A couple of weeks ago when I was scheduled to go out with other St. Louis bloggers and meet Bossy, John planned a night of mini-golf with the boys. To his detriment, he did not heed Luke’s warnings of, “My tummy hurts,” and the third hole ended up with a new hazard that no one wants to find on any golf course. So mini-golf was rescheduled for the next night and I was able to go along.
Something you need to know about engineers and mini-golf: we take it very seriously. The angles, the correct strength of the swing and speed with which the ball must travel, the trajectory, the lines. Figuring that out and being rewarded with a hole-in-one makes us a bit giddy. We tried to convince the boys to let John go first so they could see the correct line (or incorrect line) and try to emulate that (or not), but being almost 7 and 5 they already know everything there is to know about everything so there is no need to watch and learn. They did look cute and determined as they laid their clubs on the ground for use as sights to try to figure out and line up the correct angles of their shots only to be slightly disappointed when they were way off and the balls landed too far from the hole. If the ball completely left the green, however, that was considered a successful putt. Why do the makers of mini-golf balls make those things so darn bouncy?
When we go mini-golfing I usually do not play. There are several reasons for this. First, I am usually holding everyone’s stuff, which makes it hard to putt. Second, even if I wasn’t holding everyone’s stuff, I have other things going for me which make it hard to putt, like being totally directionally challenged and being more likely to hit my feet than the intended target or, worse, hit nothing at all. Third, once one of the kids is finished with his turn, he immediately runs to the next hole leaving anyone who hasn’t finished in his wake. By not playing, I am able to keep up with the boys and make sure that they don’t fall into any of the moving contraptions or water hazards or disturb the game of those ahead of us. We may be out-of-control, but we try to maintain some semblance of mini-golf etiquette. Fourth, I have to keep track of whose turn it is to go first. We must alternate who goes first on which hole to keep things fair and prevent golf clubs from being turned into weapons of mass destruction.
Luke is very good at giving advice and direction on things that he has no idea how to actually accomplish himself. Such as, “Just barely tap it,” or, “Line it up straight and it will go right in.” I don’t think Luke has just barely tapped anything in his life and line it up straight is an oxymoron in his vocabulary. But, maybe I’m not giving him enough credit. He did score pretty well for a four and a half year old. That could be due in part to the fact that he used his club as a barricade and laid it across the green anytime his ball started to roll in an undesired direction. It also could be due to the fact that a "4" was the highest number I gave anyone on the score card. I'm sure, had I counted accurately, we would have been in the double digits on several holes.
Missing an easy putt caused Luke to proclaim, “Tartar sauce,” and Jack to warn the next hole, “This time, it’s personal.” But, hole after hole, they never figured out that mastering this game takes patience and control, two things that my kids possess only in minute quantities and apparently do not want to waste by using. Ever.
We celebrated a great game of mini-golf by ending with the ultimate go-kart race. The boys raced these little ones. How cute are they?
Then we went on to race the big boys, with John driving Luke and me driving Jack. I've figured out that the real race at most of the tracks we go to is not the race on the track, as most of the go-karts run the same speed, but is actually the race to see who can get to the first go-kart in line. That is usually the person that wins the race. So, Jack and I won the race as we got to drive the first go-kart in line.
And the only person who had any accidents was me – once driving back into the parking spot, and once when John bumped me. The first referring to when I hit the tires and rails trying to get back into the parking line. The second referring to when I peed in my pants when John bumped me.
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