Taking a boat trip in the morning... hope this isn't a mistake!

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by gcvmom, Aug 20, 2008.

  1. gcvmom

    gcvmom Here we go again!

    I'm meeting my uncle, his wife and 11yo son at the harbor in the morning WITH my 3 difficult child's to catch a boat over to Catalina Island for the day.

    The kids have NEVER been on a boat this size before (it's a high-speed catamaran), nor have they ever been to this place. Heck, the last time I was there was before I was married!

    I HOPE this day goes o.k. At least there will be two other adults there with me if difficult child 2 has any problems with his behavior. I'm not so worried about my other two. husband can't make it because of work. We plan to let the kids go swimming and snorkeling, have a picinic lunch, probably wander around the little town there and then head back in the late afternoon.

    Please pray to the difficult child-gods that all goes well!
  2. totoro

    totoro Mom? What's a GFG?

    It will be great! Just keep saying that, no matter what! It sounds like an awesome day. I do hope they have a great time and are good.
  3. Andy

    Andy Active Member

    It sounds like a nice relaxing day. Kids love the beach.

    So, how did it go?
  4. ML

    ML Guest

    I pray that you have a beautiful day. I used to live in S.Cal and miss it very much. Laguna was my hangout years ago. Hugs, Michele
  5. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Oooh, sounds great! I've got my fingers crossed for you. I'm betting that difficult child is good most of the time, just because it's such a novel event.
  6. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Sounds like fun-I hope the kids did well!
  7. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    So, how'd it go?
  8. gcvmom

    gcvmom Here we go again!

    Okay, we're back :)

    First point against us: difficult child 2 was out late with husband at difficult child 1's soccer practice. easy child/difficult child 3 was so excited, she didn't get to sleep until after 10:30pm :( So everyone was beyond tired when I had to wake them at 6:15 so we could have 30 minutes to eat, dress and hit the road. We made it just in time to get our tickets and board the boat.

    The ride over to the island was pretty good. Everyone was really excited about the experience.

    Once we got there, we decided to take a short hike to a botanical garden and memorial for William Wrigley Jr. (of the Wrigley's gum fame) who lived on the island at one time.

    THAT hike was point #2 against us. difficult child 2 was tired, easy child/difficult child 3 was tired, and between the two of them they managed to start WWIII just by being near eachother. It was all I could do to keep them moving towards our destination without killing eachother.
    :clubbing: :grrr::hateyou:

    There was a trolley service available, but my uncle wanted to walk and so did difficult child 1 and my cousin -- and I was up for the walk, too. But I SHOULD have just said, I'll catch the trolley with these two and and meet you guys at the end of the road. Hindsight's great, huh? :hammer:

    My aunt and I took our time with the two murderous slow-pokes, stopping frequently for rest and water and me trying to distract, distract, distract. Plus, I gave difficult child 2 a sandwich to eat while he walked, and that helped a bit.

    Once we reached the botanical garden, the mood had changed a little and they were interested in looking at the cactus gardens, reading the signs for all the indigenous plants, watching for woodpeckers -- in other words, more distraction :) We came into view of the memorial which is a beautiful 180 foot monument that you take a graceful curved stairway up to the top with a view of the Pacific down below. Another lovely distraction that I was grateful for.

    With the promise of a trolley ride and a swim at the beach when we got back for good behavior, we sat for about a half hour to eat lunch and relax. difficult child 2 was better, but still impulsive. My uncle knows about difficult child 1's ADHD and still assumes difficult child 2's issues are the same -- he said it seems like he needs more medicine! I kind of laughed and agreed that he needs something, but we're still working on it. He just shook his head. In a way, it was nice for me to have witnesses to what I deal with day in and day out.

    They all had a blast down at the beach and swam for about two hours. No waves to speak of and a great little diving platform about 50 yards out, plus lots of other kids to keep difficult child 2 and easy child/difficult child 3 away from eachother. It didn't stop difficult child 2 from shoving her off the platform, not once, not twice, but three times after I AND the lifeguard hollered (him with his bullhorn) to NOT do that! After the third time, I ordered him OUT of the water. The lifeguard said he'd be making him do pushups and I turned with surprise to say, "How did you know I was going to make him do that?" He just laughed and said he uses that with his jr. lifeguard kids who act up. When difficult child 2 got to shore, the lifeguard said he knew he was a good kid, just poor choices. I think that made him feel good to hear that from another adult. He did his little exercises and then sat out for 5 minutes. I had to pull him out one more time after that about 10 minutes later, but that was the last time I had any problems like that from him. I think the physical exercise did him good, because the impulse control was better the rest of the day.

    A funny thing happened on the boat ride back. difficult child 1 and his cousin continued to pair up like they had all day. They just really seem to hit things off, and I'm glad for that. And easy child/difficult child 3 makes friends very easily and so she found two sisters about her age and hung out playing games with them. But who does difficult child 2 gravitate to? The 4yo brother of the girls (who I mistook as a 3yo because of his stature and language, which his mom said is a bit delayed). Those two sat for about half an hour chatting and examining a dead fruit beetle (BIG green metallic thing) difficult child 2 had found under a seat on the top deck. He is SO good and SO patient with little kids! I asked him about that tonight. He said that he likes little kids because they are interested in him and what he knows, and that kids his age just don't seem to care. I told him that friends care about what friends like, and maybe he just hasn't met the right kids yet his age. I SOOOO hope the social skills class the school has prepared for him will help in this. THIS and his impulsivity are the two biggest problems he has today.

    I had a long talk with difficult child 2 and easy child/difficult child 3 tonight at bedtime about their relationship and how something HAS to change. I asked them both to think about it for a day or two so we could talk again about their ideas on WHY these fights happen and what we all might do to improve things. They both have a role in this that needs to change.

    So now I am totally wiped. I essentially had to hover next to him with a very short leash most of the day. Being on guard like that for 8 hours is exhausting. :bloodshot:
  9. flutterbee

    flutterbee Guest

    That does sound exhausting, but it still sounds like you all managed to have an enjoyable time along the way.

    So, why are you still up?
  10. gcvmom

    gcvmom Here we go again!

    I'm up because my HEAD got a second wind :D Plus, it's not even midnight yet! That's EARLY for me (just ask husband who complains DAILY about how late I roll into bed, and the more stuff on my mind, the later I roll...)

    Okay already, I'm off to bed...
  11. Shari

    Shari IsItFridayYet?

    Sounds like a neat experience! Wish it was a little, um...more relaxing! lol

    There is nothing that compares to that short leash you describe. At least not that I'm aware of. It wipes me out, too. I'd rather buck hay ALL day than short-leash a difficult child for 8 hours.
  12. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    It does sound absolutely exhausting-I agree the short leash thing is so exhausting. In the midst of it all though it sounds like there was some fun too. The lifeguard sounds like a neat guy.
  13. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Oooh, I hear you with-the short leash. been there done that so many times.
    I hope Catalina Island was worth it. I think they're at the age where they'll remember it. Can't believe they were actually interested in the cacti and labels. Cool.
    And Way To Go, lifeguard!!!! Very neat.
    Boy, do you stay up late. I hope you get some sleep. You need to recover.
    You did a great job. Way To Go! (I love the cartoons of the kids hitting ea other and yelling. Too cute!)
  14. busywend

    busywend Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Sounds like a success to me! You would have been exhausted even if they were all PCs. Other then the hike out - everything else seems typical stuff to me.

    Glad you all got away for a different experience.
  15. Andy

    Andy Active Member

    One of those, "Everyone on this board can understand why this was a successful day" kind of days. Still exhausting and frustrating at times but it does sound overall like a nice day.

    I like the bug story. My sister in law and brother in law just returned from Borneo - they went to see the gorillas - and they brought back lots of photographs. difficult child did a polite look through an album but wasn't really interested until I found a few pages of bugs. He thought they were so cool and sister in law said she was glad someone appreciated them taking pictures of bugs.
  16. gcvmom

    gcvmom Here we go again!

    I'm feeling a bit strange at my reaction to the posts here, because I'm looking at the fighting that went on between difficult child 2 and easy child/difficult child 3 and feel like it was a huge cloud over the day. Am I being overly critical? Holding myself to a easy child-family standard instead of the difficult child reality I live in?

    I admit I was a bit embarrassed in front of my uncle and his wife whose son is very mellow, and pretty much a well behaved kid (despite having significant anxiety that they view as stubbornness).

    It was like a mini flashback to our Hawaii trip for the first half of the day :(

    There were shining moments, that's true. Maybe because I could see and feel how fleeting they were that it was hard to really enjoy them being "on guard" the whole day.

    I'm SO glad for this board's perspective!