Friday, September 16, 2011

Bowling For Sanity


My mom visited this past week (a whole blog on its own I assure you) and of course, when the ‘rents visit, we try and do something extra throughout the week for fun. One of the activities we did this week was to go bowling. Now bowling sounds like a safe, friendly thing to do with kids. I thought so. I mean, I used to take Zavi once in a while when we lived back in Mass and we never had an issue. So what could possibly go wrong bowling with 2 more kids added in and a grandmother? Oh. My. God.

To anyone who may be reading this and was at the bowling alley the same time we were, I am so sorry. I hope Ashe did not erase your computerized game thingy. I tried to keep him away, I really did. But that bugger is fast!

We got the Citi guide coupon book a few weeks ago and I saw you could get one game free of bowling. So on Zavi's early release day from school we piled into the car and drove to the local bowling alley. The older boys were excited, Soren was passed out in a drunken stupor, and my mom and I had high hopes. Bowling! Yay! Fun! Good times!!! We park the ginormous minivan (I'm getting better at parking that monster!) unload the kids in less than 5 minutes (a new record!) and head on in. And that’s where all hell broke loose.

You see, Ashe hates loud noises. He went to the fireworks this past July 4th and freaked out. I mean FREAKED! The whole time he sobbed yelling "FIREWORKS ALL DONE ALL DONE DADDY FIREWORKS ALL DONE" for the entirety of it. Stupid me, I didn’t even think that the sounds of bowling would mirror that of fireworks. Crap. And it’s dark in there with the black lights going, the music bass thumping and vibrating the floor. Ashe took 2 steps in and froze like a deer caught in headlights. And then started shaking. And I couldn’t take him home. J was working on a huge project and I had promised Zavi we would do this. He had been looking forward to this for weeks with Grammy. So I gave the car seat with Soren in it to Grammy, picked up Ashe, and cuddled/dragged him to get our shoes and lane. I had this thought that maybe I could get him used to it in time and he would be ok. I kept whispering "its ok honey it’s not fireworks (Yeah can I get shoes in size 8 kids, 13 kids...) Mommy’s here I won’t let you go (adult size in 8 and 10? Lane 4? Great...) I promise you are safe and ok, it’s not fireworks, no we can’t go back to the van sweetie (Here's my card.... can you hold the top so I can sign?... thanks) sweetie stop kicking Mommy that hurts...no I won’t put you down..."

After finally hauling 4 pairs of shoes and a squirming screeching two year old to our lane, waaaaay on the other end of the alley, I tossed shoes at Grammy and Zavi and took Ashe toward the back. Holding him I calmly told him how much fun bowling is, how he gets to choose a few really cool balls, and try to knock down things without getting yelled at. It took about 10 minutes of constant soothing whispers with a few thrown out yells to Zavi (Hang ON! I'll get the computer set up in a minute... ask Grammy...oh Grammy you don’t know how to do it? Dammit... ok hang ON!) until I could get Ashe to accept sitting on my lap closer to the bowling lanes. While Zavi went searching for the perfect ball, and Grammy took forever putting her shoes on, I tried figuring out the technological savvy computer to set up our game with a squirming two year old clinging to me like we were going down with the Titanic.

So after working the computer one handed, and everyone is ready to go we start bowling. Zavi goes first. And he does pretty darn well (with the bumpers on). Next up is Grammy. She also bowls well (with the bumpers on). Then it's Ashes turn. I ask him if he wants to roll the ball and he says YES so I stand up. To which point he grabs my shirt and clings so hard I’m afraid my cleavage and then some is apparent for all to see. Hauling him up and my shirt back into place, I waddle over to the bowling ball stand and ask him which color he wants. He points to a blue one, of course, 36 pounds. I pick it up with Ashe still stuck stronger than superglue to me, and slowly make my way to our lane. I put the ball down, wrestle to get his chubby STRONG fingers off my shirt, and gently show him how to roll the ball. He screams, throws himself on the floor and begins to cry. I sit down next to him; ask him if he wants to play. After a minute he agrees, wipes the tears from his eyes, and allows me to help him. We get a good roll going and he stares fascinated as the bowl rolls towards the pins, taking eons to make it there. But they go down and his face lights up and......

He’s hooked.

By our 6th round, Ashe has taken over my game, Grammys game, and his own. We found a child roller which helps little kids roll the balls down better. He would whip it into place, point at me to put his ball down, then shove it hard (rolling over my fingers a few times...OUCH!) and jump up and down screaming for joy. When it was Zavi’s turn, he would run to any computer in sight and start jabbing buttons (Sorry!!!!) If he wasn’t doing that he was running to put his head by the bowling stand where the used balls were racing back. I swear he came close to having three concussions in 15 minutes, despite my frequent attempts at keeping him far away from the darn thing. And Soren, my precious baby, was an angel. He slept for almost the entire thing. If he was fussy I just think I would have lost my mind.

Walking out afterwards, everyone was in high spirits. Except for me. I was happy the boys had a ball in the end (no pun intended) but all I could contemplate at that moment was how much tequila I had left in the freezer and how big of a margarita I wanted. I figured I earned it and then some.

Submitted by Brittany (Rhaven) of TriangleMommies.  Originally posted August 23, 2009 on Suburban Rebel Mom.

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