Monday, November 30, 2015

That Looks Painful, Let Me Try

What is it about kids and logic?  At what point does the human brain develop it and how, as a species, are we able to survive infancy with out it?!  We've been helping some friends pack up their house to move recently and last night we were finishing up some odds and ends.  There was a flood light set up to help us all see and at one point another little girl (maybe 18 months), part of another family helping out, grabbed the light and burned her little fingers.  As she's screaming and the two of us dads are trying to sort out where the burns are, but before we could think to turn the light off, that's when my Rosaline decides to see what all the fuss is about and walks up to the same light, pointer finger outstretched, and touches it.  Sure enough, she was burned too.  She watched this whole thing unfold, why would she touch the object that has just hurt the younger kid?!!  What's more, as I'm now rushing to turn off the light, a group of the older 6 years now starts migrating towards the light in curiosity.  WTF?!!!  Back up!  Fire, hot!  Knife, sharp!  Dog poop, stinky!  Somethings we don't need to test for ourselves.

Monday, November 16, 2015

Daddy Needs To Figure Out The Parental Locks

Yesterday was our "once a year birthday party" for all three big girls.  We're going to need to rethink this now that we have a summer baby as well and can't claim a mid November party to cover everyone in October and December.  Anyway, I got up earlier to get the backyard under control, while Gina attacked the downstairs.  We left the girls upstairs watching cartoons and out of the way.

After finishing the back, I walked by the stairway and I could swear I heard a quote from the movie Inside Out.  That's odd, I thought.  I'm pretty sure that movie just came out on DVD like last week.  I started up the stairs because this was going on much longer then a normal commercial and, by now, my interest was peaking. 

Sure enough, there it was on the upstairs TV, the newly released movie and all four girls sitting quietly, thoroughly enjoying it.

"Um. ..." I started.  "Are you guys watching Inside Out?"

"Yea, it's on TV." Genevieve responded gleefully.

"How?" I asked.  "We didn't rent the DVD."

There was a pause at this point, and the three big girls slowly swiveled there heads toward me with "oh no" reflecting in their wide eyes.

Another moment of silence before Arianna muttered "Lorelei must have pushed a button."

I love it!  Yeah, that must have been what happened.  They've figured out how to rent movies, they understand that it's going to cost money and I'm not going to be happy so they blame it on the four month old who has a hard enough time grabbing a pacificer to pick up the remote, locate the On Demand button and scroll to the new releases to find the movie for her older siblings.  Brilliant!  So guess what we're watching for the next three days - since that's how long we've paid for it.  Oh, and Honey, find that manual!  Daddy needs to figure out the parental controls on this damned U-Verse box!

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Disneyland, Where Parents Act Like Children

Yesterday we played hookie from school and work and took the girls to Disneyland to celebrate all of their birthdays.  There are plenty of Southern California residents who renew their annual pass every year and trek to the Mouse House regularly because they've got nothing else to do on a Thursday night; but we want to make sure these experiences are special for our children so we limit our trips to every couple of years.  Ok, you caught me.  Have you seen how much they charge for a damned annual pass? I'd have to sell a kidney and that would only get me half the family covered.  And then how in the world would I renew the following year?  What's the run rate on a spleen these days?

Fortunately one of Gina's yoga students happens to work at the park part time solely for the ability to sign friends and family in.  She was gracious enough to come down first thing and help us get in to the happiest (and most overpriced) place on earth.

We had a wonderful day; like, flat out amazing.  The big three rode all of the big kid rides and wait times were 15-30 minutes maximum so we got on everything we wanted to before the sun set on our day and headed towards the exit filled with the wonder and glee Walt envisioned when he set out to build this place. And then some bitter and contentious woman had to go put a dent in the whole thing. 

As we were walking out of the park, down Main Street and looking for some ice cream to cap off the trip, it was obvious that folks were starting to line up for the big evening parade.  For those of you who aren't familiar with Disneyland, this is where the true madness really sets in.  It was 6:30PM.  The parade they were all getting their seats for (blocking every inch of usable sidewalk) wasn't scheduled to start until 8:30PM.  That would be two hours away. A parade.  A parade that most of the folks (a big portion are pass holders who only arrive at sunset for these things) have already seen a dozen tims.  A parade with a mouse - not the vets we are celebrating today or even bead throwing, boob flashing marti gras for christ's sake.  That's what this all centered around.

There was a brief moment, just in front of the ice cream shop we were all trying to get to (3 adults, 2 strollers and 6 "hangry" children), when a woman was standing shaking out a blanket she was clearly planning on putting down in the opening.  Our friend, who's charming British accent can usually turn folks into putty, asked extremely politely, "do you think we can buzz through here to the ice cream shop real quick before you put your blanket down?"

"Well," the "B" responded with the most snide and perturbed tone at our audacity.  "My blanket was already here, I'm just shaking it off.  So no, you're going to have to go down to another spot if you want to break through the line."

WHAAAAAATTTT????!!!!!!  This is an adult woman, surrounded by her own impressionable offspring, who is already up and displaced, flat out refusing to be a decent human being and instead forcing a few clearly out matched parents to go way out of their way to find another spot, just to come right back to where they were trying to go because, for lack of a better term, she woke up and decided to be a dick today.

Here are my issues:
1) Parents, you know how hard it is.  You've been there.  You've done that.  How can you not look at a person who's struggled the same road you have and not inconvenience yourself in the slightest capacity to make their life easier - just as you would have appreciate the same courtesy if the roles were reversed?  But here's the world we live in. It's all about me and never about you and the next thing you know you're on the news for all the wrong reasons.

2) You're children are watching you.  Trust me, they're always watching.   What they just learned is "I can be an asshole, if I want, for no apparent reason whatsoever."  So when your kid gets in trouble for being a little shit, and you say "I have no idea where he learns this!"  Just go back through your family vacation photo album and you can probably find all the evidence you need.

3) You realize in the description of the parade, this is what it says:

Watch in wonder as the vivid imagination of Mickey Mouse and his friend Tinker Bell’s enchanted pixie dust paint the night with dazzling Disney dreams, complete with a colorful palette of more than one million glowing lights!

You're a grown ass adult.  You just threw a tantrum to some complete strangers to see dazzling Disney dreams and pixie dust.  F*ck you, lady!

Now, I will complete my own written tantrum here by saying that none of these feelings or comments left my head.  We did respond with a "really?!' as we trekked down the street to find another opportunity, but we did not take the bait and set equally pitiful examples for our own children.  But I couldn't help but editorialize this scenario for the sake of at least starting the conversation.  Why must we be awful to each other?  Why?!  What harm or strain would this have caused her?  This "me, me, me; mine, mine, mine" mentality really irks me.  We stand here, destroying the world around us, claiming to be the pinnacle of civilization, but in the singular moments of our day we can't muster simple common courtesy anymore.  It wouldn't bother me if this was a one off, but it's a daily thing.  And it's sad.  And we're teaching our children that this is how people are supposed to act to one another.  Awesome.

Fortunatly, while that happened and it bothered me, we didn't allow a scene to unfold, and that means that all my kids remember of yesterday is this:
So what did your kids remember, lady?