Let me break it down for you....fishing with the kids.
I'll start off by explaining that I have no pictures to share from Friday. Not a one.
Well, I was too busy trying to prevent the kids from falling into the lake and from poking one another's eyes out with their fishing poles, as they ran around attempting to gouge each other with the poles and screaming, in their best Shrek impression, "I'm gonna eat the jelly from your eyes!"
My stepdad graciously decided to come along with us because he's the more experienced fisher. Plus, he was under the assumption that it would be fun. It was definitely fun...among other things.
We got to the lake around 9:30 am. The weather was cool and cloudy...perfect fishing weather. At least, that's what I kept telling the kids as they shivered in their short-sleeve shirts and shorts.
By 10:00 am, we had found the perfect spot...comfy chairs set up, fishing poles in the water, snacks in hand...
By 10:10 am, it began....the yelling, the screaming, the whining...the drama of it all.
"Where's all the fish?" one anxious child asked.
"I'm bored. When are we gonna catch a fish?" another impatient child complained.
"Good thing I brought my DS...fishing sucks!" yet another frustrated child declared.
Grandpa shook his head and tried his best to explain to his energetic and restless grandchildren that fishing takes patience...and lots of it....as he grabbed a can of light beer from the cooler.
Apparently, you can have the patience of a saint when you have a 6-pack of beer on hand.
So here's what I learned in that entire 5 hours of fishing...
1) I haven't a clue what I'm doing when it comes to fishing.
Every single line I cast out got stuck in the rocks or the weeds in the water. At first, it was exciting...as I'd try to reel in the line and feel light tugs, I'd bellow, "Hey guys, I think I've got a fish!"
After the 3rd time, the kids just shrugged, rolled their eyes and said, "No, it's not a fish. You're probably stuck in the rocks again".
2) Grown men will not give up a good fishing spot for the sake of letting a poor, innocent child catch her first fish.
Even when that child hollers, in the direction of the 3 grown men, "Stop hogging all the fish!"
3) Kids can make friends any where, any time and any place.
There was a father there fishing with his daughter, who at some point lost interest and came over to hang out with my kids. After the girl left, Bella and I had the following conversation:
Me: She seemed like a nice girl. What was her name?
Bella: I dunno.
Me: How old was she?
Bella: I dunno.
Me: Where does she live?
Bella: I dunno.
Me: How could you play with her for most of the day, yet you don't know one thing about her?
Bella: I dunno.
4) 1000 pounds of fish = 100 measly fish
The rumor going around the lake was that at around 2:00 pm, a truck would be coming by to plant 1000 pounds of fish near the boat ramp. So that's where we fished, while waiting for the 1000 pounds of fish.
Grandpa and I kept reassuring the kids that it would be EASY to catch a fish...they'd be hungry and biting. In my best Bubba Gump impression, I rattled off the dozens of ways we could prepare our fish for lunch...."there's fried trout, grilled trout, BBQ'd trout..."
The kids stared at me as if I had suddenly sprouted an arm from my forehead.
"Why are you talking like that?!" they demanded. They must have left their senses of humor at home.
The truck finally arrived and dumped the fish into the lake. Only it wasn't quite 1000 pounds of fish, as rumored to be. More like 100 fish, total. And they weren't exactly large enough to even come near 1000 pounds.
Even the kids were confused by the incorrect math.
Cole said, "I thought you said 1000 pounds...that was only 10 fish. Or maybe 12. I know cuz I counted".
I was left scratching my head as I said to the Fish and Game guy, "That's it? That's all there was? Man, that was SO disappointing".
He just looked at me, all wide-eyed...as if I had just repeated exactly word for word what his high school girlfriend had said to him behind the bleachers that one night after the football game.
5) If I want my 2 toddlers to finally be completely potty trained, I need to invest in a couple porta-potties.
Seriously, they were obsessed with the smelly out-houses at the lake. Every single time they'd witness someone coming out of one, they'd look at each other, smile and exclaim "that's SO cool".
How silly of me to think that a sparkly, clean-smelling indoor bathroom would seem more enticing.
6) Even though I was out in the middle of nowhere...tired, sunburned and thirsty...and even though we didn't catch ONE crummy little fish in the whole 5 hours we were there...I had the best time creating yet another wonderful memory with my kids.
As we drove back to my stepdad's house, the kids assured us that they did have a good time, though they were disappointed that they didn't catch any fish.
That's okay...we'll hit the trout farm when we're in Tahoe next month, like we did last year...where I know with 100% certainty they will all be able to catch a fish.
Hopefully the kids will bring their sense of humor this time. And I'll remember to pack myself a 6-pack of beer.
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