Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Sloooooooow immersion.

When the girls first joined us in the US, we did FIVE Disney World trips in 3 years. Then for a couple of years we just did a day at Disney when we would be down for winter or spring break. About 4 years ago we decided to have a Disney moratorium...there is so much more of America they NEED to see?!? Last year we did a mini-vaca to Amish country. This year we are planning a mini-vaca to Memphis so a certain Elvis fan can check Graceland off her bucket list. Sometime in the next two years we hope to be able to do the grand national park know, like Yellowstone and the Grand Canyon.

One tiny problem with our long range plan...unless or until we win the lottery this trip will require some 'rustic' accommodations. Might I remind the reader about my eldest daughter's love of Mother Nature? The child who won't eat out at a picnic table in our back yard because there are bugs...who won't use a latrine...who whines for air conditioning when temperatures hit the 70's...our princess in pink who has made it very clear that camping is simply not "an option" in her book?!?!? Sigh.

So today we headed off to Aunt Agnes' lake house in Wisconsin for the first stage of  Mari's "Nature Desensitization Therapy". Patrick and I have designed a nice slooooooow process of bringing her highness gradually closer and closer to "the country" in the hopes that our rigid and very linear thinker can learn to embrace the new, the untamed, the "rustic"....okay, so she'll stop freaking about the darn bugs!!! Aunt Agnes' lake house is hardly rustic but it is a bit closer to Mother Nature than our suburban abode. We are not gluttons for punishment...we know better than to try and head straight for a campground. Though to hear the lady whine on the car ride up here you'd think we were taking her to Mars. For once I bit my tongue and the look on her face when we pulled into the drive was PRICELESS!!

She raced up onto the deck saying, "It is a house with a deck and a grill and everything!" Seems she had decided in her agitation that we were dragging her to a log cabin in the woods. But I did have a plan in place to keep her from hiding in the air conditioning while texting a mile a minute...

I wasn't born yesterday! Hooked her with one of Aunt Agnes' toys to get her out in the fresh air....

Oh, Julia was on this trip too but is not afraid of much of anything as you can note...and one upping her sister on the scooter to boot!

While I worked with the girls on step two of "Meeting Mother Nature",  Patrick paid our rent! One of the 'costs' of using the lake house was to mow the lawn which could not have made him happier since it involved reliving his youth...behind the wheel of a tractor (-:

Step two involved getting the 'oven' started for dinner.

Again, not a problem for Julia who tried to 'catch' smoke.....

...and relished the privilege of using fire tongs!
Being fair to Mari, she did do her fair share of tending the foil packet dinners I had INSISTED we make as 'practice for camping'...even though I'd eat them anytime (-:

We did a chicken version tonight that turned out delicious!!

Even a thumbs up from Mari who especially enjoyed it considering I let her eat it inside. Baby steps here folks, we're taking baby steps.

Dessert had us back outside at our 'stove'. Since they were too impatient to wait for that treat in the foil 'baking' under their marshmallows, I did let them move on to roasting the fluffy treats. In the foil was To Die For Banana S'mores...can you say CALORIES in the guise of being 'healthy'?!?!? 

Ummmm, and YES that would be Mari sitting outside eating!!! Baby steps...

...or it may have something to do with sugar???

Julia decided today that she really just needs a toasted marshmallow for her dessert!

But incinerated is a bit too 'toasted' for her her liking (-:

Mari joined us a couple of short times at the campfire tonight as well. She couldn't quite bring herself to sit on a tree stump just yet but we are miles ahead of where I was hoping we'd be after our first 'therapy'. Supposed to rain all day tomorrow...I might have to bag our second day plans in order to avoid back sliding. Can you say Old Faithful and Mari in the same sentence? Someday soon it looks like...someday soon.


  1. how wonderful. step by step you are making progress with Mari. we love to go to northern Wisconsin. great pics.

  2. YOu are so so patient. I don't think I could do it. When kids come around here and freak out about a bug they don't get anything from me, its a bug!!!! Good job on your parenting, luckily Maya either came as she is or we trained her right into what we like.
    toasted marshmellows, yummy!

  3. Except for the air conditioning...I need it to be a little warmer than she does...Mari sounds like just my kind of girl!