Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Directionally Challenged

We had a nice family dinner Monday night.  We know of a local place that is kid friendly, and has great prices on food during Happy Hour.  It's about 7 or 8 blocks from our house in the middle of our neighborhoods business district.  Lukas and I met Mrs. LIAYF there on our drive home from work and school and enjoyed some good conversation and comfort food.

As we left the restaurant and put him into his car seat, we were all laughing and joking.  Mrs. LIAYF kidded Lukas that if he didn't stop squirming they would walk home - which would not have been wise since it was fairly cold out.  "Okay!" he exclaimed in all seriousness, to which my wife had to finally acknowledge that we were NOT going to walk home.

Lukas was disappointed at this, as he was actually eager to walk the several blocks of the roundabout route back to our house.  "Well, if we let you walk all by yourself how would you get home?" I asked. "Go that way." he responded pointing in the general direction of our house.

So I said "Okay buddy, let's do this.  I'm going to drive and YOU get to tell me which way to go.  How does that sound?"   "Good!" he excitedly exclaimed.  And at that we started down the alley.

Then, as we reached the end of the alley I asked "Which way do we turn Lukas?"  "Uhhhhh....that way!" was his reply pointing us East onto the road, not our normal path home but still a valid option.  At the first stop light we came to, again I asked for directions.  "Turn this way" he instructed me pointing right, which was the correct direction home.  As we waited at the light I asked for confirmation "This way?"  "No....go straight" he responded, changing his mind.  Mrs. LIAYF and I glanced at each other with slight smirks, but as the light turned I readily obliged.

One block away was another light.  "That way" came his instruction and as I looked over my shoulder I could see him pointing to the right.  I obeyed and drove to the end of the block.  This time he didn't wait for us to ask.  "Go Right Daddy! Down the hill!".  I did.  Then as we approached the bottom came the command "Take a Left" (Yes, he knows his right from his left better than I do).

He had taken us a block over, to a less busy street.  To avoid delays? Perhaps.

From there it was a piece of cake as he had delivered us onto our daily route which we take to and from school.  Grinning from ear to ear he easily directed us the rest of the way back to our house where, once stopped, Mrs. LIAYF and I gave him high fives and let him know how proud we were of him and how big a boy he was becoming.

No, it wasn't that far.  But watching our 3 year old successfully navigate a trip home was still a proud moment for us.  And further indication of how fast he is growing up.

Moments like this are a lot fun.


goodfather said...

Absolutely love this! What a confidence booster for Lukas! As a truly directionally-challenged person, this post spoke to me. ;)

Portland Dad said...

That is such a fun story and even if he didn't get the way right what an adventure it would have been. Being up for the adventure either way is where the magic happens.

Homemaker Man said...

Wow. What a great job!

Steve said...

What a great way to give him a feeling of your faith in him. I will try this with my 3yo, though I suspect she'll take great delight in just driving around randomly!

Juli said...

I think you may have just raised the only man that won't need to ask for directions :)

Juli said...
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-DiligentDaddy said...

What I want to know is, how long or how far would you have let this go? Haha...perhaps a trip to Canada?

Lady Mama said...

I love this idea, might try it myself next time we're out (and I have a spare forty minutes!).

Anonymous said...

Lukas and I would get along. I'm not called Map because I am directionally challenged.

ericdbolton said...

I sometimes think the kids are just picking their noses and screaming and leaving a mess in the back seat. It turns out they are paying attention. They know how to get everywhere. If you take a different way, THEY KNOW!!

Congrats to Lucas!!

Otter Thomas said...

I'm impressed. That is a smart boy. And like Eric said, it's just another indication that our kids are always watching even when we think they aren't.

Anonymous said...

Who needs a Garmin when you've got Lukas :)

Knatolee said...

Smart boy! and a better navigator than my hubby. :)

James (SeattleDad) said...

@Goodfather - It did have that effect.

@portlanddad - Yes. Just glad he had it all figured out.

@HomemakerMan - It was.

@Steve - That would be fun to if you have the time.

@Julianna - Ha. Niiiice.

@Dillignet - Um....not that long I suspect.

@Lady Mama - Fun if you have the time.

@DC - I want to travel with you.

@Eric - We don't give them enough credit do we?

@Otter - I will need him to know to help me out as my memory fails me.

@PJ - Not sure what a Garmin is. Will have to google that.

@Knatolee - I'm with Gordon.

Ordinary Dad said...

Thats awesome. I did this a few months ago with my daughter, let her tell me which way to turn to get home...we were way off. I think she was trying to get to Chuck E. Cheese's

James (SeattleDad) said...

@Ordinarydad - Hahaha. Too funny. And a brilliant move by her.