Archive for April, 2010


Fear Not, For I… Have Candy

April 12, 2010

I am constantly trying to come up with new ways to get Molly out of the house.  This usually involves giving her a few options and telling her we’re doing one of them, so she has to pick. Sometimes in that situation she’ll come up with something else, which is fine, the ultimatum of leaving the house motivates her to make sure it’s something she’ll enjoy. So recently one of the options was going to the park, and she announced she wanted to go to the park. “Ok,” I said, glad we had decided, “do you want to go to our park here or to Kids’ World?” “No, I want to go to Rocky Road Park,” she decreed. “Okaaaay,” I said, “which park is that?” “The one with the bridge,” she explained, clearly impatient with my inability to read her mind. Helpful.  “Hmm,” I said, “do you know where it is, or what street it’s on?” I was hoping for a miracle with that question, really. Molly thought for a minute. “Rocky Road Street?” She ventured. “Nope, not a real street,” I informed her. “Pocky Road,” she said decisively. “Also not real.” I said.  It was clear we were getting nowhere with this tactic, so I called her mother and had her speak to Molly.  Her mom then informed me of a nearby park she thought it could be, so we set off for “Rocky Road.”

We parked on the street, and ventured across a little bridge over a creek. I was looking around and didn’t see a playground yet, but then I noticed a little path leading off to the side at the end of the bridge, winding into some trees.  Immediately I was intrigued. I suggested we go down there, and Molly agreed, but we hadn’t made it ten yards when she started whining that she wanted to turn back. This is typical Molly behavior, so I urged her onward, saying we should just get around the bend in the path, and we made it a few more feet before she whined some more. We were so close to the bend in the path. I just wanted to see around the corner. I wheedled her to continue.  Then she began to cry. Oops.

After some conversation, it was established that Molly did not want to continue because she thought there were monsters ahead on the path. I, on the other hand, was convinced that there was something amazing around the curve. I just couldn’t see it. With a sigh, I agreed to go back, gazing longingly behind me at a path that surely led to wonderment.

When we got back to the bridge, I suggested we play a round of Pooh Sticks. For those of you unfamiliar, Pooh Sticks is the favorite game of Winnie the Pooh Bear and friends. It involves standing on a bridge over a moving body of water. Everyone finds a distinct and identifiable stick, stands on the upriver side of the bridge, and drops their stick into the water. You then run to the other side of the bridge and watch to see whose stick comes out from under the bridge first. It is action-packed, heart-stopping adventure. Unless, of course, all you can think about is a magical path that probably leads to Narnia, but which you will never get to explore because you are held back by a weepy toddler.

As we played, we talked about courage, and how it doesn’t mean not being afraid, but being afraid and doing something anyway.  After some discussion and several rounds of Pooh Sticks, Molly agreed that courage was a good thing. I asked if we could go back on the path if I held her hand. She wasn’t convinced. I offered her a Fruit Roll Up. Sold. So we walked and talked and munched, and looked at beautiful wild flowers. We got around the curve, and more path stretched ahead.  Suddenly, Molly asked “What’s that hanging down from the trees?”  I looked ahead, and there, in a little clearing, something was in the trees. “Molly, it’s a rope swing!” I exclaimed.  We ran ahead excitedly, and I taught her how to sit on the rope swing while I swung it, and how to gaze up at the trees and feel like you’re flying. I swung a little too, only because Molly insisted, of course. Baby Kate mostly sat in the dirt and ate cereal. And after we were all swung out we headed back, and Molly declared it “a very great adventure.” Indeed.