooooowly drove down the driveway and Monkey went with him. Screaming, of course, but with EXCITEMENT. It was the cutest damn thing I think I’ve ever seen (except for this other new found skill that Monkey developed over vacation, that had both me AND my mom choked up from the utterly bittersweet…but mostly sweet…moment, that I’ll share later.) My mom caught a few short videos of the action which I will share as soon as Grampa sends them to me. I’m not sure who was more excited about the whole deal, Monkey, Grampa (who was glowing) or me. You’ll even be able to hear Monkey and I screaming like fools on the videos, heh. Bet you can’t wait.
Holy moly. I guess I should have done mini-blogs while I was away. I hope this didn’t give you a headache and I’ll fill in the teasers…later. 😉