There's nothing like a screaming child to get you into action. On Saturday morning, I was slowly moving around the house, doing my best to clean it. Then Ethan starts crying like wounded animal. I run down the stairs, my heart beating. "What happened?" I asked Terry. "Channel 6 (PBS) isn't playing Bob Ross' 'Joy of Painting' this morning," he said. "Oh God," I replied.
Bob Ross is Ethan's new infatuation. This year he got into coloring and drawing, and will spend hours drawing pictures of rainbows and dinosaurs. One Saturday morning he happened to see Bob Ross's show, and just fell in love with it. "Bob Ross is the best painter in the world," Ethan often tells us.
I checked PBS's web site, and my fears were confirmed. The station is doing yet another fund raiser, and is taking programs off that people want to watch to put pledge programming on, like "Dr. Wayne Dyer: The Power of Intention." The station won't play Bob Ross on Saturday morning until June 21. In its place it's playing back-to-back episodes of "Sewing With Nancy." "I hate that clothes-making guy!" Ethan bawled.
No worries. The library has plenty of Bob Ross DVD's you can borrow. Terry and I hatched a plan--we'll ride our bikes on our suburb's trail system to a new park. Then I'll keep riding on the trail to the library, and Terry will hang out with the kids. It turned out to be one of those family outings where everyone benefits: Terry and I get some exercise; the boys get to check out a new park; and I get some much-needed downtime under the guise of fulfilling my son's Bob Ross fix.
Everything worked according to plan. The boys had a great time at the park, and I fell in love with riding a bike again. I got the video, and then we returned home.
On the way back, I noticed Ethan's knees were practically hitting the handlbars. We got the bike for him when he was four, and he hasn't shown much interest in riding it until now. Figures he's outgrown it.
So this morning I perused Craig's List for a used kid's bike, and I hit the jackpot. A guy in a neighboring suburb is selling a never-used bike for $35. We frantically emailed him and he called us back and said the bike is ours.
Now I have visions Terry and I teaching Ethan how to ride his new bike without training wheels and all of us hitting the trails on our bikes, with Terry towing James in the bike trailer. I'm sure it won't work out that way--Ethan will hate his new bike, James won't want to sit in the trailer, etc. But along the way, we'll find a way to turn those lemons into lemonade.