(I had to use this pic because some of the kids had intense concentration!)
We had an the adventure the other day. My boss had surgery and needed to spend a day just relaxing and sleeping at their house, so I had the kids out and about. Laney was in school all day, but the two boys had to be kept busy.
Last summer, I took the kids bowling- and the older two did really well. Tobin was just over a year old at the time and could have cared less.
Cut to 8 or 9 months later- I wanted to find something that would keep Derek happy and busy—as well as to keep his little mind off his recuperating dad. I mentioned bowling to him, and he sounded interested. I spent an afternoon calling about 15 (no lie!) bowling alleys around town to check out open bowling prices. As it ended up, we landed at a bowling alley I went to every weekend last year while I was on a bowling league.
Now, I knew that Tobin likely wouldn’t last too terribly long, so I planned for one bowling game. I also brought along a huge pad of white paper and crayons. Tobin picked out a few trucks/cars and board books to bring along as well. As a backup, I brought in the stroller in case I needed to rein him in for some of my turns (which I did, although just a time or two). At 22 months old, he did REALLY well. I was proud of him!
Now…our adventure! Some of our friends were meeting us at the bowling alley but we arrived first. We walked in and I grabbed shoes for Derek. I asked the woman at the desk about shoes for Tobin. She looked around, and not seeing him wandering around (he was strapped in the stroller) looked confused. I motioned to him and she peered over the counter,
“OH! HE’s bowling?!?!”
“Well…we’ll try it! I think he’ll have fun. I brought some coloring paper for him in case he doesn’t do well,” I replied.
“Oookkkkayyy. We don’t usually have kids as young as him do it…”
Sigh. He’s almost two, lady. Let’s let him try, okay??!
A minute later, I explained to her that we’d have two lanes going—one for the adults and Tobin, and the other for Derek and his friends- as I mentioned to desk lady, “the older kids”—making sure to motion to Derek as I said that.
About five minutes later, we were situated with shoes and our balls. Our friends Bess, Lana, Oli and Leo walked in. At the desk, the woman peered at them and asked, “Are you with HER???” motioning to me at the other end of the alley.
“Umm…yes…?” Bess replied.
“Oh. Because when she said older kids, I thought she meant TEENAGERS!”
Whoops. Poor lady…we had two adults, four kids who were four years old, and one one year old. I think we gave her a couple new gray hairs!
Needless to say, bowling was an adventure. The kids did really, really well. They cheered for each other (and us). Tobin had a blast pushing the ball after I placed it on the floor for him- no, he couldn’t carry it. It was a six pounder and the tyke would have smashed his poor toes. He clapped every time his ball made it down the lane and with much excitement.
The coloring paper came in handy, too. After about seven frames, the kiddos who were waiting for their turns took to coloring squirrels, houses, rainbows and other pictures.
All in all, bowling was a smashing success. Just don’t ask the counter lady.