Delayed Gratification

In Uncategorized on July 1, 2009 at 9:59 pm

What a wonderful day!  Dylan and I had a great morning, a really fun trip through north Fargo via bicycle and trailer, and now an opportunity to play guitar and write while Nappy McGee catches a few zzz’s.

The key to today’s peaceful morning was Dylan’s growing ability to understand “later”. This is a major breakthrough as it allows me to say the word “swimming” before we arrive at a pool and not cause a major disturbance.  The concept of delayed gratification seems to be another one of the major problems of toddlerhood that most adults I know are still working on (myself included).

Manyways, we loaded up our swim gear and put our three part plan into motion: first the bank, next the elephant park, then swimming in the big outside pool with the waterfalls (Fargo North High School).  Dylan won the candy battle at the bank, eating two pieces right away and grabbing one more on the way out the door for “later”.  Sure enough, Dylan did not forget, calmly stating “Now I eat the red candy,” as soon as we stopped at the park.

After going through all of the playground equipment, Crackerface wanted to run.   We ran and played in the grass for a bit when an idea hit me – we could run the bases!  We started  at home plate by pretending to hit a pitch, running to first base, standing for a moment, then running to the next until we reached home and scored.  Several other kids joined us and I observed some other parents laughing as they watched me trying to pass on the mechanics of baserunning to the next generation.

The pool was open when we arrived and I had just enough spare change for admission, which came to $4.65 for the two of us.  Dylan remained calm and continued to accurately predict the near future as we changed into our swimwear.  He told me that first we would shower then go play in the waterfall, reminding me that much of the frustration in my own world can be avoided if I have an idea of what is going to happen next.  It was a very busy pool with lots of kids, vigilant lifeguards, and a high ratio of bikini babes to shirtless dudes (not that I noticed), precisely the kind of mayhem that will wear a boy out.

Helmethead fell asleep in the trailer on the way home and remained sleeping as I carried him upstairs and laid him down still wearing his wraparound sunglasses.  My wife and I will be away from Dylan for a few days on a camping trip and it strikes me that although I will miss him, knowing that we will be able to play “later” makes all the difference in the world.

Happy Fourth of July!

  1. What a great adventure story! I love the “later” method, and intend to use it in my own life. So, is the red candy stuck in some lint somewhere or did it get devoured the first time Dylan remembered?

  2. and it all comes full circle at the end! sounds like a fun day!

  3. Lukas, this is a great story. It gives me a different perspective since I don’t have kids, but as you say, it’s still something we all deal with (delayed gratification). My delayed gratification is knowing that I will return to Minnesota for a visit soon to see family and friends! Love from California.

  4. Lukas! Wonderful! You sound like the best dad ever, are you? Ha!
    That’s really great though, getting the kids involved in running the bases, sounds like something I would do.
    Is there anything better than swimming when you’re a kid? I think not. Loved the story, keep em coming.

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