Me: Hey, other than stopping to eat for a few minutes you’ve been playing that game all day. We need to go outside, get some fresh air and get our blood moving. Ooo, I know! Let’s walk to Alton Baker Park! (I tried to sound as enthusiastic as possible without being cheesy hoping he would just go along with it.)

Him: I don’t wanna go for a walk. I just want to go out and play with my aerobie (it’s like a frisbee, but open in the middle).

Me: Well, the best place to do that is Alton Baker so let’s go. (Big smile on my face.)

Him: There’s no open space there.

Me: Um, yeah there is. You know, the big field right in the middle.

Him: Oh. Yeah. But there’s lots of bird poop there.

Me: Well there’s lots of dog poop here. I’d rather step in bird poop than dog poop.

Him: I want to take my scooter, but the pavement is too bumpy.

Me: I’m sure we can find a path that’s not too bumpy.

Him: I’d ride my bike, but it’s too heavy.

Me: I don’t think so. You’ve had that bike a couple of years and I’m pretty sure you’re big enough to handle it just fine now.

Other son: I can’t ride my bike because the tires are flat and we don’t have a pump.

Me: I know we have a pump somewhere.

Other son: I guess we could rollerblade.

Him: I don’t want to do anything that needs a helmet.

Me: That would be walking.

Him: I don’t wanna go walking. It’s too far.

Me: Ok, listen. We need to get outside while it’s nice.

Him: It’s going to be boring.

Me: It doesn’t have to be.

Him: I’ll just stay here and read.

Me: We need to get outside and move around.

Him: I’ll just stay here and do TurboFire.

Me: Come on. We’re going for a walk.

Him: Why?

Me: Because I said so.

Him: That doesn’t work with parents…only between older and younger brothers.

Me: Come on. Get ready to go.

Him: I don’t wanna go.

Me: This is not a negotiation. Let’s go.

Him: (huffing and puffing as he walked to his room) I’ll just stay here and read.

Me: Get over it. It’s just a walk. It’s not like I’m moving you Somalia or something. (I know, it doesn’t really make sense and was probably offensive to someone somewhere somehow.)

Him: Well then I’m going like this. (He was wearing only his camo pajama pants.)

Me: Fine. Let’s go.

Him: Ok, but this is all I’m wearing.

Me: Ok then.

Other son: You’re going to embarrass our whole family!

They walked out the door into the hallway while I put on my shoes, hoping he was just bluffing…trying to suck me into a bigger argument which might have resulted in me saying we’d just forget the whole thing. Moments later the door opened and he walked back in and took off his shoes.

Me: What are you doing?

Him: Changing.

Me: Ok. (Thank you God!)

We finally headed out for our walk to Alton Baker Park. As I stepped outside I noticed the sky had suddenly grown dark, the temperature had dropped and the wind was blowing like crazy. But at least we were walking…fully clothed.

The bright pink thing behind his back is the aerobie. Gotta love the togetherness.

I figured once we really got going those endorphins would kick in and we’d all walk happily along together. In the meantime, I started taking photos of things that caught my eye.

It wasn’t long before we reached Autzen Stadium and PK Park where a baseball game was going on.

Other son: It’s starting to rain.

Me: Just a little. If you want we can stop here and play in the parking lot for a while.

Him: I just want to go home. Besides, it’s too windy to play anyway.

By that time it was really starting to come down and the raindrops were freezing.

We headed back, getting soaked. I’m pretty sure he was glad he decided not to venture out in just pajama bottoms, although we would’ve all been better off with jackets. I think we both won this time. He didn’t have to go all the way to Alton Baker Park and I managed to get him outside for at least a short walk, but more importantly when our similarities rose up and threatened to cause a major clash between us we both managed to get through it with our dignity in tact. He’s a great kid, but every once in a while we butt heads because we both tend to be quite stubborn. Whenever he starts acting like he shouldn’t have to do something because he doesn’t want to, I instantly think about all the times my mom gave in just to avoid conflict when I acted the same way. Sometimes I’ve taken it too far, but I’m learning little by little to strike a balance. The good thing is we can all have a sense of humor about it. Later, after we were all dry and fed, he suggested we go out for a walk. Brat. (I mean that in the most loving way.)  😉

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