Teenager vs. Aunt Heather – Part 1 Math Tutor

Some people care too much. I think it’s called love.  ~A.A. Milne

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Kyle didn’t want his picture taken… I made him suppress a smile. Happy 14th Birthday Kyle! 2015

Where to begin.  How about in chronological order.  To be honest, I’ve been so upset as of lately, I didn’t feel like rehashing these events in writing until now.  I figured I record the good, so to be realistic I should record the bad, so to speak.

I know Kyle is growing up, and he’s finding himself, his likes and dislikes, and he wants to be his own person, and have his own voice.  All of that I’m very happy about, truly!  However, he can’t possibly think he should be allowed to do whatever he wants, when he wants, how he wants to do it.  Nope!  A little independence, sure, complete freedom with a bad attitude and disrespect, never, ever.

Kyle has been giving me a big attitude for some time now.  His newest thing, is to ignore my phone calls and text messages.  Something I’m sure is a learned behavior and will be addressed in a big way down the road unless corrected.  That’s the first item of disrespect.  Then, he was only visiting my parents when he wanted something, strike two.  Again, we love Kyle with all of our hearts, and we love seeing him, and spending time with him, even if it’s only for a short period of time.  But to take complete advantage of our generosity and kindness, not cool.

Moving on.  Everyone who knows me, knows there are two topics I NEVER budge on, church and school (showering and brushing teeth are also a couple others, but in my eyes those are mandatory acts of living that sometimes causes arguments and we work through them quickly).  I learned long ago to pick my battles, and those are it.  Whether Kyle likes it or not, in addition to being his aunt by blood relation, I’m also his godmother and an adult figure who’s been an integral part of his life from the beginning.  I was specifically chosen by my brother, Ryan, to raise him Catholic and it’s my job to carry out Ryan’s wishes.  A part of that is to keep Kyle on the path of moral responsibility and goodness, which I’ve been trying to do.

Next topic of conversation is school.  I’ve talked about that before, many, many times.  I worked with Kyle to get him into kindergarten at a young age, I helped pay for his preschool, and I’ve always made him accountable for his report card and homework, at every grade.  My intent was not to be mean but the opposite.  I care so much for Kyle, I only want the best for him, and if that means not taking the easy way, I’m there.  Seeing Kyle reach his potential and having no regrets has always been my goal.

I’ve never really said too much on Kyle’s clothing, music, hobbies or anything allowing him to be self expressive.  I do get on him about his video games, only because he spends way too much time in those mind sucking virtual worlds.  Speaking up and creating balance is for his own good.

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Kyle with his cousin Cheyenne. Kyle was trying to get her to smile for the picture. What a great little guy! Bethel Church 2005

About three Sunday’s ago, August 23rd to be exact, I wasn’t in the area to take Kyle to church.  Next in line is my mom, who was suppose to be my voice and presence when I’m working.  What did Kyle do?  Knowing very well my mom is a push over, he basically told her he wasn’t going to church, and my mom didn’t argue!  I was livid!  Now take that a step further, when I called and texted him about the first day of school, on that Monday, he didn’t reply.  I simply wanted to wish him good luck and to hear his voice.  Would that teenager give me two seconds of his time, even through a text message?  Nope.  Ignore.  Here we go.

Now after a week of no word from Kyle, Saturday, August 29th rolls around.  The Olczak family reunion.  My sister came home, as did Kyle.  I had work to do on the computer so I skipped out, but from I was told, Kyle helped my mom make the Haluski and assisted with the setup.  Cool deal buddy!  That’s what I like to hear.  See how this roller coaster ride is going, down and up, and it continues.

Once he came home from the reunion, Kyle carried a small bit of an attitude, but nothing serious.  I talked to him for a few minutes, which went fine, even though he tried to avoid me, knowing I would bring up church sooner or later.  It was at this time, I knew I needed to break it to him what his official birthday gift was.

A math tutor!  You got it, remember A Dip In the Grades.  Yeah, well I didn’t forget.  In passing, I simply told Kyle, “We’re going to 9:30 am church.”  He rolled his eyes, and then I heard my sister chime in, “Why do we have to go so early?”  She’s never been like the rest of the family, minus my mom. We’re morning people.  Anyway, with conviction, I replied, “I don’t care what mass you go to, we’re going to 9:30 and then he has his tutor meeting.”  Kyle’s face was priceless.   Immediately I added, “Instead of taking you to Cedar Point and spending money on a day in Pittsburgh with your friends, because of your attitude and your grades, I decided to buy you a math tutor.  Happy Birthday!”  It was only for a split second, but I definitively caught a grin on Kyle’s face after announcing “Happy Birthday”.  Naturally, I sported a huge smile myself.  It was kind of funny.  What melted my heart was Kyle’s grin that looked exactly like Ryan’s.  For a split second, Ryan was standing before me.  Then Kyle opened his mouth and Ryan disappeared.

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Kyle’s 14th birthday cake! 2015

Sincerely, I didn’t expect Kyle to get upset about the tutor, nor did I care, but he did.  In fact, he was really mad!  He kept grunting and whining about the tutor and arguing with me.  Another funny.  Kyle, nearly raising his voice inquired, “Why do I need a tutor?”  I gave him a sideways look and said, “Come on buddy, I think you’re smart enough to figure that one out on your own.”  For a second time, he turned his head so I couldn’t see, but I did, and a grin surfaced.  Now that’s the Kyle I know and love.  He was somewhere in there, but the dark side wouldn’t let the old Kyle out.  Yikes, the internal temporal.

Kyle really took the news of a tutor hard.  Again, something I wasn’t expecting.  I watched him storm around the yard, and it looked like he was texting or calling someone.  I didn’t give a fig.  He screwed up, and I wanted to help him out of his wrong turn.  I mean that’s why he has adults in his life, so when he messes up, someone is there to help him out.  Right?

At one point, during an argument about the tutor, which incidentally continued ALL night, Kyle started to give me his list of excuses.
Kyle:  “I didn’t care about my grades because I knew they didn’t count for college.”
Me:  “If that’s true, then why was math the only subject you tanked in?”
Kyle:  No response.
Kyle:  “I only got a bad grade because I wasn’t doing my homework.  There was too much and I didn’t want to do it.”
Me:  “Then you really don’t know the subject, which is the foundation for all your future math classes.”
Kyle:  “I do!  I know Algebra II.  Why do I need a tutor?”
Me:  I turned toward Kyle, looked him squarely in the face before admitting, “Kyle!  Because I seem to be the only one who seriously cares about your future!  I want you to have a choice of anything you want to do in this world.  I want you to choose whichever college you want to attend.  I don’t want you to struggle with your future subjects.  I want you to feel good about yourself and show everyone just how smart you are!  I love you dearly, that’s why.”  I couldn’t resist, I added, “Happy Birthday buddy!”  That’s the instigator in me.
Kyle:  No comment.  Maybe a slight smile but he was holding strong.
Me:  “Kyle it took me a while to find this tutor, I especially chose her.  She’s a Greater Latrobe High School math teacher!”
Kyle:  His eyes got big and the look of “O crap” appeared across his face.
Me:  “That’s right buddy, I’m not messing around.  I didn’t get you a student, I got you someone who can handle your teenage attitude and really knows the subject.”
Kyle:  Still holding strong.  “Why do I need a tutor.  I know math.”
Me:  “Buddy, if that’s true, then prove it.  Let the tutor tell me that you really know the subject.  I’m not doing myself any favors paying for a tutor, I’m not benefiting from this.  I’d be happy to cancel the lessons.
Kyle:  No comment.

Kyle sighed, grunted and stormed off.  I know deep down, he thought he would win, yet he knows I’m not being unreasonable and he’s in the wrong.

Now onto Sunday.  First things first, church before the tutor.  The saga continues…

 

P.S. I carefully chose this quote, it wasn’t by happenstance.  You see, A.A. Milne authored the Winnie-the-Pooh books.

When Kyle was a tiny tyke, he had this teething ring Winnie-the-Pooh, which contained a button to play music.  Kyle loved that toy!  I believe that’s when I first realized how much he loved music.  He would bounce his head to the sweet tune of the plastic key chain.  Sometimes, we’d simply sing, “Winnie-the-Pooh… Winnie-the-Pooh…”

A little bit of trivia.  A.A. Milne’s son, Christopher was given a teddy bear on his first birthday.  For Kyle’s first birthday, he received a king sized quilt I made him out his of his dad’s (my brother) tees and flannels shirts.  Anyway, Christopher called his bear, Edward Bear, before renaming the stuffed animal, Winnie-the-Pooh.  The first Pooh story was published four years later.  Children do make the world of difference in the lives they touch.  They’re also great inspirations!  I too wrote a book, young adult, for Kyle.  I guess there are others out there as blessed as I am, to be inspired by such love.

posted by auntheather in Church,Common Sense,Education & Learning,Family,Milestone,Observation & Imagination,Patience,Video Games & Games and have No Comments

Another Milestone – 7th Grade

Some may try and tell us that this is the end of an era.  But what they overlook is that in America, every day is a new beginning, and every sunset is merely the latest milestone on a voyage that never ends.  For this is the land that has never become, but is always in the act of becoming.  Emerson was right:  America is the land of tomorrow.  ~Ronald Reagan

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Kyle’s 1st Birthday. Great milestone with me & pappy! 2002

Watching Kyle grow up and being an integral part of his life has been a delight.  I mean that with all sincerity.  Some milestones have been easier to take over others.  Example, when Kyle graduated from diapers to the potty.  Score!  That was time to celebrate!  However, this most recent milestone is bittersweet, the seventh grade.

Kyle is in the junior high school!  He is twelve and he is a preteen.  Where has the time gone?  In conjunction with this milestone, we also hit another, independence.  Yes, for the last couple of years Kyle has been showing baby steps towards maturing and showing subtle hints of  independence, but this one threw me off guard.  Every year since Kyle was in kindergarten, actually I think preschool, I have watched him get on the bus.  So naturally I thought this year will be no different.  To be honest, I thought this might be the last year, of course I believe I’ve said that about the previous year too.  Regardless, I was planning on hanging out with him early in the morning and seeing him off to the seventh grade.

Boy was I wrong!  I asked Kyle what time the bus was picking him up and what time I should be there.  He just kind of gave me an awkward grunt, the kind you do when you don’t want to hurt someone’s feelings yet you’re not backing down of your plan of action.  He said, “Umm that’s ok Aunt Heather, I’m good.”  What?  That’s what I say to someone when I don’t want to say ‘no’ yet say ‘no’!  It was just used on me?

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My little man, trying out his new walking technique at the Planinsek Pavilion. 2003

Well, that was early on this past weekend.  I thought, surely he would think this through and change his mind.  Naturally, not letting the topic go, I said, “You sure buddy you don’t want me to be there to watch you on your first day of school?”  Then, I went into a dissertation of how his Aunt Nikki, his Gigi and me all paid for him to go to preschool for two years.  And how I’ve been a driving force for him and his grades, as well as my family, for all these years.  I also stated that it’s been tradition for me to be there to see him off for his first day of school.  I even tried to assure him that I would stand a side and not be an embarrassment.  He probably didn’t believe that, even though I meant it to the best of my ability.

Nope, Kyle would not budge.  All he replied was, “Umm that’s ok, I’m good.”  Yep, Kyle made a decision and was sticking to it.   That I can respect.  How can I not, when he is showing that he is maturing and wants to be responsible for himsel?.  Ok, buddy I get it, kinda.

But again let’s be real, I’m his Aunt Heather and the understanding is in the details.  I went down the checklist, “Who’s getting you up?”  Himself.  “Who’s seeing you onto the bus?”  Himself.  “Who’s getting you breakfast?”  He said that he can get something at the school, which I advised him to grab a banana, apple or make himself at least cereal to ensure he has something in his tummy.  That is the last thing he needs, to be hungry all the way till lunch!  Everyone knows that wouldn’t fly with me!  Not a good way to start off the day, skipping out on fueling up the body.  Kyle, being Kyle, also had to work out the details as to not break any rules or get in trouble with the breakfast situation.  He commented, “Ya I guess I can eat on the bus to school, I don’t think the bus driver cares.  I can just toss my peel out the window.  Or I can eat some of pappy’s ribs!”  That gave me a chuckle!  Only Kyle worries about such small details.  Helping to put his mind at ease, I said “Just pitch your peel in a trash can in school.  If you choose to eat the ribs that will help you go till lunch, not a bad idea!”  He thought about that and was fine with my advice.  Then the ultimate question, “Who’s planning out your outfit?”  Himself!  Now that scares me more than anything.  As much as I pride myself on my ability to dress cute, stylish and couture, Kyle does not have that knack nor does he care.  Even dad, who is strictly a jeans, under shirt and plaid shirt type of guy, always has his top tucked in, belt on and never dresses sloppy.  Kyle on the other hand, has a different style to himself all together.  One I have yet to fathom!

Maybe that will be Kyle’s next milestone.  Seriously, I can’t wait for that one!

Regardless, Kyle has a full schedule already, going into advance math, taking a language, hope it’s French, and whatever else the day brings.  I’m sure Kyle will have a great first day of school, after all he is equipped with The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King book to keep him entertained throughout the downtime.  I hope to see many more milestones from Kyle!  He is a bright and caring young man with a future of possibilities.

Milestones have their place in life.  Even if they appear to be initially bad, there is always something good in them, a lesson or a pathway made for more milestones.  I guess I just need to be here to help him through any rocky paths and guide him in the right direction.  Love you buddy!  Enjoy seventh grade!

posted by auntheather in Common Sense,Education & Learning,Family,Milestone,Observation & Imagination,Patience,Reminiscing and have No Comments

Denied! No Dance For You!

There’s things that happen in a person’s life that are so scorched in the memory and burned into the heart that there’s no forgetting them.  ~John Boyne

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Yep, that’s Kyle among a sea of kids, dancing around at his school’s Folk Festival. He was hiding from me after I busted a move to YMCA. Sometimes you just have to get it out. 6/3/13

It’s true, sometimes there are events and situations that occur, which can never be forgotten.  For those pessimists out there, I don’t believe these episodes are all bad and I believe any situation we encounter in life shapes us one way or another.  Heck, sometimes they are even really funny and will be brought up around the dinner table or campfire from time to time, just for a good laugh.  This is one of those stories, witnessed by many, remembered by me.

Yesterday was Kyle’s folk festival.  His very last assemble of elementary school!  Yes it was a bittersweet event.  In fact, Kyle, knowing I would want to see him and knowing that I would come, called me to remind me of the shindig.  He called me while I was meeting on the Chad Delier Scanlon Memorial Golf Outing. The Chad Delier Scanlon Story.  While I was confirming the date and time with my little man, this crazy thought popped in my head. The Heel Toe dance!

The Heel Toe dance is a dance, done every year during their Folk Festival after the students perform their required practiced square dance or line dance.  When they announce the Heel Toe dance, the students go running into the audience to select a parent, sometimes a teacher or a friend to partner-up with.  It always looked like so much fun!  As the memories of this dance come rushing into my head, the excitement was already building.  I mentioned the dance to Kyle, to plant the seed, as I do every year.  He just ignored me.  When I asked him again if I could dance with him, he just sort of laughed and then moved off of the subject before getting off the phone.

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Kyle with his other friend Logan. Logan danced beside me at the schools Folk Festival, while Kyle ran… Surely he wasn’t embarrassed? 6/3/13

On a side note, I new nothing about the Folk Festival until Kyle called to remind me.  Thanks buddy!  It’s a good thing I’m working for Thrill of the Hunt, a division of The Piper Corporation or I wouldn’t be able to take off work, on such short notice.  Although I’m glad he included me!

Mom and I made our appearance, armed and ready to take video and pictures and to clap and cheer him on.  It was a nice cloudy day and the Folk Festival was held out in the school yard.  All the parents and onlookers circled the kids in the lawn chairs.

Slowly, the show moved along until we got to the long anticipated for, sixth graders!  At this point it was nice to see the kids do their square dance and to pull their loved ones out of the audience to dance the Heel Toe Dance, but my patience and interest was fading with every grade.  That is until Kyle and his class took center stage among the trampled down blades of grass.

Instead of a typical square dance, they did a line dance, which didn’t seem to amuse Kyle, at all!  He was barely moving through the motions and seemed annoyed at the assembly.  Keep in mind this was a child who called me a few days prior, excited to tell me about the festival and wanting me to be there.  Kids!

Then came the big moment I was waiting for, the Heel Toe Dance!  Yes!  After coming to all his assemblies and watching years worth of Folk Festivals, I wanted to be the one picked to dance the Heel Toe dance with Kyle!  I will confess, I sort of practiced it prior to, only from watching others perform it and paying attention.  I’m ready!

Naturally, as the kids move around gathering up their partners, it was pretty noisy.  I stood on the sidelines waving my hands yelling to get Kyle’s attention to show him where I was standing.  (Just in case he didn’t see me.)  Then mom chimed in and said, “Go up to him so he can see where you are.”  At that point, we both thought Kyle would dance with me, and let’s face it, I was excited!  So like an idiot, I went running across the lawn, in front of parents, teachers and the entire school of kids, with my arms flailing around as I was yelling “Kyle! Kyle!”

Just as I reached Kyle, in-the-nick-of-time before he chose someone, I wrapped my arms around him, startling the little package.  Granted, I know better, hugging him in front of the entire school was not accepted, but I couldn’t help myself.  Beside shooting me a big surprised look, he did give me one of his ornery grins.  Admittingly, I was sporting a huge smile on my overly energetic body.  I said, “Kyle are you going to let me dance with you?”  Like an idiot, I had it all planned out in my head, mom was on standby to take the video, and my dreams have finally come true.

Until he looked me square in the eye and said as a matter of factually, “No.” then he elbowed me to get away from him!  What?  Denied!  Are you kidding?  I was instantly removed from my fluffy dream of running through the green fields toward Kyle, only to end up spiraling down a black pit!  Did I take the wrong road?  Pick the wrong kid?

Nope, it was all true and was witnessed by some.  One being Kyle’s friend Luke’s mom, Sue.  Kyle picked his friend Logan, right in front of me!  Not knowing what to do next, I walked away with my head held low, in utter shock.  As I got to my mom all I could say was, “He told me no!”  Just then Sue busted out laughing.  Not that I can blame her.  I mean I looked pretty ridiculous running out there among the kids yelling, to only get turned down.

After the shock wore off, I found the humor in the entire situation, that I incidentally created for myself.  After all, Kyle never agreed to dance with me and there wasn’t anything in the rule books on the subject.  So, excepting the situation for what it was, I join Sue in the laughter.  By then, she was really busting a gut.  Of course, so was I when I did a play-by-play account of the last few minutes of my life, adding in the part when he elbowed me.  We were both dying!

This was a good story for the books!  No matter, if he wasn’t going to dance with me, I was going to make him.  Just to pay him back, as the entire class danced in the grass to YMCA, I got up and ran behind Kyle to bust a move.  He had no idea I was there until his friend pointed to me and Kyle turned around, with a mix of humor and horror on his face.  He did get a little red in the cheeks, but he couldn’t help laughing at me dancing and throwing my arms in the YMCA letters.

Putting this silliness aside, I am very proud of Kyle.  He just receive a letter from the school stating that after an evaluation of his work and test scores, he was going to move into advanced math next year.  Yep, so he will be a seventh grader taking ninth grade math!  I guess those flashcards I got him and worked with him when he was two, paid off.  Although that may have been a start, he always had the interest and intelligence to do math.  He worked hard for that accomplishment and it is all his.  Way to go buddy!  God Speed to you in junior high!

Maybe one day, the Heel Toe Dance will be mine!

posted by auntheather in Common Sense,Education & Learning,Family,Milestone,Observation & Imagination,Patience and have No Comments

Round Up the Math at Idlewild Park

For the things of this world cannot be made known without a knowledge of mathematics.  ~Roger Bacon

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Kyle at the Potato Patch, getting our fries. Idlewild Park 8/15/2012

Last Wednesday, I took Kyle to Idlewild Park in Ligonier, Pennsylvania.  Every year I try to take off of work and spend the entire day with Kyle, just having fun, usually around his birthday.  Since we haven’t been to Idlewild in a couple of years I thought it might be a nice change.  I picked him up Tuesday night after work and we headed to mom and dad’s house, since it was closer to leave from there.  Not to mention I already planned on taking the dogs for a walk in the morning before heading out, reaping in the benefits of me being off work too.  Plus I new we weren’t going to have Kyle on Friday and Saturday so I thought of making up some lost time with the family in advance.

Quick side story.  Naturally that night, I was among a full bed and it was a restless night.  At one point me, Kyle and Seven all moved ninety degrees to the side of the bed, while running parallel to each other.  In unison!  I only noticed this when my feet were hanging off of the side of the mattress and when I went to push myself up, to what I thought was the head of the bed, my head fell over the side.  What the heck?  I shimmied out of this confusion to what I still thought was the foot of the bed.  I didn’t realize I was on standing on the other side of our sleeping quarters.  Standing there in pitch black, in the middle of the night, not understanding my position I was sincerely baffled.  I couldn’t find my phone, unbeknownst to me was on the other side of this obstacle.  Being slightly out of it, due to a sudden awakening from dangling off of a ledge, I actually had a bit of a panic attack.  I couldn’t figure out where I was in the room!  Living in that house pretty much my entire life, you would thought I could at least find the light switch.  Nope!  It was as if I was still in a dream or I was in the Twilight Zone.  I’m telling you what a weird experience!  I literally started to walk blindly, with my hands out trying to understand the layout of the room and where the furniture was located.  My initial thought was to yell and wake my mom up.  But what was I going to yell?.  ‘Mom I can’t get out of the room’?  Seriously?  Could you imagine mom, laying there sleeping and all of a sudden hear me yelling to come and open the door because I can’t find my way out?  Actually that would have been hilarious from mom’s point-of-view.  Eventually, I found the closet light, after what seemed to be an eternity, and I turned it on to get my bearings straight.  Just then, I felt like the room was spinning because I was so disoriented.  Would you believe that Seven and Kyle both laid there sleeping the entire adventure?  After I had the situation figured out, I went on another impossible mission.  Trying to move those two to get things straightened out was a workout.  Meanwhile, neither one moved or woke up.  Kyle did manage to mumble something like, “What Aunt Heather?”  Although he didn’t remember it.

Anyway, as I digress back to Idlewild and the math lesson.  Usually Kyle is an early riser like the rest of us.  I’m guessing due to the up-and-down all night long, sleeping beauty  was tired and rose from his chambers a little after 8:00 am.  Me being up around 5:00 am, I worked on the computer and watched GMA (Good Morning America- always was one of my favorite shows, even as a kid) until Kyle came back to the land of the living.  Once I got him some breakfast, I decided to continue with my plans of taking the dogs for a quick hike.  I told Kyle, “It’s a treat for them that I am home in the middle of the week and we have time to take them for a walk.”  Kyle started to complain, but his usual throwing a temper tantrum was not as potent.  My guess is that, he knew I would have no qualms about not taking him to Idlewild, if he was misbehaving.  So we got dressed, some a little slower than others, and headed out.

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Kyle on the Merry-Go-Round. Idlewild Park 8/15/12

After the dogs stretched their legs, and Kyle walked as slow as humanly possible, we came back to the house to shower and get dressed.  It was at this point Kyle was now alive with energy and excitement.  No arguments about taking a shower and he was like lightening.  That’s also the fastest I think I’ve ever seen him get dressed, putting aside the fact that I had him pick his cloths out the night before.

Once we darted out of the house, we ran to Giant Eagle to get our tickets.  They are sold there at a discount and I was all about getting through the gates as fast as possble.  Next stop, Idlewild Park!

The gate opens at 10:30 am and rides don’t start until 11:30 am.  In my opinion, that’s too late in the day. I wish parks would open so much earlier.  Riding the rides in the cool morning air, as compared to the stale heat of the day, would be so much better. But that’s the way it goes.  We got there around noon and we were both HUNGRY!  Sincerely, stomach growling, on the verge of a headache, HUNGRY.  Way back when the decision was made to take Kyle to Idlewild, I had a craving for Potato Patch Fries.  Yep, the hand cut potato slices that are loaded up in a paper boat dripping in cheese.  Kyle and I shared an order with chicken fingers.  In fact, all day long we shared all of our food, never getting two orders or something.  We would get an order share it and move along till we wanted something else.  It was a good thing.  My stomach isn’t used to all that fried heavy food and I’m sure Kyle’s isn’t either.

Once our belly’s were full, our feet hit the gravel and proceeded toward the rides. We rode the Paratroopers, Merry Mixer, Tilt-A-Whirl, Howler, Roller Coaster, Ferris Wheel, Merry-Go-Round, Bumper Cars and THE Round Up.  Since it really wasn’t that crowded, we were able to ride some the rides back-to-back.  Kyle is just like me, we both brave everything, but naturally we have our favorites.  As we stood in line for the Paratroopers, Kyle spotted the Round Up.  He looked at that ride with amazement and asked, “Have I ever rode that before?”  with my quick reply of “Yep”.   He didn’t remember that, as he looked a little reluctant about the spinning giant in the near distance.  Not long after he watched the ride, while standing in another line, he chose to get on the Round Up.  This is a spinning ride that you stand with your back to the outside of the circle.  It lifts you up on its side all while spinning before setting you back.  Your feet stay on the platform and the centripetal force holds you in place.  After we got off, he was ranting and raving about the ride and how cool it was and how he wanted to ride it again.  I said, “We can but I want to hit up every other ride too, at least once.”  With a little bit of a pout, he agreed.

As we made our way through the park, we would stop and get more junk food including corn dogs and funnel cake.  We even drank Fruit Punch, which neither one of us do, usually we both only drink water, never soda.  Eventually we made our way back the the Round Up.  As we walked up the ramp, Kyle said, “Let’s ride this ride until we throw up!”  We were both laughing at that comment, that is until we rode it a second time, in the a row.  Since there was no line, so we were able to board the ride again.  Yep, that second time both did us in.  Kyle turned to me and said, “Ahh Aunt Heather, let’s just sit a little, my stomach is a little upset.”  I couldn’t deny that mine was any different.  We walked around and soon we were ready for action again.

I’ve said it over and over again, Kyle is a businessman.  He totally cracks me up.  First I do want to say, that with every ride and I mean EVERY ride, Kyle immediately counted the number of passengers allowed on a ride and then he instantly counted the crowd in front of us.  Next, he always gave me the estimated number of turns before it was ours.  Now this didn’t happen too often since the lines weren’t long and sometimes not at all, but when there was a line, he was on it!  Then, the next thing out of Kyle’s mouth was his estimated thoughts on how much it costs to run the ride.  He pointed out that specific rides cost more to run.  “This ride wouldn’t be as much to run Aunt Heather because you don”t need seat belts and it holds more people.”  He went off with these types of comments without being prompted.  They were totally free flowing from his own thinking. Too much!

Potato-Patch-Idlewild-Aunt-Heather-PiperAt one point when we were in line for the roller coaster, Kyle turned to me and said, “All the wood used for the roller coaster was cut on Idlewild property.”  I said, “Where did you come up with that?”  He said, “No it did!” with my know-it-all response of “Kyle I doubt they cut down the trees, haul them out to be debarked, cut into 2 x 4 pieces, kiln dried them and then treated to withstand the weather.”  Just then Kyle pointed to a sign in front of us with this fun fact on it.  As my eyes followed his finger to the words as I read the information semi out loud.  Kyle turned his head toward me and gave me such as a smarty pants, crappy grin, like ‘I’m right’.  What a stinker!  Every time I was wrong throughout the day, he gave me that same grin and then started to give me a number, which I found out represented how many times he was right.  I will admit, it was funny at first, but then got old and I stated, “Do you see me counting every time I’m right?  No! So cut the crap.”  Kyle was pretty good with that nearly threatening statement and dropped it.

Throughout the park, there were fun fact signs, which Kyle would take notice and read.  I forget how much he is like a sponge.  He even took notice to all the banners advertising Idlewild was voted the number one kid friendly park.  He even saw a sign on the 125th anniversary, in 2002.  He said, “Wow, this place is old!”

As we rounded out the day, I will admit the lack of sleep was getting to me and I was tired.  We went through a few more rides in rapid fire, leaving Kyle’s coveted Round Up for last.  Once the ride started to spin, a girl began to cry and the ride attended yelled in asking if she wanted him to stop.  He did, to let the frightened youngster off, and not only did that girl get off, but also another girl exited stage left.  Kyle commented that he was not afraid and he just LOVED this ride.  Then he did it again.  He said, “There are 37 brave people riding this ride.  Hey Aunt Heather 37 BRAVE people!”  That was too funny!  He stressed the word BRAVE and gave a number to those bearing the title of BRAVE.  Only Kyle, thinks to count the number of people riding a ride.  Almost as if he was bothered not knowing what the difference was, when both girls exited.

When we stopped in to see my parents before heading out, Kyle was sure to tell them about the ’37 BRAVE people’ who rode the Round Up.  All my dad said, “Was that right?”  I had to explain to my mom that Kyle counted the people on every ride.  We were both cracking up!

I wonder if every child counts everything like Kyle?  I just love to hear his thoughts and insights on the most obscure things.  I’m very blessed with such a little thinker and I love it that he shares his thoughts with me.  Kyle is a lot of fun!

posted by auntheather in Books, Movies, Shows,Common Sense,Education & Learning,Family,Milestone,Observation & Imagination,Patience and have No Comments
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