Yet again, I've become what I used to detest. Back about a year ago, when I didn't have kids of my own and had the brain capacity for resentment, I hated tourists. I hated being associated with the 'average American' tourist, especially when I was being one. Now though, other than your average tourist being totally rude and self centered, I take some comfort in seeing otherwise reasonable people being reduced into using their primal brains while dealing with their children in public. We went to Mackinac Island today I selfishly smiled as I heard a woman nearly lose it when she realized that her child had crawled into a rental locker and was able to close the door behind him. But my moment of vindication came when we passed a tall blond man standing on a corner with his son, back-arched and whimpering, in a choke-hold. I didn't talk to him, but know that story quite well. I was just glad to see someone else getting to tell it.
And besides, my time was coming.
It was a perfect day and we had planned to rent bikes and ride the 8 mile perimeter of island. This of course was a new experience and Little Mr. Anxiety was not on board. Chris and I go back and forth as to what is the best way to deal with Habtamu's fears. In general we feel the more we tell him up front, the better off we are, but to a certain extent, it doesn't matter. Once he panics he doesn't process anything anyway. Maybe what we need to work on is trusting us when he gets scared instead of trying to prepare him with the logistics of a new situation.
The first problem of renting a bike, is choosing a bike. Habtamu had already decided that on an island full of bikes, none of them were going to be right. He kept saying he wanted one with only one chain, meaning one gear. But he also wanted an adult bike. What I heard was, “Too many choices.” So Grandpa picked a bike for him, which he didn't like either. The seat was too big and he didn't like the basked on the front. So he freaked out. I don't remember how we got him on the bike. I think I had to leave and ride ahead first and then without me there he begrudging got on it. Apparently in the chaos Yordi decided that her bike wasn't hip enough for her to ride, quote, “I don't look pretty on it,” but H was taking the limelight on this one.
It took him about 4 out of the 8 miles to level out, apologize, get back to his normal happy self. Yordi swallowed her pride and I never heard another word about her ugly bike.
After riding around the island, we returned the bikes and walked up to the Grand Hotel and back down. We didn't push our luck. We got ice cream and were off the island eating pizza by 5pm. It ended up being a good day but took it's toll. All us adults were exhausted and one of us forgot to put on his SPF7000 sun screen so now he's got sunburn on my... I mean his, mosquito bites.
*A word about the title of this post: Mackinac Island is famous for it's fudge. Local slang for tourists who come to Northern Michigan, go to Mackinac Island, and think that they've experienced all that the Upper Peninsula has to ofter, are lovingly referred to as Fudgies. Sometimes they're also called Trolls because the come from 'below the bridge.' Anyway, I just thought 'Fudgie's Revenge' sounded funny. I don't take any responsibility for any other interpretation of the word fudgie.
Fudgie. Fudgie. Fudgie.
Feel free to giggle.