I can't even list all the ways I am. Yoda would say about all my intentions and tries: "NO TRY...DO!"
I'm wrong at being a parent and at being a "life partner". I'll begin with one and end with the other.
Being single with two hyper boys was difficult. Imagine living in a place with absolutely NOTHING to do with your kids. No Chucky Cheese. No Amusement parks. No child friendly environments AT all. And most important of all, NO MONEY!
So, I ended up at Old Man's Cave religiously. We went ALL THE TIME. It was a 20 minute drive from home, it took several hours to hike around this park, it was fairly safe, and most importantly, it didn't cost a dime.
Before I go further, please keep in mind that this was 10 years ago and there is NO INSTRUCTION MANUAL FOR CHILDREN!!!
Old Man's Cave is a wilderness "retreat". It's essentially a "middle of no where" park. For the most part, it is comprised of well worn paths, steps, and bridges winding around natural waterfalls and cliffs.
You start at the top of this big huge circle where there are restrooms, a camera shop, parking lots, picnic tables, and a gathering spot.
It descends down into the bottom of a large natural falls where you have to be particularly careful that the little ones don't dart into the water. It's all very beautiful.
Well...Without failure, Sean, my youngest son, would never need to use the bathroom at the beginning of our adventure. The first time I didn't think anything about it. He was just potty trained, he would know.
And, of course, he wouldn't need to go until we reached the very bottom of the trail. If I hadn't mentioned it before, you spent a good 20 minutes walking DOWNHILL to the waterfalls. Sean would wait until he was basking in the glory of the falling water before needing to go potty. Which entailed a mad dash UPHILL for 30 MINUTES OF OUT-OF-SHAPE HELL!!!
It didn't end with that first time. Without failure, he did it every single time! It got so bad that I would wait 15, 20, 30, up to 45 minutes at the top in the hopes he would need to go. Nope. Only when he was looking up at the God Forsaken falls did he realize he had a bladder and a colon. Oh, and it was rare that it was the ol' number one he needed to rid himself of. MONSTER!
As I said, this was ten years ago. He's 15 now. The scars are barely visible any longer.
One time, I had enough. I said to him as plainly as I could, "If you don't go now and you need to go at the bottom of the falls, I WILL MAKE YOU GO IN THE WOODS!!!" We of course waited around our normal 15 minutes, nope, he didn't need to go. As we began our trek downward, I can recall an almost liberated, light, emboldened step in my strut. I must have meant it, because I was not a nervous wreck. I actually realized once again how beautiful the place was. I hadn't appreciated it for YEARS!!!
Down at the falls, I was smelling the cool, fresh, moist air when I heard his little voice say, "Daddy, I need to go."
Anger flooded my euphoria. Lost was my joy of nature. Rage engulfed me. "I told you if you needed to go, you were going in the woods!"
He replied forcefully for a 5 year old, "I need to go NUMBER 2!"
I glared at him and said, "I...DON'T...CARE."
Proceeded was a momentous stare down, we've never match that one. I was not going to be conquered. I stood my ground. It was unbearable!
Eventually, he conceded. I think it was due to the pressure that was surely mounting. He turned and begain to march off. Just as I began to lose him in the trees, he yelled back, "Don't take a picture!" Notice the photographic mastery below. Just the right angle, pose, lighting, I believe it's my best work...
As I said before, I AM WRONG!
Not only is there nothing to do with two evil boys, there is even less to do with a beautiful woman you are madly in love with. So guess where I took her? Yep. Old Man's Cave.
Unfortunately, we have not been back. It wasn't the Sean debacle, that was well in the past. Strangely, now, he forces himself to go even if we're just going a few minutes away. Nope, we'll never be back for something unspeakable. Notice the photo below. It's different than the one above. Above she appears to be enjoying the trip, below, not so much. Somewhere between the above and the below picture something very bad happened.
We didn't know at the time, but something unforgiveable and evil occurred. It slowly crept into our consciousness. It came in the form of a smell. Not a good smell. A very bad smell. Slowly it became worse. Danielle kept saying, "I smell #$%Q?" We, of course, thought nature was just a little stinky that day. It wasn't until we were sitting in the car about to leave did we realize that we had brought a little nature into the car with us. We began by examining our shoes. We progressed to our shirts with a sniff check. We stared at each other in bewilderment. Then she ran her hand through her hair and shreiked, "WTF IS THIS!?" I looked and saw a fairly massive amount of animal poo all over her hair. I don't know what type of animal did this ... definitely not a bird - way too much poop for a bird - but maybe a squirrel?
I guess we will never really know.
What I do know is that I have experienced two sh#$tasrophes at Old Man's Cave and now both Sean and Danielle refuse to go back.Can you blame them? Like I said, I'M WRONG!