Monday, January 26, 2015

Ensuring Date Night Goes off Without a Hitch

Those are the boy's feet hanging out of that colorful,
padded barrel. Alas, the rolling was short lived. He
was not a fan.
This past weekend featured a date night for Mrs. Blackwell and I. We went to a hockey game (how romantic, I know). But she’s a good sport and says she likes watching hockey in person. Until I hear otherwise, I'll believe her.

Before going to the arena, we went for a little pre-game at a bar that’s a popular spot to hang out before big games. So, this evening included beer, great-tasting (fried) food, and hockey. It was fantastic; it was also our first night out together in about a month.

(For what it’s worth — and before I get chastised for being an oblivious husband — Mrs. Blackwell's birthday is coming soon and we’ve got plans that don’t involve hockey, or pint after pint of draft beer.)

Back to last weekend. It was an ideal night, and just the sort we used to enjoy with regularity — prior to the boy’s arrival.

But before we could embark on this evening of awesomeness, we needed to address the boy.

In particular, we wanted to be sure that we weren’t burdening our good friend (who would be babysitting this evening) with a toddler chalk full of pent-up energy.

Putting a kid to sleep can be tough at the best of times. Try doing that when the kid is ready and raring to do anything except sleep, and you're in for a nightmare.

The hope was that we could work him out so that life would be easier for everyone when we dropped him off. And, as I’ve documented in this space here, here, and here, we’re running out of places where we can run the boy.

But, true to form, Mrs. Blackwell searched and found the perfect spot to do just that.

It’s called Legacy Academy and, while it sounds like the sort of place doctors send their children on a Saturday morning, it most certainly is not.

In fact, it’s pretty much the opposite. It’s total chaos, a complete zoo. I can’t catalogue everything they’ve got in this place and I know of no other way to characterize it except to say, it’s nuts.

Have a look at the video. While I’m sure some parents might have wondered about the creepy dude using his camera, you can plainly see that there’d be really no other way to convey the insanity of this place.

In the midst of this jungle of possibilities — and in a complete affront to the motivation of this trip — the boy pushed past the rope swings, around the bouncy balls, by the swing set, the ladders and all manner of craziness in between and found himself a good, old-fashioned skeet ball-type machine to play with.

Yes, there's about 80 kids running, screaming and shouting their euphoric little heads off and my boy decides to play the equivalent of a board game.

To top it off, the boy decides he's not really going to toss the balls into the holes. Instead, he's going to grab them and place them into the holes. To be clear, there was no tossing. He picked them up and put them in.

His mother managed to coax him into climbing up the three-story mega playhouse you see in the video.
"Rules, Dad? The rules to this game are
what I say they are."

When he got to the top and was to take a long, curling, tornado slide back down to the bottom, the boy opted out.

Again, to be clear: given the opportunity to take a ride on unquestionably one of the biggest, coolest slides he's ever laid eyes on, the boy instead, pulled the 'chute and said, "No, thanks. I'll take the long way down."

That's not to say he didn't cut loose and have fun but, we were far from our objective of tiring him out.

As he wandered from spot to spot, he made it clear that this circus of activity did little more for him than being chased around our living room.

It was funny then that the boy, Mrs. Blackwell and I found ourselves in a quieter side room wherein the boy climbed around on a couch before finally asking for "Jump," — that's a game where he stands up on a chair or couch and I toss him into the air as high as I can. (See the picture on the right side of this blog for an example.)

So that's what we did. I picked up the boy and tossed him up — over. And over. And over. Not long after that, we left and at least one of us was totally, completely exhausted. Somewhere along the way we must have accomplished our objective as we were informed that Master Blackwell went to sleep with minimal fussing.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

What a wild place. Tires me out just watching the action.!