I am so glad you can be a part of our Hawaiian adventure.
Enjoy! --Kristine

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Unexpected milestones

One of many pretty blooms at Hoomaluhia Botanical Garden.

Today was a momentous day of "firsts" that I am very proud to report to all of you.

It all began yesterday afternoon when Benji, Tag and I were laying in bed together. We happened to be talking about Benjamin's binky. Most of you know that he has been a staunch supporter of frequent pacifier use since the age of 3 weeks. Over the past year we've really cut down on his addiction, limiting binky use to sleeping times and moments of extreme distress (over-tired, bored-in-car, losing side of sibling rivalry, bad boo-boo, etc.). You can imagine that extreme distress can happen quite often if you let it.

Anyway, yesterday I casually introduced the idea that some day Benji could leave out his pacifiers at night and they would be picked up by a fairy who would deliver them to a new baby, and she would leave some special present behind in exchange for the binky bounty (this method of bribery and deception was lovingly stolen from other parents we know).  I never thought he'd bite on this, but he asked many follow-up questions to learn more. As Tag and I elaborated on the scenario we added some colorful details. It was not just any fairy... it would be Tinkerbell. And, yes, he could request a fire truck and a squirt gun as part of the loot. He was so excited that he immediately grabbed his Benjamin rainbow license plate from Hawaii and put it by the window so Tink could find our house. We're pretty sure Benj has a thing for Tinkerbell, by the way.

We waited until night time to see if he'd really go for this scheme. By 8:00 pm we were convinced that Benji meant business, and I quickly left the house for some special errands. Let me just say this... Long's was like a fairy jackpot and this morning was like a mini Christmas. Benji woke up before 6:00 and asked right away if Tinkerbell came. All of his binkies had vanished, but in their place he scored a water-shooting porpoise and seal, some lego sets with pieces that make what we're calling a fire truck, a Japanese snack called yan yan, and a Wall-E coloring book-- all packaged in a glittery Tinkerbell bag that was the coup de grace from the drug store.  The binky-free transition today has been a breeze. What have we learned? Deception is not always a bad thing, especially when parenting an addicted toddler with a fairy crush.

With all of this going on I know you are shocked to hear that today included another unexpected milestone. We went on a day trip to visit the 400+ acre Hoomaluhia Botanical Garden, thinking that we'd take the walking tour to look at some tropical plants and visit their lake. The real goal was to scope the place for turtle habitat, because some of Tag's contacts suggested this location as a trapping site. It turns out that the walking tour was not a good fit for little children, but we learned of a substitute activity that would be an even better fit for our needs.  The Botanical Garden lets you do catch-and-release fishing at the lake, and supplies kids with bamboo rods and some bait (otherwise known as cheerios).  And, well... you guessed it... Benji caught his first fish (actually, his first three fish)! Tag also got permission to place traps around the edges of the lake, so the whole family scored some wins.
Benji's first fishing outing. There were about 25 fish bopping around within view, which helped minimize the waiting game.

The beast that fell for a cheerio on a hook.
We managed the bag of bait. I had to keep Alice from helping herself to stale cheerios. 

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