Family That Plays Together

A Family That Plays Together Stays Together

We’re a firm believers that the more activities you do with your kids the better off your relationship is going to be. We also believe that activities are important to expose your kids to so they stay fit and healthy.

I work out!

My wife originally started taking our daughter to Yoga classes with her. She bought her, her own yoga mat, an adorable little yoga towel and they’ve been Yoga pals ever since. My little buddy was jealous that his baby sister got to go to the grown up class and so we decided we could try and take Jimmy along as well. Jimmy was extremely disruptive (think loud farting noises) and since then we haven’t been able to bring him back. So what did I do? Jimmy wanted to do something “adult” which meant not running around at the playground. So me and Jimmy started pumping iron together (don’t worry I don’t load him up with the bench press and let him have at it).

We created a workout program that we do together every time the ladies go to yoga. It includes back exercises such as pull ups, pushups, core work, jumping jacks and a lot of silliness. Jimmy loves mountain climbers which is strange for a little kid.

He’s also hysterical when I give him small weights to work with. He does bicep curls with one eye closed and his tongue sticking out grunting along with me as I work out. At the end of each session we get a little tape measure and make sure the boys biceps are growing with each pump.

It’s pretty great, because as a result of our sessions I’ve actually gotten in better shape. I no longer dread going to the gym because I know my little buddy will be there to amuse me every step of the way.

I’m extremely glad I was able to find something “grown up” for me and Jimmy to do. We go fishing and we’ve gone to the rifle range and sometimes we go for a cruise on the lake with our inflatable paddle boards but we’ve really bonded over this activity. I’m sure as we look back when he’s older and we’re sharing a pint of beer this is something that we will laugh about. He doesn’t know this, but Sunday afternoon in the gym pumping the iron with him is one of the things I look forward to most during my week. I hope he continues to enjoy doing it with me.

Check the Backpacks!

My oldest sons’ favorite part of elementary school is show and tell. He rants and raves about it every time a it’s one of the other kids in the class turn to show off something and always looks forward to the day it’s his turn. As parents we are also extremely busy and one particular week, we weren’t up to speed with what our boy was bringing to school for show and tell until we received a call from the principal!

comical-PBNA little bit of a back story first. I am an avid outdoorsman and appreciate a variety of outdoor activities. I like to go on extended backpacking trips that take me through the mountains. I like to camp under the stars in the middle of nowhere and enjoy the peace and quiet of the great outdoors. To do this I need a variety of tactical gear including tactical flashlights, and knives so that I can be well prepared for my outdoor adventures. Obviously, depending on the adventure, the gear I need changes which is what led me to purchase an extremely gnarly USMC tactical Knife for skinning animals in the field. It’s design is quite aggressive looking too and has a blade which measures of 6 inches long. Definitely something you don’t want to take to show and tell! Back to the phone call from the Principal.

I guess this particular week my wife and I were a bit too busy and missed out assisting our son with selecting an appropriate show and tell item to take to school. My boy has always been fascinated by much of my gear and loves playing with my high lumen powered flashlights. I knew he also always enjoyed my tactical knives but I never let him play with them as he is much too young. However on this occasion, he decided to take it upon himself to take one of my knives to school with him to show off to his friends in class. 

The Principal explained the situation and obviously understood that my boy intended no harm in bringing the knife to school. He did however take the time to explain to me that I should keep these types of things locked up to avoid any injury at my own home. I agreed with the Principal despite my embarrassment and assured him that I would be taking better care of this type of gear in the future. The Principal also commented as to what I would need a knife so big for but clearly he had never hunted Buffalo before!

That night around the Dinner table we took the opportunity to teach the entire family a lesson. Our boy was extremely embarrassed about having to spend the day in the Principals office and admitted that he shouldn’t have taken the knife and that he would ask in the future.  

It was a good lesson for us all.  My kids are often teaching me lessons – like when I got locked out of the house.

Locked Outside by a Three-Year Old Kid

Have you ever been locked out of your own house before? I have, and it wasn’t a nice experience! Luckily, I can look back on the whole ordeal and laugh, but it wasn’t funny at the time.

Squirrel Shenanigans

One morning last July, I was busy in the kitchen preparing a snack for my youngest boy, Brendan. His brothers were already at school, and my husband at work, so we had the house to ourselves.

Our kitchen looks out onto the front lawn, so while I was mashing a banana, I could see the little squirrel my two older sons had been trying to tame scurrying here and there under the trees.

As I watched, the squirrel decided to conquer the mailbox. He climbed up it easily enough and sat on the top for a while, and then attempted the journey down. Unfortunately, he caught hold of the handle and the door swung open, and the poor little squirrel went crashing to the floor!

The Squirrel Whisperer

Once he’d recovered from the shock, the squirrel saw this as the perfect opportunity to climb inside the mailbox. I didn’t want him making a mess in there, so I raced out the front door, leaving it open, and ran down to the mail box. I began talking softly and gently tapping on the back of the box to coax him out.

Just as I thought my tactics were working, I heard a slam. The front door was shut – the wind must have blown it closed! Now, when our front door shuts, that’s it – you need a key to open it from the outside.

Devil Child

I ran back up to the door and banged loudly. Brendan was only three at the time, but I figured it was worth a try to get him to open it. That’s when I heard him giggling. It turns out we should have named him Damien – it hadn’t been the wind at all; he’d pushed the door closed!

I tried to shout instructions to him through the door, and I could hear him trying, but he couldn’t turn the latch.

There I was, stuck outside in my old gray T-shirt and leggings, with no way of getting back inside!

Back Inside at Last

My first thought was to try next door, because they have a spare key for emergencies, but no one was home. I then went round the back of our house and tapped on the glass sliding door to get Brendan’s attention. I managed to persuade him to unlock that door and finally got back inside. He found the whole thing hilarious!

You’d think I’d have learnt my lesson after that, but a few days later Brendan managed to lock himself in the bathroom. I managed to open the lock by poking it with a screwdriver and luckily he hadn’t done any damage.

The lesson I’ve learnt is to always take my keys with me. You never know when you’re going to need them!

Bad Day in Barcelona

My father was always something of a Clark Griswold when it came to family vacations. He used to plan each trip down to the very last detail, but each time, something went horribly wrong.

For example, one time our luggage got unloaded from the airport bus outside the wrong hotel in Greece, and we had to spend hours driving around in a taxi searching for it. Or how about when he decided we would all go camping – my mother was in charge of map reading, but after a few hours we’d become horribly lost, and it was getting dark. Soon we realized the problem – with every road turn, my mom had turned the map.

A La Rambla Stroll Turns Bad

By far the most hilarious mishap happened in Barcelona. We’d only been there a day, and after an amazing lunch of traditional Catalonian tapas, the family –my mother, father, older sister, and I – was enjoying a stroll down La Rambla, the main tourist street in the city. Outside one of the little tourist shops, my mom stopped to look at some postcards, and just then, a man snatched her bag and ran off down the street. Unfortunately for the thief, he’d picked the wrong man’s wife.

My dad, a cop, pelted after him – and he is nothing if not relentless. The great thing about La Rambla is that it slopes downwards towards the sea, so we could see the majority of what happened as we tried to keep up.

Catching the Thief – But Which One?

My dad caught up with the thief easily enough a hundred yards or so away, and the pair of them went crashing into a table outside a restaurant. This attracted the attention of a small crowd, who all witnessed my father beat the crap out of this little guy and snatch the bag back.

Unfortunately, that’s when the police decided to show up. La Rambla is a notorious hangout for pickpockets and muggers, so there are usually a few officers snooping around.

As the rest of us arrived on the scene, Dad was being brutally handcuffed and dragged away. The onlookers, it transpired, had made my dad out as the villain in the ordeal, and one look at the little guy with the bloody nose and cut lip seemed to confirm this.

It Gets Worse

Unbelievably, the police then proceeded to give my mother’s bag back to the thief. With that, my mother started screaming at the cops – who now looked as though they wanted to arrest her too – and my sister, the only one in the family who could speak a little Spanish, confronted the police and tried to explain what had happened.

Thankfully, my sister’s pidgin Spanish seemed to work on the cops, and with lots of gesturing and pointing, an inkling of what had happened started to dawn on them, so they decided to search the bag.

The Embarrassing Proof

They pulled out the only things my mother kept in there – lipstick, a purse, a clean change of underwear, and enough tampons to fuel a menstruating army.  Of course, that was embarrassing, but you never know what is in a bag or backpack from my family I’ve learned!

With a lot of ‘Gracias!’ from the whole family, the police gave my Mom (now sporting a very red face) her bag back, and uncuffed my dad. The little thief (who had tried to sneak away but was caught by one of the cops) was cuffed, and was dragged away, while screaming and pointing at my dad.

Believe it or not, my dad still hasn’t given up the habit of charging after thieves when he sees them, but fortunately, his Barcelona experience was the only time it ended up badly for him!