We'd had plans to go to a sort-of-nearby "family fun center," Bullwinkle's, for weeks. Mondays are my Wil and Tim day, and Wil takes these very seriously, planning them to the nth degree, weeks in advance. Last week had been the week to go, but a funeral altered that plan - still providing an almost-full Wil and Tim day, but not allowing enough time for driving back and forth to Bullwinkles.
So, yesterday cooperated in every way. Moods were high, the weather perfect. Fortunately, my party planner had Googled and learned Bullwinkle's didn't open until noon, and no one was willing to consider picking up Tim at any time other than the set-in-stone pick-up time. So, having a little time to kill, the party planner came up with a new restaurant for us to try, that would be on the way to Bullwinkle's, and have us arriving at 12:00:00.
Which we did.
It's a chicken/egg question. Is he so precise with time because he's my son, or vice-versa? It's not for everyone, this dialing down your schedule to precise seconds, but we seem to have reached pro-level.
Got the boys their loaded cards to do the arcades, everyone that needed to use the bathroom had found one and used it, and I went to my car to make a quick, but necessary phone call. In the ten minutes I was "gone," Wil had completely spent his day's allotment, and Timmy had lost his card after one swipe.
Re-loaded a bit more on to Wil's card, checked with the front desk and Timmy's card had been found and turned in. All was well with the Bullwinkle's world, and the merriment continued.
After redeeming their tickets for really neat things and a quick milkshake break, we headed to mini-golf. Having the course to ourselves, on a beautiful, early-spring day, was ideal. I was the scorekeeper, the carrier of prizes, and the hander of the milkshake for Timmy, who does not gulp his down in two seconds, as does Wil.
Despite explaining multiple times (over multiple times to a mini-golf course), that the goal was to get the ball in the hole in as few strokes as possible, Wil determined the winner would be the one with the highest score. As his score climbed into the 40's, 50's, and eventually, 80's, he grew more and more delighted. "Timmy is being a really good sport about losing!" he exclaimed, as his score soon doubled that of Tim's.
Long about Hole 14, it occurred to me that maybe he was the one with the right idea. If the arbitrary rules and goals don't work for you, and adjusting them in a way that does, and nobody gets hurt, everyone turns out a winner.