One of the nice things about taking a vacation with kids is that you get to spend a lot of time with them, without all the distractions of day-to-day life. Without work, laundry, bills, pets and so on, I spent a lot of time just watching both Eli and Sydney.
It's no secret that Eli has a strong personality. He definately likes what he likes and is passionate about his interests. Eli LOVES the rodeo. He loves everything about it and has for at least the last year or so. He's got the whole get-up, including handmade chaps (thanks Abba!) and boots. He's got a well-worn hat that he would live in if we let him. He knows all the lingo and the different events. His favorite is the steer wrestling, followed by bull riding and mutton busting. On this trip he got to go to a REAL. LIVE. RODEO and watch ACTUAL bullriders and mutton busters. Even better, turned out a couple of his cousins (distant, but related nonetheless) were actually competing. Pretty sure his head almost exploded from all the excitement, save for a few tense moments when he thought he was going to have to leave because he didn't have a hat on. We're talking about going back next year and letting him compete.
Sydney's interests aren't as time-tested as Eli's of course, but on this trip it became increasingly clear that this girl is an Earth child through and through. The quickest way to calm her down is to put her in a spot where she can look up into a tree. She loves to be outdoors, almost more than she loves boobs (almost, but not quite). The happiest she was during the whole trip, and she wasn't very happy during the trip, was after an extraordinary blow-out when she was laying naked on a blanket under a tree. She cooed and stared for almost an hour. One late night I was flipping through my iPod and Bob Marley came on. Her eyes widened and she literally started dancing. Her favorite song so far is "Three Little Birds." At this point I'm half-expecting her diapers to start smelling like patchouli.
It's so cool to watch and see how their little personalities develop. I'm constantly amazed that they're not just little versions of C and I. Poor C, with his hip-hop tastes, video games, and love for all things sports. I don't think he was counting on a couple of country kids.