Sunday Six-Pack: Rocky Balboa vs. Jaws

We kicked-off the cottage season on Saturday. The forecast wasn’t looking too good, but the power was restored from the storms earlier in the week and the kids were really looking forward to some time at the lake. I, on the other hand, was content to stay at home and putter around inside, safe from mosquitoes, rain and damp. I was outvoted. And I’m glad I was.


1. True to tradition, we started the weekend with a bug-bite/rash-type injury. It started when Finn was born – his skin was so sensitive, he slept under bug nets because he would get red blotchy welts and swell up with mosquito bites. The first year at the cottage with Finn, he had so many mosquito bites we were convinced we had bedbugs. The year Finn learned to crawl, he practiced on a rough wood deck and before we realized what he was doing, he had dozens of slivers lodged in his knees and legs. Last year, Bronwyn came down with a mysterious rash all over her torso that turned out to be fifth disease. This year, we had not been at the lake three hours before Bronwyn was bitten on the eyelid. Within minutes, her eye was swollen shut. She looked like a mini Rocky Balboa, just back from a fight. The swelling has eased a bit this evening but her tired, cranky, Sunday-night attitude certainly lends itself to the look.

2. Before the bite, Bronwyn took her first boat ride – ever. She has been nervous around the boat since she was born. For Two years, she refused to get into the boat, even tied to the dock, wouldn’t wear her life jacket and would run into the cottage the minute Dean started the engine. But Dean has been planting the seed in her mind all winter. Explaining how much fun the boat is, how Findley gets to drive it and that she could too, describing all the fun places you can only get to by boat. His goal is to be able to get up bright and early to take both kids fishing while I “sleep in” – his words. I think it’s code for making a big breakfast and gushing over the fish they bring back, but I’m playing along for Dean’s sake. He’s closer than he’s ever been now that Bronwyn has taken her maiden voyage. We took it VERY slow and for the first five minutes she wanted out. We persevered and thirty minutes later, when we docked, she was sitting on Dean’s lap steering the boat, wandering around and planning the next ride.

3. For the rest of the weekend, Findley jumped from one activity to another, working down his list of “must do” activities. Boat ride – check. Fishing – check. Frogging – check. He didn’t make it to the park or the beach, there was no Turtle Swamp fishing trip, but he did get in some baseball and soccer with the neighbors, three boat rides, swimming and fishing, and a visit to Aunt Laura. All in about 36 hours. I don’t know who’s more tired – Findley or us.

4. I learned a valuable lesson this weekend, and I’m going to share this golden tip with you now. Always pack double what you think you’ll need. Especially if you are going somewhere without a washing machine. I thought it would be enough to pack two sets of clothing for the kids – two pairs of socks, undies, t-shirts and shorts. Afterall, it was only an overnight trip. By suppertime Saturday, Findley had gone through two pairs of socks and Bronwyn had an accident so she was already down one pair of undies. After playing around during the bonfire, Bronwyn ended up sleeping in her day clothes and Findley wore his dad’s socks on Sunday. Next week, I’m bringing reinforcements!

5. We drove over to Aunt Laura’s for lunch on Sunday, and for a swim. The kids wanted a play date with Sully and I wanted to see what Laura had been doing in her gardens. It was a very nice and very busy visit. We managed to do a quick garden tour, go for a swim, feed two sets of ducks, catch four fish and play in the sand. Oh, and we had lunch too. The kids always have a blast at Aunt Laura’s and today was no different. As we wandered down to the beach, a mother duck and her eight ducklings swam up to shore. The kids must have fed them enough grain to last a week. Bronwyn was handing it out one grain at a time. The poor ducks would have starved had her brother not been throwing it out by the handful. Findley tried to get the ducks to come and take the food out of his hand, but he was too fidgety and they kept their distance.

6. Findley may not have gone out boat fishing, but he did reel in four little sunfish off the dock at Aunt Laura’s. He picked some worms from the garden himself, carried them down to the dock and set himself up for a little fish. He wasn’t interested in learning to bait his own hook, but Dean will be fixing that next weekend. When the fishing was done, Findley was to put his worms back in the garden, ready for next time. He had other plans. He took the container of worms and threw it’s contents into the lake. He said he wanted to feed the fish so they would stick around and be here next time he came. Dean was impressed at his logic – he was chumming for sunfish. Let’s hope he doesn’t attract anything too big…

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