Brian wanted to take Trenton to Rock Bridge Park today for Fathers Day, and he invited me along. I, like Brian, hadn't been there in years. And I've been thinking about taking Trenton out to a creek to splash around and have fun. Throwing rocks and sticks.
They came by the house to get me, and as soon as he got in the house, it was "Come on, Papa. Are going to the park."
We packed along some water and some crackers and grapes for Trenton and drove down to the park and headed up the trail to the Rock Bridge. Trenton didn't seem to want to stay long at any place, wanting to go down every muddy trail we weren't going down, and he kept asking "where's the park"? as we hiked up the wooden-planked trails. We kept telling him "we're in the park" -- and then it occurred to me, to him a Park is the same as a playground. Swings. Jungle Gyms. Slides. Sand. So we told him this is a different kind of park.
He seemed marginally interested enough when we'd actually just take him to things. He wasn't that impressed with the Rock Bridge. But he did seem to enjoy crossing the creek, throwing a few rocks and watching daddy throw a few rocks. And he liked Devil's Icebox, though he was a little leery of the dark corners. He got to shine a flashlight around, which is something he likes doing anyway. But he wanted to leave pretty quick.
He was saying "we need to find the way out", and put a little drama into it, pointing the way to go. He was referring to a Bob The Builder episode where Muck get's lost in the forest and finally finds her tracks and follows them out of the woods. He really likes that episode. And when we got near the end of the trail he wanted to go back up. He was getting a little fussy. We figured he was tired. It was about 1:00pm.
At any rate, we got to the car and got the grapes and crackers and we sat at a picnic table and he ate and his attitude completely changed. He wanted to go back, and he was serious. He wanted to see the rock bridge again. And this time he wanted to go in. So we did.
We figured as long as he was interested now (since he figured out that we weren't going to swings and slides and things like that and this was pretty cool after all), we shouldn't discourage him from, as he put it, "we need to explore some more!" and "let's go on an adventure". So he wanted to go back up the stairs and back to Devil's Ice Box again, and he wanted to go back to the dark part and shine the flashlight. And he wasn't afraid of getting his shoes wet (though we didn't want them wet) so I took his shoes off and stuck his feet in the cold, clear water. At which point he was no longer interested in walking in the water and he wanted his shoes right back on.
Trenton has always been good at smiling for photos. He's known exactly what anyone with a camera was doing since long before he could talk. And Mama got him saying "Cheeeese" and we've gotten some pretty good shots out of that.
Only lately, he just goes through the ritual of saying CHEEEEEEEESE, not even looking at the camera and having his mouth in all kinds of contortions (he even sounds bored saying it). So we were actually trying to get him to STOP saying Cheese and just smile. But I have to admit, it is kind of funny.
We hiked back out, petted a couple of dogs and had the same "we need to find the way out" adventure on the way back to the truck. And he still didn't want to leave. Good sign. But he was very tired. The hope was to get him back to our place, lay him down, and have him nap. It was only maybe 10 minutes back to our house.
He didn't make it 5 minutes.
Unfortunately, he doesn't transfer "asleep" very well anymore, and he woke up and wanted to go watch ... "Muck gets lost in the woods." We hoped he'd go to sleep, and seemed pretty close for a while... but ... no.
We grilled up some burgers for dinner, and had a couple gin and tonics (and the virgin version, lime and tonic, which is pretty good) and just generally hung out until it was time for them to go home. I'm sure he was asleep within 3 minutes, and I hope he transferred to bed pretty well once they got home. It would have been after 8:00 when they got there.