Today was the last day of Say Nothing, Do Nothing.  Tomorrow we get to sit down with Ripken and Riley and talk about what we have learned this week.  And we get to finally clean up our house 🙂

My plan was to get up early and run this morning, but when Riley joins us in the middle of the night (which has been happening for at least a month now), no one really gets a good night of sleep.  Training Riley to sleep through the night in her own room should really be our next big project.

Anyway, since I didn’t run, I took Camden for a walk after breakfast while Rip was watching television and Riley was getting a bath.  Unfortunately, when it was time for Camden to do his business, I realized that the poop bag dispenser that we keep on his leash was empty.   I have a real problem with dog owners who don’t clean up after their dog, so I figured I would circle back around after we got home to pick it up.

So when Camden and I got back home, I asked Rip if he wanted to go on a mission with me to find Camden’s poop.  For whatever reason, Rip gets a kick of pointing out all of Camden’s piles in the backyard when I’m doing my weekly pooper scooper chore, so he was very excited about this mission.  Of course, he was stark naked at the time (not really sure why),  and I was halfway willing to see if he would  walk out the door that way, but then he stopped and  said he had to go get some pants on.  Whew, that was close.  When he came out of his room, he had put on shorts and his Texas Longhorns football shirt.  I was so proud!

He had neglected, however, to put on any shoes or socks.  In the spirit of Say Nothing, Do Nothing, and knowing that we weren’t going very far, we started out on our mission.  And it actually turned out to be a nice little walk.  I was consciously trying to be in the present with him, and just stop and focus on what we were experiencing   We looked at some leaves on the ground, picked up some bird feathers, watched a rescue helicopter circling above Cowles Mountain, watched a man rake his front yard, and made up a story about a handprint that we saw in someone’s sidewalk.  It was very satisfying to really connect with Rip, on what could have been just another chore to get out of the way.

When we got home, Kristin and Riley were on their way to the bank, and Ripken said he wanted to go to the park to play tee ball and ride bike.  I was more than happy to oblige, and when we were getting ready, Ripken said he wanted to bring his wallet in case the ice cream truck came by.  Of course, he quickly realized that he still didn’t know where his wallet (and money) were, so he asked me if I would buy him some ice cream instead.  Now normally the first thing that we say to this kind of request is “do you have your money?”, but I don’t know if it was because we were having such a good morning or because I just felt that there probably isn’t anything wrong with a father buying his 5-year old son an ice cream at the park once in while, so I said I would.

Hmmm.  Ripken no longer seemed that interested in playing tee ball or riding bike.  He was now focused on ice cream.  Not wanting the sole purpose of the visit to the park to be about ice cream, I suggested that we wait for mommy and Riley to get home so that we could all go together.  While we were waiting, we started talking about how hard it is sometimes to remember to bring all of our stuff with us in the morning when we go to school.  I told him that I had to remember to bring things too – like keys, my wallet, and my computer.  I asked him what he needed to remember to bring, and he quickly rattled off his backpack, his lunch, his snack, and his clothes.  I had to give him a hint about his school folder, and then we both agreed that we would try hard to remember our things the next time we had to go to school and work.

I knew that I still had to pick something up at Costco for Kristin’s birthday, so I asked Rip if he wanted to go with me to get a berry smoothie.  I’ve never known him to turn down a Costco berry smoothie (or any other smoothie/slurpee/slushy-type drink) for that matter, so I told him that I would wait for him I the car while he got his shoes on.  Given the current state of our house in general (and Rip’s room in particular), I was thinking that I would be sitting in the car in the garage for at least half an hour before I would have to give up and go back inside.  But to my surprise, less than two minutes later, out comes Ripken with a big smile letting me know he had his “jet” shoes on, and we were ready to go. 

Kristin and I had been talking about taking a drive up to Julian for while, and after we all got back from our errands, today seemed like a perfect day to go.  Julian is up in the mountains about an hour east of where we live, and is famous for apple pies.  Rip slept for about 45 minutes on the drive.  Riley had already had her nap earlier that morning (fell asleep on the way to the bank).  We ended up going to a kid-friendly hiking trail just outside of Julian and had a great time.  The trail was about a mile long, and was kind of steep in places, but for the most part both kids did great.  It was really nice being outdoors and getting some exercise together as a family.  We took a ton of pictures, and had lots of fun playing and running from daddy monster.

Of course, we had to stop at one of the apple pie shops and pick up a pie before heading home.  We had still been talking about ice cream and how yummy it is with apple pie, so Ripken was very excited about getting some ice cream at the pie store.  He did, however, make it clear that he preferred his vanilla ice cream with M&M’s and sprinkles – not pie.  Unfortunately, the ice cream line was very long in the pie shop, and the pie line was much shorter, so we decided to just get the pie and told Rip we would stop and get ice cream when we got home.

Here’s the interesting thing.  For someone who seems so easily distracted by the simplest things when we’re trying to get ready for school or get out of the house, Ripken can be laser-focused when it comes to something he really wants.  And today, he really wanted ice cream.

We stopped to pick up my car from the car wash (Ripken had accidentally spilled half of his smoothie in the back seat on the way back from Costco), and I took the kids home in the minivan while Kristin drove my car to get the ice cream.  I think Rip must have asked me at least a dozen times during the drive home and after we got home when mommy was coming home with the ice cream.

So Kristin finally gets home, ice cream in hand – and Rip immediately asks her for it.  A quick side conversation ensues, and we both agree that in the spirit of Say Nothing Do Nothing, Rip is free to get ice cream if he wants it, but that mommy and daddy would not be available to help him with it until after dinner.   Well, that was all he needed to hear.  He immediately pulls the stepstool over to the counter, and asks me where we keep more bowls (since most of the kids’ bowls are still sitting dirty on the dining table from this past week).  I explained that we didn’t have any clean bowls left since he hasn’t been bringing his dishes over to the sink this week.  That didn’t deter him in the least.  He grabbed a fork out of his drawer (since there were no clean spoons left either), climbed up the stepstool, opened the ice cream lid, and started eating right out of the container with his fork – all while I’m standing there cooking dinner (and mentally putting surgical tape over my mouth).  And then he invites his sister up on the stepstool to join him, and starts fork-feeding her ice cream as well.  Oy…

He finally finished (temporarily) and went outside to see what Kristin was doing.  I took the opportunity to put the ice cream back in the freezer.  Riley took the opportunity to let me know she was none too pleased with that decision. 

And 10 minutes later, back comes Rip for round 2.   He went over to the dishwasher, found the least dirty bowl he could, walked over to the freezer, and looked at me.  I told him this was still Say Nothing Do Nothing week.  He asked if that meant he could do whatever he wanted.  I nodded yes.  And he proceeded to get the ice cream out, scoop some into a bowl (not sure where he found the spoon), and took it over to the table to eat.  He was done eating and in the garage by the time I finished dinner.  So Kristin, Riley and sat down to Sloppy Joes (apropos, given the way our house looks right now), and I put Ripken’s on top of his ice cream bowl – with very little optimism that he would actually eat it.

The rest of the evening was fairly uneventful – a couple of flare-ups when we wouldn’t respond to Ripken’s requests while we were eating, but nothing too dramatic.   I gave him his heads-up at 7pm that I would be available to read him books for the next 30 minutes, and then went back to wait for him in his room.  He came back 5 minutes later, we read two books, sang three songs, and then it was lights out.   We figured the nap to Julian would be kicking in, and Rip got out of bed shortly after we were done.  Kristin and I stayed in our bedroom while Rip (we’re assuming) played, got something to eat, and mailed a letter.  He finally fell asleep on his bed around 9pm, still wearing his Longhorns shirt – and nothing else.  Hook ‘em horns!