I had a wonderful time visiting my Mom. What started out as a three day visit was eventually extended to a full week because we were having so much fun. Scott came up on Tuesday, which practically eliminated the only motivation I had to go home. With the weather nearly perfect and itching to do something fun, we decided to take Robby and Timmy on a family adventure on Thursday. Keeping with my tradition, I refused to reveal the location of our outing. Robby only knew that he needed to eat a substantial breakfast and to dress comfortably.
Although we tried to keep the secret, Robby quickly guessed as we closed in on our destination. While he was delighted when we turned into the parking lot for Dutch Wonderland, an amusement park, Timmy remained unimpressed until he saw Duke. (Duke is the giant purple dragon that is the mascot of the amusement park.) As we walked into the entrance, Duke approached and tried to high five Timmy. My poor little Hamlet clutched my shirt, buried his face in my chest and began to shriek. I made a mental note that he does not like giant purple dragons and handed him a cookie to help him calm down.
After the trauma of the dragon encounter, the rest of the day went smoothly. Robby and Scott rode non-stop for four hours, enjoying a total of 21 head-spinning rides. (To be completely honest, Scott only enjoyed the first 15. After that he became pale and a little more tipsy with each spin.)
While the older boys were busy riding, I was charged with entertaining Timmy. Let me tell you, wrangling a curious, albeit novice, toddler in the middle of an amusement park was no easy task. He was constantly moving and putting mulch in his mouth. No matter what I tried to distract him, he always found his way back to the shredded wood. In a moment of pure desperation, I forged what became his "chewing stick" out of a small branch. The stick was stripped of its bark and perfectly smooth, so I figured that it probably wouldn't hurt him. I also guessed that it was healthier to constantly chew on the same stick versus sucking down handfuls of mulch throughout the day.
For some reason, Timmy took to his chewing stick and was happy as he could be for the rest of the afternoon. His gnawing on a branch while sitting in his stroller garnered quite a few looks, but at that point I didn't really care. He was happy, contained and quiet. I'm sure I won't get mother of the year, but both kids were content and smiling so I consider that some type of victory.