For Mother’s Day weekend we went to the Great Wolf Lodge near the Wisconsin Dells. We told Everett about it a few days ahead of time and he latched onto the idea immediately, despite zero prior experience (that we are aware of) with any kind of wolf lodge or waterpark. He talked about it for days, and by the time we arrived the name had changed to the Great Great GREAT Wolf Lodge! Chris had been to the Dells once long ago about age 8 with Gramsy and Grandpa. The most memorable part of the trip was the boat rides through the upper and lower dells. Since then a number of waterparks have appeared, some of which have huge indoor areas like the Great Wolf Lodge. Everett took to it right away. The first slide we rode was one of the larger ones, and from there we slowly worked our way down to the toddler area, where the slides seemed comically small by comparison, and Everett showed little interest in them. Another favorite was the wave pool, which had periods of calm and periods of waves, and the latter was always preceded by the sound of howling wolves that could be heard throughout the park. When the waves came he would hold on to Chris and they would bob up and down, with sound effects.

It has been fascinating to watch Everett’s personality develop. Over the last year he has developed the cognitive abilities necessary for imagination and humor. With regard to the latter, he has developed the ability to understand the idea that Melissa I sometimes tease him. And he has started to formulate his own jokes: at the waterpark there were a few times we said to him “Let me show you a trick”, like doing somersaults in the water or flipping the innertube over. There were a couple times we didn’t time things quite right in the wave pool and he ended up with a mouthful of water. After sputtering and coughing the water out he said “That’s my trick”.

Everett stayed in the Wolf Den, which was the kids room within our room.
He loved it, and it allowed us to preserved some privacy (we have learned that no one sleeps well when he is in the same room with us). We thought that having his own room, combined with several hours in the water, would encourage sleep, but this didn’t seem to be the case. We swam for two hours on Friday night and about 5 hours on Saturday. Sunday morning he awakened by bolting up in bed and saying “Is everything open?!?” After breakfast and then a couple more hours in the pool he still did not seem unusually tired. When I told this to Dennis, a neighbor and father of three, he said “I think you have entered the aquatic phase”. Indeed. One indication of the impression this made on Everett: a week went by before he would let us remove his Great Wolf Lodge bracelet.

Chris recently bought a new camera which is simple, portable and waterproof. This trip was a great chance to test it out. Everett used it to take his first photo:
And we used it to document a few parts of the trip:

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