It's a title of one of M's most favorite Recorded Books (books on CDs). He listened to the Lighthouse Family: the Storm too many times too count. He also pretend played the story with me being Pandora the Cat, himself - Seabold, the Dog. Also, as I'd take him to our favorite local seafood place, we'd look at the framed prints of lighthouses and tried to choose the one that looked most like the lighthouse in the story. But he'd never seen a real lighthouse before.
Needless to say, he was very excited when I told him that while at the beach, we'll get to see (and climb) a real life lighthouse. Just the kind that Pandora lived in. Hooray!
And so we went there, the three of us and my second cousin, A. M was absolutely thrilled to see a real lighthouse and even more so 'cause this lighthouse was red, M's most favorite color (yes, still). He couldn't wait to go inside. But we had to stay in line which was difficult with two impatient kiddos. So instead we left Chris to stand in line and I took the kids into a gift shop. There I made an unwise promise which seemed like a really good idea at the time...
You see, the brochure said that there were 214 stairs to the top of the lighthouse. I was a bit apprehensive about M climbing them without my help. And I really didn't feel like carrying him up or down, especially in the narrow and steep part of the spiral staircase at the top of the structure.
At the gift shop M was so taken with the little model of the lighthouse and wanted it so very much, that I promised to get it for him IF he were to climb up to the very top and down again without asking to be carried. His cousin wanted a little toy wild horse and a similar promise was made to her except the condition was she had to "behave" (yeah, rather nebulous, but she's 7 so I think she knows by now what it means).
Then we climbed all 214 stairs to the very top. The 360-degree view from the top was amazing! Except (and that's where "not so wise" part of my promise became evident) the kids were in such a hurry to get their toys that they didn't want to stay up and enjoy the scenery. Instead, they wanted to hurry down and into the gift shop! Still, we managed a couple of pictures. I must say, A behaved and M climbed every single step, just like he promised! So both got their gifts (and I got a mood ring for myself 'cause I wanted one after listening to Judy Moody Predicts Future 100 times, another of M's favorite Recorded Books).
We then walked over to get some ice-cream for the kids. This was a good move since it allowed us about 10 minutes of sitting in the shade quietly enjoying the views.
That day M carried the lighthouse toy with him everywhere (did I tell you, turned out it had a little battery-operated light and so was even more amazing). And he listened to The Lighthouse Family while in the car.
Later that night, before going to bed, he wanted to play the Lighthouse story. So we invited A. to join us. She wanted to be Laila, the little Mouse. And the three of us had some awesome lighthouse adventures - several severe storms, a wild horse that showed up and became Laila's pet, and a sudden appearance of Luke Skywalker on the island.
And the next day we went back to the lighthouse. Except we didn't climb it. Instead, we walked over to the Wild Horses Museum. Turned out, they had a "paint your own wild horse" activity going for kids. So M and A got to paint little horses. A's horse turned out all pretty and very real-looking. She spared no details and worked very diligently on painting it. M's approach was different. He worked in bold brush strokes, laying thick layers of paint. I was afraid it was all going to turn "the preschool slime brown" color, but he stuck to the pallete of red, orange, a bit of brown and lots of pink and it turned out kind of sunset colored.
Finally, we walked on a nature trail all the way out to the Pamlico Sound. M was in a terrible mood 'cause he was very tired and just wanted to go back to the house. But we'd have none of it. The Sound was too beautiful and just a few steps away, just past a forest of reeds. Fortunately, after reaching the Sound, M felt a bit better and even joined in on the fun of dipping his feet into a very shallow and very warm water.
I love this picture. Am I not married to like the most handsome guy ever? Just thought I'd brag.