Our Labor Day started off with a bumpy morning, as Cava woke up in an irritable mood. Since this was one of the few mornings where Danelle got to sleep in, I got up to ask Cava to be quiet so he wouldn't wake his Mom up. I ended up having to do this numerous times and, on the final one, he openly defied me and told me, "No!" With that, I took him with me to our kitchen, sat him down, and told him, "You will sit here and be quiet until I tell you to get up again."
This set him off.
One of those tantrums that I haven't seen in awhile that escalated with him in the corner, hitting his fists against the wall and telling me what he would and wouldn't do. Needless to say, both my wife and I were disheartened and disappointed by this outburst.
Hoping the rest of the day would go better, we set off for Reedy Creek Park & Nature Center in North Charlotte. The park itself has playgrounds, volleyball and basketball courts, soccer and baseball fields, three ponds, fishing, picnic areas, and a nature center.
The first thing we did when we got there was to let the boys play on one of the playgrounds.
(The last photo is Benjamin on what he called a "DNA strand")
I would like to say that Cava's mood improved, but he tended to remain aloof and he didn't want to play with Benjamin at all, which hurt Benjamin's feelings. He still continued to try and connect with his younger brother throughout the day, but Cava would have none of it.
From there, we went over the Nature Center. Surprisingly, it was Benjamin who was more cooperative in posing for photos. Cava grouchily told me, "I don't wanna'," whenever I asked him to pose for one. Whenever Cava gets in one of his grouchy moods, I teasingly call him, "Old Man Cava," and ask him if he's going to shake his cane at me or I ask him if he put on his "grouchy pants" instead of his regular ones this morning.
Before we even got to the Nature Center, Benjamin caught a tiny frog, which we made him release.
Inside, the boys looked at all the animals on display, especially the snakes.
Cava's favorite, however, was the giant frog on the wall overhead. I teased Benjamin that it was the Papa frog come to catch him for catching his son earlier.
Benjamin took a moment to play possum.
After we'd explored the Nature Center, we went back outside so the boys could play in the tree-houses.
They spent most of their time being chased by a little boy who kept pestering them with, "What's your name? Tell me your name! I demand you tell me your name!"
Bored of the chase, Cava tried his hand at xylophones . . .
And a balance beam . . .
Then we set off down the trail.
Where we saw a small waterfall . . .
A magical tree stump that Benjamin and I decided was a fairy house . . .
And a salamander!
Then the boys spotted Dragonfly Pond and they were off!
Benjamin stopped to give me his "explorer" pose.
The pond really was beautiful and we slowly made our way back up the trail to the parking lot.
While Cava's sour mood did little to improve, the rest of us made the best of our Labor Day and our time together as a family.