To the mountains: a weekend with Max

So, for the third year in a row, I decided it was time to teach Max to ski. He’s liked it each of the past two years, but learned very little other than that a ski lodge is an excellent place to whine for candy.

We headed out on Friday evening. After five minutes of talking excitedly about skiing and visiting his cousins, Max said, “I. Am. So. Bored.”

I suggested games, singing, sleeping, and eating. No dice.

“I know,” said Max.

“Yes?”

“I need a snack.”

“Chips? Clementine? Apple juice? Pretzels?”

The unmistakable sigh of the child cursed with exceptionally dumb parents came from the back seat. “Dad,” he said. “You know what I need: something chewy. And sour.”

“Hmm,” I said. “Lemon peels?”

“Dad!!! You know I mean Skittles.”

I did know that. Luckily, or unluckily, Route 2 in Lincoln is not a great place for skittles, the fancier towns outside of Boston having long since outlawed all candy not made in an artesanal manner. We drove and whined. It. Was. Super. Fun.

Finally we got off the highway and found our way to a gas station. Gas stations on the highway are essentially supermarkets of crap, and it makes it nearly impossible to take a kid in from a car trip to the bathroom without a candy-based argument. But we didn’t have an argument: we had a collapse by one side, mine, and a victory by Max’s. So it goes. I still am taller, for what its worth.

Skittles in hand, we continued on to VT. He used a flashlight to identify them by color.

“Dad, look at this one: half yellow, half green!”

“I’ll look when we get to Vermont.”

“Yes,” he said. “Please do.”

Finally Max fell asleep, then woke up, ready to rock, at 11 o’clock, and arriving at a ginormous mansion in the woods inhabited by his grandparents was plenty of stimulation to wake him up completely. Ninety minutes later, he was asleep. At 12:30 in the morning. Ok, father of the year nomination: locked up tight.

The next day we climbed up and down a teeny hill 1000 times and he sort of got it and then we took the chairlift up. I had him on a harness and we sort of picked our way down. I figured I was supposed to do some teaching, so I yelled helpful things like, “Turn left!” When I told Max that he could tell me to shut up if all my commands were bothering him he said, “Oh, I wish you had told me that before, because I really wanted to this morning.”

And then, oddly, by the end of the second day, he had done it: he wedged his tiny skis into a snowplow and made his little turns all the way down the bunny slope. And again. And again. More skittles, some gum, and 6 hot chocolates sealed the deal. No crap is too crappy for a skiing food.

Just before the crying. But still a good day.

Finally, my dad wanted to take a picture at the end of the day. Max stood and proudly smiled, until suddenly the thrill of skiing wore off. “Dad,” he wailed. “I am so cold that I can’t take it anymore! Get me inside!” So we did.

The ski harness has a handle, and I just lifted him up, slung him over my shoulder and carried him in. Ten minutes later, he was agitating for more gum. Apparently he had recovered.

Then he went to bed at 8, and slept until 9:30. 9:30! We should do this every weekend.

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