Thursday, November 15, 2012

Boys' Night Out

Oh hi ... we have a blog. I've been terrible about updating here as things have gotten busier towards the end of the year. It always seems like we're out of town (or at least out of our house) more than we're in for the last few months. But it's all been for fun stuff so I'm definitely not complaining.

One thing I've been meaning to post are some pictures from a boys' night/girls' night we did with the kids back in September. Since I was really only part of the boys' night (for obvious reasons) I'll stick to the stories and pictures from the that perspective.

Ang and I had been talking about the fact that we don't get a lot of one-on-one time with the kids. It's so cool to see them play together and so fun to be a family of four but it's also neat to see what the kids are like when they're apart. Patrick and Madelyn are very used to the other one being there and do almost everything together. They finish each other's sentences, questions and jokes so much that sometimes they don't get to fully say whatever it was they were going to say before their sibling jumps in. And we feel like we don't always get to answer their questions or really hear them out individually because we're usually trying to talk or listen to both of them at the same time. So we decided to split them up and pick an activity to do with each one that we wouldn't normally do.

Ready to go!
For the boys, we decided to go indoor rock climbing. There was a time when Angie and I would go climbing a few nights per week before we had kids but at this point, I hadn't been climbing in years. It seemed like a cool activity to do with Patrick that we don't normally do and something fun for "the boys." Patrick was SUPER EXCITED. I don't think it really would have mattered what we chose to do, he was just really happy to have a boys' night. All week he would randomly yell "Hey Dad!" and when I'd look at him he'd say "The boys!" in his "cool guy voice" and give me a thumbs up. It was really cute and it was all he could talk about.

As soon as Patrick woke up from his nap, we jumped in the car and left. The first thing on the agenda was actually to go through the car wash. For some unknown reason, Madelyn is really, really frightened of the car wash. Like, terrified. A few months before the boys' night, I tried to go through the car wash with the kids and Maddy panicked. Patrick wanted to go through though so I told him we would sometime when it was just the two of us. So, the week before boys' night when I asked Patrick what he wanted to do with just him and me, he immediately said "Let's go through the car wash!" And so, we did...

Then we got down to business and hit the rock climbing gym.
Chalked up and ready to climb.
Patrick had zero hesitation about anything in the gym and made himself right at home. He climbed everything he saw and ran all over the place making up imaginary scenarios that involved him having to climb. The gym has a small kids' section with a little black-lit tunnel, small climbing wall and slide that Patrick loved. He would pretend he was an animal and hide out in the tunnel from predators then when he saw a chance to make his move he'd come running out and climb the wall to get away. Then he'd fly down the slide and do it all again.

This is the tunnel that only has a black light in it. Hence the blur.

The other thing Patrick really loved at the gym? Chalk.

This is what the floor looked like everywhere Patrick went in the gym.

It was a really fun night for both of us. He was the only non-adult in the gym and it was really cute to watch him act like a grown up. If I was climbing a route or looking at the wall for something to climb he'd say to me "Hey Dad, I'm just gonna be over here doing some climbing if you need me" in his most serious and grown up voice, then walk off by himself and start climbing things. I loved watching him get to be independent and feel like a big guy. It was also really nice to be able to have full conversations, completely uninterrupted by anything or anyone else for hours in a row.

After a few hours of climbing, when our hands couldn't take any more punishment, we met the girls at the food court in the mall to get some dinner and swap stories of our nights. We got in the car to leave for the mall and Patrick said "Dad, that was the most fun thing I've ever done. We should do that all the time. Maybe sometimes we'll bring Maddy and Mommy though so they can see me climb. But sometimes let's climb with just the boys." Sounds like a plan to me :)