Saturday, January 26, 2008

Bowling Baby

A little while ago Matt and I decided Harper was old enough to appreciate the introduction of Family Night. Certainly we are not as busy as some families, but we are busy enough that it makes sense for us to schedule one night a week that is set aside for all of us to do something together. And whatever the activity, we all give it our total focus, no multi-tasking allowed. We've made Friday night our Family Night, and change it with very few exceptions.

Most of our family nights so far have consisted of popping popcorn and watching movies. We make popcorn and "yemonade!" and then all snuggle together on the couch as Harper asks questions and chats her way through one Disney movie or another. Watching movies together might not be the best choice for family bonding, but night life for three-year-olds is a little slim in these parts, especially mid-winter.

Last night we decided to try something different.

I should preface this by saying that, in his earlier life, Matt was a competitive bowler. A good competitive bowler. He owns his own ball and his own shoes He has actually bowled a 300 game.

I stink. I actually bowled a 27 once, and I wasn't trying to be funny. Matt and I have never been bowling together. Let's not talk about it.

Anyway, Matt has been excited to take Harper bowling for quite some time, while I have felt that age three is perhaps a little young for bowling. However, feeling, as we were, that we needed to have a family night that did not involve singing princesses, we made some phone calls to see if bowling was a viable option.

Much to my surprise, it was! So we bundled up and headed out into the cold Ohio winter to spend Family Night at a bowling alley.

I did not bowl myself last night. Given the fact that I am suddenly feeling very noticeably pregnant and having trouble not running into walls, running toward a slick lane in funky shoes while attempting to hurl a ten (or more) pound ball didn't seem like the best choice of activity. I appointed myself camera-operator and cheerleader for the evening.

Matt walked Harper up to the lane and showed her how to push the ball toward the pins. Do you know how long it takes a bowling ball pushed by a three-year-old to get all the way down the "yane"? A very. long. time.

Harper bowled the first frame, then watched Matt take a turn, and then didn't want anything else to do with it for a couple of frames. As with most things, we found it better not to force her, and after Matt had a couple of turns, she was interested again. By the end of the one game we played she was marching up to the ball-return, carrying the ball up to the lane, and pushing it all by herself.

So we'll call the first bowling outing a successful one!

And now for some video -

Harper's thoughts on bowling:

The final frame:

(I had to use Google for that last video because Blogger can only upload up to 100MB and the video was 102MB. I wish Blogger would have told me that to begin with when I tried to upload the thing!!! Instead I had to go look it up while the wheel that would seem to indicate progress just spun and spun and spun.)

Did you notice, if you watched to the end, that Matt was upset when he only knocked down eight pins? It happened once or twice, but I don't believe he ever knocked down fewer than eight on his first throw. Sheesh!

Did you notice that bowling shoes for even tiny children are just as hideous as the grown-up versions?

I'd also like to mention that I was so disappointed in the appearance of the "bumpers." I obviously haven't been bowling in quite some time. I remember them being like big inflatable tubes that went in the gutters, now they are just these little rails that pop up only for the child's turn. It's all computerized and stuff. I was hoping for more of an old school bowling experience. And I was also hoping that eventually, when I feel balanced enough to bowl again, I would also reap the benefits of the bumpers because I don't think the inflatable kind went up and down between one person's turn and the next.


Erin said...

That looks like SO MUCH FUN. Good for you guys to institute family night. I feel like we sort of have that (unofficially) when the pool is open. Harper is adorable as always.

Hey, so, I left your link on another blog I read a lot (Katie at She's trying to decide what to do about preschool enrollment, and I thought your posts last week might help give her some feedback. Just letting you know...

Swistle said...

That is some Serious Cute. Except for the shoes.

Mommy Daisy said...

Oh, that looks like so much fun. I can't wait to take Zachariah bowling when he gets older. Like you said, there's not a lot to do here either. Bowling might be enjoyable.

Emily said... sweet. My parents were tournament bowlers when I was little, so I had my own ball when I was Harper's age. Takes me back. Once I bowled a 3, because that was before the whole bumper phenomenum. And I'm also surprised that they go up and down between turns!!