Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Boat Boy

Last summer N was thrilled with the boat on vacation, and was so happy to go with his dad on excursions into town. This summer we started out with our first boat experience on Tom's River. Jim (Ed's bro.) and his family were going out on the river for a ride and some skiing. We sent N, thinking that he would have a blast. Unfortunately, the river is very rough and the ride was really bumpy. N got really scared and was pretty unhappy the whole time. When he got off, he said he didn't want to go on the boat again, which didn't bode well for our NH vacation. Sure enough, when we got up there and loaded up the boat at the dock, he refused to get in. We told him he didn't have a choice- we had to go on the boat, no matter what. Ed dragged him in, screaming, and he was wedged in between E and some luggage for that first trip to the island. The day was nice and calm, so N gradually relaxed on the ride and even began to enjoy it. The rest of the vacation he was happy enough to go into and out of town, but he never regained his former confidence of the summer before when he would go on solo trips with Ed, sitting in the bow by himself. This was a little sad for me because I felt like part of his joy had been taken with that first boat ride of the summer.

Not to worry though, he still loves boats--

Actually, he is obsessed. Specifically, with "our" green boat- the island boat. He asks about it almost everyday, as well as related questions:

"Does our boat go fast?" Usually asked while driving in the car, maybe thinking in comparison of the speed of the car and of the boat.

"Is my life jacket at home?" I guess he wants to be prepared for any impromptu boat outing. He actually mimicked putting on a life jacket and snapping it, instead of using the words, as in "Is [putting something on, zipping and snapping it] at home?" It took me a couple of times to figure out what the heck he was talking about, although I suspected it had to be boat-related.

"Does our boat go like this?"
This question is asked by indicating the plane of the boat with a tilted spoon or finger.

"When are we going on the boat again?"
This is asked several times a week. Usually I say, "Not for a long time" or "Next summer" or "Next year" but finally yesterday, in frustration, I said, "Never! We are never going on the boat again!" He didn't dissolve into tears at that point, as he well might have, but instead looked at me and said,"A long, long time?" at which point E (always a stickler for correctness) said, "But Mommy, we'll go on again next year, right?" And I had to admit, that yes, we would go on it again, "When you are five. We aren't going on the boat anymore when you are four, but when you are five we will go on it again."

It's going to be a loooong year.