Monday, July 14, 2008

Little Campers

Observations from the latest camping trip.

  • Although treats rank high on the motivation tactics with my kids, I was more succesful manipulating this squirrel (girls named it Pip after the little dude in Disney's "Enchanted" movie) into doing tricks with a little food in 15 minutes than I've been with my kids in the 5 years since we've had one. Perhaps a cause for some self assessment that I get a better response from the squirrels than the kids?

  • Pip's best trick was running across the girls toes causing screams, running, and scattered camping furniture. Shortly after taking this photo, I snuck up behind the squirrel intending to scare it towards the girls and did he ever deliver! Scurryed right around the corner of the cooler and over Kylie's left foot - both girls were well outside of the picture frame in under 2 seconds.
  • Brock is a little tank, in part due to his cheek capacity being equal if not superior to Pip's, meaning he's managed to fit at least one more cookie in his mouth than what I've got in this photo.

  • Brock's cheek capacity is second only to his overall sweets capacity, which grossly outpaces actual food capacity. The 1 year old had free reign on the cookies and pop this trip, and like his Dad, revealed a tendency to get a little carried away with his newfound freedom with a good thing. His eyes were bigger than his belly and he spent his time from sundown to about midnight doing what I'm pretty sure was his attempt at calling a bear out of the woods to come and take him out of his misery. Annie says it was just a belly ache. Regardless, niether us nor the bears got any sleep until well after midnight courtesy of Brock's indulgence.

  • People are different. This photo may be a little too small to see clearly, but there were two people who enjoyed this ride and one who did not. Annie like's to go fast, to the point where she pretends Kylie and Chesney are also 29 years old and have the same speed demon gene. Annie is smiling and had a fun ride.
  • Kylie is 5 and is also smiling. She views Annie's speed demon gene as mild. Annie will max out at her comfort level, and the 5 year old will be screaming from the back to go faster. Kylie think's both mom and dad's risk threshold is equivalent to a 3 year old.
  • Chesney had significantly less fun on this ride than Mom and her big sister. Kylie's screams to go faster are an octave or two lower than Chesney's screams to stop and let her off. The ride was inclusive of a creek crossing that included a little spray towards the riders - Chesney would tell you it was like standing 12 inches from a fire hose. She refused to ride with Mom the rest of the camping trip.
  • I wasn't around for Annie's childhood, but think there's some repressed older sister tendencies in her that create that sick sense of satisfaction we all got as kids (never have quite grown out of this myself) from scaring the hell out of younger siblings or other's with inferior fear thresholds. No question in my mind that the more Chesney would scream to slow down, the faster Annie would go!

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