Charlie has been waking at 6 or 7am most days, weekends including: While I admit it would be nice to start Saturday and Sunday a bit more slowly (i.e., without hearing the clompclompclomp, getting right up to give Charlie his medication and a glass of water, grabbing a jacket and shoes and heading out for a frosty one), Charlie being able to get himself up at those hours consistently means school day mornings have become almost too easy.
Sunday, he was raring to go out to New Jersey horse country but we wanted to wait as it was about 1 degree Celsius and we knew it would be a bit warmer later in the morning. Just some months ago, we had used a timer and all manner of stratagems to help Charlie get through an hour. Yesterday, I made coffee, cut up an apple that Charlie ate, went running, cleaned the floor, chopped up some vegetables for later; Charlie watched and stood, eventually sitting down in the black chair and dozing a bit. Once he woke after a few minutes, he asked for 'white' (as in our car) and, as it was nearing 9.30am, I got out the bikes, Jim loaded them, we were off.
Jim made sure that he and Charlie both added a key piece of winter gear, skullcaps under helmets to keep ears warm. He couldn't get Charlie to change into warmer gloves; one thing at a time. He did convince Charlie he didn't need to run into the bushes when they encountered a dog running ahead of its owners on the path. Charlie had stopped and got off his bike while the dog jumped a hello on Jim, who was quite aware that Charlie was not going to like that. He assured Charlie to stay put and they got back on their bikes and kept going on the otherwise empty trail -- it was 0 degree Celsius and the trail was muddy and, in some places, icy.
With all that, they did 15 miles, Charlie smiling as he pedaled up to the car. He kept smiling at particular moments for the rest of day, when I looked in his room where he was stretched out for a nap after we got home; after a crisp walk in the early evening; after an ice cream and lemonade run (summer time foods that know no season); after a late evening walk.
He willingly assenting to wearing his new green coat for the walks. It's a size large and Charlie has taken to it quite quickly. He still fits his blue coat from last year but on discovering that the zipper is broken, and seeing how such immediately consternated Charlie, we immediately ordered him a newer, bigger one in green, a color Charlie seems to favor along with blue. Black isn't such a good idea for a jacket for Charlie as it's harder to spot in a crowd.
Or ahead of you on a muddy bike path since, except when Dad's needed to help with a dog, Charlie so often leads the way.