Round Up the Math at Idlewild Park
By Aunt_HeatherPiper on August 22, 2012
For the things of this world cannot be made known without a knowledge of mathematics. ~Roger Bacon
Last Wednesday, I took Kyle to Idlewild Park in Ligonier, Pennsylvania. Every year I try to take off of work and spend the entire day with Kyle, just having fun, usually around his birthday. Since we haven't been to Idlewild in a couple of years I thought it might be a nice change. I picked him up Tuesday night after work and we headed to mom and dad's house, since it was closer to leave from there. Not to mention I already planned on taking the dogs for a walk in the morning before heading out, reaping in the benefits of me being off work too. Plus I new we weren't going to have Kyle on Friday and Saturday so I thought of making up some lost time with the family in advance.
Quick side story. Naturally that night, I was among a full bed and it was a restless night. At one point me, Kyle and Seven all moved ninety degrees to the side of the bed, while running parallel to each other. In unison! I only noticed this when my feet were hanging off of the side of the mattress and when I went to push myself up, to what I thought was the head of the bed, my head fell over the side. What the heck? I shimmied out of this confusion to what I still thought was the foot of the bed. I didn't realize I was on standing on the other side of our sleeping quarters. Standing there in pitch black, in the middle of the night, not understanding my position I was sincerely baffled. I couldn't find my phone, unbeknownst to me was on the other side of this obstacle. Being slightly out of it, due to a sudden awakening from dangling off of a ledge, I actually had a bit of a panic attack. I couldn't figure out where I was in the room! Living in that house pretty much my entire life, you would thought I could at least find the light switch. Nope! It was as if I was still in a dream or I was in the Twilight Zone. I'm telling you what a weird experience! I literally started to walk blindly, with my hands out trying to understand the layout of the room and where the furniture was located. My initial thought was to yell and wake my mom up. But what was I going to yell?. 'Mom I can't get out of the room'? Seriously? Could you imagine mom, laying there sleeping and all of a sudden hear me yelling to come and open the door because I can't find my way out? Actually that would have been hilarious from mom's point-of-view. Eventually, I found the closet light, after what seemed to be an eternity, and I turned it on to get my bearings straight. Just then, I felt like the room was spinning because I was so disoriented. Would you believe that Seven and Kyle both laid there sleeping the entire adventure? After I had the situation figured out, I went on another impossible mission. Trying to move those two to get things straightened out was a workout. Meanwhile, neither one moved or woke up. Kyle did manage to mumble something like, "What Aunt Heather?" Although he didn't remember it.
Anyway, as I digress back to Idlewild and the math lesson. Usually Kyle is an early riser like the rest of us. I'm guessing due to the up-and-down all night long, sleeping beauty was tired and rose from his chambers a little after 8:00 am. Me being up around 5:00 am, I worked on the computer and watched GMA (Good Morning America- always was one of my favorite shows, even as a kid) until Kyle came back to the land of the living. Once I got him some breakfast, I decided to continue with my plans of taking the dogs for a quick hike. I told Kyle, "It's a treat for them that I am home in the middle of the week and we have time to take them for a walk." Kyle started to complain, but his usual throwing a temper tantrum was not as potent. My guess is that, he knew I would have no qualms about not taking him to Idlewild, if he was misbehaving. So we got dressed, some a little slower than others, and headed out.
After the dogs stretched their legs, and Kyle walked as slow as humanly possible, we came back to the house to shower and get dressed. It was at this point Kyle was now alive with energy and excitement. No arguments about taking a shower and he was like lightening. That's also the fastest I think I've ever seen him get dressed, putting aside the fact that I had him pick his cloths out the night before.
Once we darted out of the house, we ran to Giant Eagle to get our tickets. They are sold there at a discount and I was all about getting through the gates as fast as possble. Next stop, Idlewild Park!
The gate opens at 10:30 am and rides don't start until 11:30 am. In my opinion, that's too late in the day. I wish parks would open so much earlier. Riding the rides in the cool morning air, as compared to the stale heat of the day, would be so much better. But that's the way it goes. We got there around noon and we were both HUNGRY! Sincerely, stomach growling, on the verge of a headache, HUNGRY. Way back when the decision was made to take Kyle to Idlewild, I had a craving for Potato Patch Fries. Yep, the hand cut potato slices that are loaded up in a paper boat dripping in cheese. Kyle and I shared an order with chicken fingers. In fact, all day long we shared all of our food, never getting two orders or something. We would get an order share it and move along till we wanted something else. It was a good thing. My stomach isn't used to all that fried heavy food and I'm sure Kyle's isn't either.
Once our belly's were full, our feet hit the gravel and proceeded toward the rides. We rode the Paratroopers, Merry Mixer, Tilt-A-Whirl, Howler, Roller Coaster, Ferris Wheel, Merry-Go-Round, Bumper Cars and THE Round Up. Since it really wasn't that crowded, we were able to ride some the rides back-to-back. Kyle is just like me, we both brave everything, but naturally we have our favorites. As we stood in line for the Paratroopers, Kyle spotted the Round Up. He looked at that ride with amazement and asked, "Have I ever rode that before?" with my quick reply of "Yep". He didn't remember that, as he looked a little reluctant about the spinning giant in the near distance. Not long after he watched the ride, while standing in another line, he chose to get on the Round Up. This is a spinning ride that you stand with your back to the outside of the circle. It lifts you up on its side all while spinning before setting you back. Your feet stay on the platform and the centripetal force holds you in place. After we got off, he was ranting and raving about the ride and how cool it was and how he wanted to ride it again. I said, "We can but I want to hit up every other ride too, at least once." With a little bit of a pout, he agreed.
As we made our way through the park, we would stop and get more junk food including corn dogs and funnel cake. We even drank Fruit Punch, which neither one of us do, usually we both only drink water, never soda. Eventually we made our way back the the Round Up. As we walked up the ramp, Kyle said, "Let's ride this ride until we throw up!" We were both laughing at that comment, that is until we rode it a second time, in the a row. Since there was no line, so we were able to board the ride again. Yep, that second time both did us in. Kyle turned to me and said, "Ahh Aunt Heather, let's just sit a little, my stomach is a little upset." I couldn't deny that mine was any different. We walked around and soon we were ready for action again.
I've said it over and over again, Kyle is a businessman. He totally cracks me up. First I do want to say, that with every ride and I mean EVERY ride, Kyle immediately counted the number of passengers allowed on a ride and then he instantly counted the crowd in front of us. Next, he always gave me the estimated number of turns before it was ours. Now this didn't happen too often since the lines weren't long and sometimes not at all, but when there was a line, he was on it! Then, the next thing out of Kyle's mouth was his estimated thoughts on how much it costs to run the ride. He pointed out that specific rides cost more to run. "This ride wouldn't be as much to run Aunt Heather because you don''t need seat belts and it holds more people." He went off with these types of comments without being prompted. They were totally free flowing from his own thinking. Too much!
At one point when we were in line for the roller coaster, Kyle turned to me and said, "All the wood used for the roller coaster was cut on Idlewild property." I said, "Where did you come up with that?" He said, "No it did!" with my know-it-all response of "Kyle I doubt they cut down the trees, haul them out to be debarked, cut into 2 x 4 pieces, kiln dried them and then treated to withstand the weather." Just then Kyle pointed to a sign in front of us with this fun fact on it. As my eyes followed his finger to the words as I read the information semi out loud. Kyle turned his head toward me and gave me such as a smarty pants, crappy grin, like 'I'm right'. What a stinker! Every time I was wrong throughout the day, he gave me that same grin and then started to give me a number, which I found out represented how many times he was right. I will admit, it was funny at first, but then got old and I stated, "Do you see me counting every time I'm right? No! So cut the crap." Kyle was pretty good with that nearly threatening statement and dropped it.
Throughout the park, there were fun fact signs, which Kyle would take notice and read. I forget how much he is like a sponge. He even took notice to all the banners advertising Idlewild was voted the number one kid friendly park. He even saw a sign on the 125th anniversary, in 2002. He said, "Wow, this place is old!"
As we rounded out the day, I will admit the lack of sleep was getting to me and I was tired. We went through a few more rides in rapid fire, leaving Kyle's coveted Round Up for last. Once the ride started to spin, a girl began to cry and the ride attended yelled in asking if she wanted him to stop. He did, to let the frightened youngster off, and not only did that girl get off, but also another girl exited stage left. Kyle commented that he was not afraid and he just LOVED this ride. Then he did it again. He said, "There are 37 brave people riding this ride. Hey Aunt Heather 37 BRAVE people!" That was too funny! He stressed the word BRAVE and gave a number to those bearing the title of BRAVE. Only Kyle, thinks to count the number of people riding a ride. Almost as if he was bothered not knowing what the difference was, when both girls exited.
When we stopped in to see my parents before heading out, Kyle was sure to tell them about the '37 BRAVE people' who rode the Round Up. All my dad said, "Was that right?" I had to explain to my mom that Kyle counted the people on every ride. We were both cracking up!
I wonder if every child counts everything like Kyle? I just love to hear his thoughts and insights on the most obscure things. I'm very blessed with such a little thinker and I love it that he shares his thoughts with me. Kyle is a lot of fun!
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