George and the Tunnel
Our son, George, is a very bright kid who currently is glacially pursuing college course work, which has been impeded by Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD, for the few readers who didn't know). Besides this disability, he is extremely bright. I am not; he takes after his mother. I'm not going to give too much credit to The New York Times which she read to him while still in his crib, but that, among many other nurturing devices, puzzles, etc, honed his intellect. Near 150 IQ.
When George was a toddler, my parents lived about two hours from us at the New Jersey shore, and he was always very excited to see them. We would be in the car, about a half hour from home, around Newark Airport, and he would ask (every time we made the trip) " When are we going to be there?"
"Soon, son, soon." was always our answer. We always traveled with an array of distracting puzzles and games, all which had an effective life of 15 to 20 minutes, before he would ask the same question. Thank God the trip was only 2 hours.
Well, thank God for only a while. My parents retired to North Carolina. Beautiful state, beaches, weather, people. Very long car trip, however. 11 hours.
Before our first road trip to visit Nani and Pop Pop, we tried to explain time and distance to George, and we thought he got it. He was doing very well, until we passed Newark Airport.
"When are we going to be there?"
After an eye roller, I said, "George, do you see the sun over here? When it gets over there, we should be arriving then."
ADD strikes again. About a half hour later, "When are...?"
My wife turned to me, " This is going to be a VERY long day."
We started with the assorted puzzles and games; "license plates" was the most effective. As we approached the Baltimore, MD area, I had an idea. I took the scenic route towards the Harbor Tunnel, which is a combination causeway over, tunnel under, water. When we were approaching the tunnel section, I said to George, " You'd better put the windows up before we get to the tunnel. We don't want any water getting in the car." He feverishly put the windows up in back, and was glancing from one side to the other while in the tunnel. I glanced over at my smirking wife who didn't want to give up the joke by laughing.
When we got out of the tunnel, George was very quiet for well over an hour and a half, before asking, again, "When...?"
We finally made it to North Carolina. My wife and I sure earned THAT martini. My fear that I created an aqua phobic kid was dispelled when George wanted to swim in the Atlantic Ocean across the street before sunset. As he got older, I would continue to play these little "goofs" on George, a game I affectionately call "Stump the genius."
We had a wonderful time once there, and have been down many times since, flying back and forth.