Pessimistic Optimism

Life as I see it… sort of.

Raw Chicken and Then Some; A Year of Remembrance

One day ago was the one-year anniversary of my first post.  It almost seems like yesterday… plus 364 other days, which I decided to let the world have a peek at my writing.  In the past year I’ve hit the “publish” button 140 times, each one hurled my thoughts and meanderings into the depths of cyberspace for all to see and even scarier, to form an opinion on.  As the days went by and the posts accumulated it got easier to hit the button.  It went from indigestion to butterflies to anticipation to cockiness to apathy to butterflies and so on.

The decision for me to enter the blogosphere came easily after I talked to my nephew last summer about his entertaining blog manninchina.  For some reason, he validated the medium for me so thanks to him Pessimistic Optimism lives, in other words, if you don’t like what you see, he’s to blame.  Don’t upset him too much because I don’t like to fight with family… that’s bigger than me.

Writing somewhat true tales about my life as a father and husband came to me during a visit from an angel in my bedroom advising me that it was God’s will or it came on a whim.  Either way it’s difficult to remember what happened in my life before I started writing it down.  This decision was the most frightening one because I only wrote fiction before this and I wasn’t only putting my writing out there, my life would be on display, too… sort of.  After a year it’s easier for me to write about myself than characters I make up in my head, so I’m not sure if this is for the good or not.  It definitely hasn’t helped me further my fiction-writing career, but I intend to add a fiction page to the blog soon… hopefully.  That might get me in the right direction if the right person reads it.  Stephen or Nelson are you paying attention? 

If you’ve read this blog or others you probably noticed that some people like to comment on what’s posted.  So far, there have been 289 non-spam comments on this hopefully witty display of odd thoughts and stories.  I bet about a third of them came from my keypad, because I heard that acknowledging commentators is the proper thing to do if you want them to comment again or eat their freaking words in a shallow grave covered in chocolate sauce and maggots, but I digress.  One of these comments sent me into a tizzy that led to my most viewed, and probably stupidest post called Raw Chicken Good.  The comment from imhelendt was misinterpreted by my hypersensitive ego and sent me into an over-reaction because only I can pick on my parenting skills even though she really wasn’t.  The title of this post has made it my most viewed because people type “raw chicken” into their search engines just about everyday and my post is the seventh offering on Google as of today and has been as high as number two in the past.  This post has been viewed 804 times, which is probably about 700 more times than any other one yet to date.  It’s good to know that I can be associated with something of such great importance as raw chicken as opposed to world hunger or Quantum physics.

Aunt Weather is my number one commentator and for that she gets a great big wet one… from my dog which I know she’ll enjoy because he absolutely adores her and vice versa.  The person that gets a nod for being tied for the least comments is my beautiful wife.  She has commented here as often as almost every living person in the world, English speaking and otherwise, zero times.  I think she just doesn’t want to show me up, because she’s very funny and sexy and a great mother and wonderful spouse and whatever else give me brownie points.

Hits are something that a lot of bloggers like to watch.  It’s very sad and doesn’t mean a whole lot, but I like this, too.  My site received it’s 12,000th hit in just under a year, so I can say that I average 1,000 hits a month and I wouldn’t be exaggerating like I do in my posts, but I won’t get into what qualifies a hit to be a hit (just so you know, mine don’t count).  Twelve thousand hits might seem like a lot to a non-blogger, but some people get that in one day.  They must have a lot of friends or some kind of nudie thing going on, it couldn’t possibly be that they have an audience that likes to read them.  Some day I aspire to have at least three readers that aren’t reading my posts as an obligation, but that’s just wishful thinking.

An odd bonus of this blogging thing was that I hooked up with Humor-Blogs.com, which introduced me digitally to a few blogophiles that are hilarious, or on an off day, amusing.  One is known as Diesel at Mattress Police - Antisocial Commentary and various other sites, he also commandeers Humor-Blogs.com, and another is a chick from Zoning Out Again who is out there, in a good way.  Humor-blogs somehow lists Pessimistic Optimism  along side the heavy hitters of the humor blogging world without having a disclaimer on it that says only read this one if you are really bored and want to remain that way.  Another site and interesting person I discovered is a guy named Bill that writes a site called Dying mans daily journal, which is an in depth look at a person facing the inevitable.  That’s the uniqueness (word?) about blogs, they can be about anything whether it’s interesting or not as you can see by this site.

Thanks to everyone that’s perused my thoughts this past year and also to those that have read my blog.  I hope to post more often soon when my kids stop taking up all my time so check back in about twenty years. 

Advertisements

August 17, 2007 Posted by | All about me, Blogging, Buffalo, career opportunities, Dogs, family, fiction, Friends, Humor, kids, life, parenthood, Ranting, Writing | 6 Comments

Happy, but wet, 4th of July

Because of the lousy weather, the kids don’t even know that today’s special for anything other than Mommy’s not working on a Wednesday.  I figured that they’re still a little too young for a history lesson about the founding fathers and fireworks.

The whole George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin and the rest of their merry men story might be a little advanced for an almost-four-year-old and a boy that’s two.  They might enjoy the tea party thing, but I didn’t have any costumes on hand and it’s too wet outside to search for feathers for our hair.

As for fireworks, they are a phenomenon that I like to participate in only visually.  I like all my fingers and my hearing too much to throw them away with an M-80 or cherry bomb.  I have no problem with other people taking the risks as long as they don’t share the flying explosives with my roof or my hair, because both artificial materials ignite easily.

I hope all Americans have a great Independence Day.  If you happen to be British and read this, no hard feelings.  Just think of it this way; your offspring has really grown into its own. 

July 4, 2007 Posted by | All about me, Buffalo, family, Humor, kids, life, parenthood, parenting, Ranting, Uncategorized | 6 Comments

Sunshine and Sloppy Tea

The local weather guy said that the Buffalo area had its sunniest May ever this year and my brown lawn agrees with him.  The last eight months have been a weather roller coaster ride.  We had a freaking snowstorm in October, and then only a smidgen of the white stuff came down until well after our “Green Christmas”.  The real WNY winter reared its ugly head in mid-January and decided to stick around until late April.  Finally, May was awesome, if you like warm or hot weather with lots of sunshine and being able to go outside without a parka and snowshoes.

This brings me to what takes place around my humble abode when the weather finally breaks.  WeMy wife scrubbed out the little plastic kiddy-pool and I dragged out the little plastic kiddy-sprinkler and we sent the children out into our yard in their bathing suits to have their annual bath while we hung out in the central-air filled house.  Okay, okay on the chance that the authorities are reading this, we hung out on the deck enjoying drinks with little umbrellas in them and supervised the children, of course.

Like their Mom, the kids put on their little thinking caps and placed their Little Tykes slide into the pool.  That combined with the sprinkler and the the play fountain of theirs created their very own mini water park.  With all this going on you’d think the kids would be self-sufficient, but you’d be wrong, because the little leaches wanted something more; attention.  I guess all the cool material objects weren’t enough, because we actually had to play with them.  What’s next, affection?

My daughter did what most people like to do on a sweltering day; she had a tea party.  She gathered her tea party essentials, you know, a teapot, sugar bowl, toy Shrek and two tea cups from her playhouse and placed them on a table near the pool.  Her ability to adapt to the situation at hand presented itself when I witnessed how she ‘played’ tea party.  She filled the two tea cups and then drank them both herself.  I was a little disappointed that she didn’t offer one to me, my wife or her little brother until I saw what she was actually doing.   She didn’t really drink the grass-laden water she had scooped out of the pool with the teapot; she put the cups to her closed mouth and let the water drip down her body.  At first I thought that she was imitating how I usually drink my coffee in the morning, but then I realized that she was just cooling herself off in a unique way.

I would have joined her, but I didn’t want to get my thong wet. 

June 2, 2007 Posted by | Buffalo, family, Humor, kids, life, parenthood, parenting, Ranting, weather | 5 Comments

STUCK!

My little angel got herself into a bit of a pickle last night and it happened right before my eyes in a public place without me noticing until too late.

The hunger bug hit me for the third time yesterday around six pm so the family and I cruised down Transit Road to a little place called Applebee’s.  Those of you not from Western New York probably haven’t heard of it, but it’s a pretty cool establishment. Especially since it’s filled with all kinds of sports regalia, including Bills and Sabres stuff and one corner was even devoted to UB (the University of Buffalo).  My guess is that Mr. Applebee is a graduate or his kids go there.

The vast availability of parking spaces told me that there’d be no wait this time, which I’ll have to admit was a little disappointing because my wife and I found a fun way to skip restaurant purgatory, which is where all the people waiting to be seated are jammed in a six by eight cell hallway with way too few seats and they do their time staring straight ahead hoping not to attract the attention of the one person that wants to talk to strangers.  We avoid this voluntary incarceration by heading to the bar.  I know that a lot of people do this, but we do it with two small children. 

My daughter loves kneeling on the stool and touching all the drink accompaniments.  Her favorites are the lemons and limes.  Be rest assured that we always make sure she doesn’t suck all the juice out before she puts them back in the jar.  My son’s usually content with playing with his cars on the mahogany, but occasionally likes to follow the grain of the wood with his tongue until he almost falls off of his stool.  When we’re in these situations we use the motto if they’re happy, we’re happy.  This wouldn’t be necessary this time because my intelligent deduction was correct and there would be no wait.

The word “car” reverberated through my ears as we passed multiple pictures of racecars on the short walk to our designated no-wait table.  The boy’s obsession with our four-wheeled gas guzzling necessities was in full force last night.  The restaurant proved to be an enabler by having a NASCAR show on one of the TV’s he could see.  This actually wasn’t a bad thing because it would help occupy his over stimulated mind.

The menu I perused was unique to me; it was interactive, something like a scratch ‘n sniff.  A more accurate term would be touch ‘n taste because it was covered with bar B Q sauce, which was delicious, but I was in the mood for something else.

My wife and I enjoyed our entrees while the kid’s shared an order of mac ‘n cheese and applesauce.  The waiter brought extra napkins per my request because I could tell this would be a messy one.  I used the last one after my final bite of burger and we cleaned the kids with wet wipes unaware of what was to come.

As I signed the check I noticed peripherally that my daughter’s head was sideways through the wrought iron design on the separation between the dining rooms.  This seemed odd to me because her head is usually straight so I asked my wife to back up the little escape artist’s chair and remove her head… from the railing.  My wife misunderstood my poorly directed instructions; she thought I wanted her to back her away from the wall, not the table so this didn’t help the situation much.

Finally I got out of my chair and tried to free her.  It looked simple; just slide her towards the biggest opening and guide her out slowly.  This didn’t work.  Whatever path her head took for entry was no longer available.  I calmly informed a waitress about our predicament and she calmly freaked out.  I asked her to relax while trying to excavate my little captive and she went off to cry to her manager or get help or something.  At this point many emotions raced through me; fear that my daughter was hurt; embarrassment because people were starting to stare; and believe it or not, amusement.  Don’t get me wrong, I did feel badly for my now crying daughter, but the scene unfolding before my eyes was surreal.

I patiently tried to work my daughter’s head out again, but her noggin grew or the opening shrunk because she wasn’t budging.  Even though I’ve been in this situation before with other people’s children I didn’t think of an obvious possible solution until a busybody Good Samaritan asked if I could pull the bars apart.  Duh!  So I used my super-human strength and pulled the bars apart a little and her head popped out and was straight again just the way I like it.

As soon as she gained her freedom three staff members came to her rescue.  I think they were disappointed that they missed their chance at being heroes, but I’m sure someone will need the Heimlich sooner or later and they’ll be up to the task.

We got out of there as fast as possible.  Well, we did stop at the hostess podium and scammed two balloons for the kiddies.  So, I guess, we got out of there relatively fast… as possible.

My curious three-and-a-half-year-old was no worse for the wear and she hasn’t brought it up since.  It will probably come out in therapy when she’s a young adult.  There goes my retirement money.        

May 16, 2007 Posted by | Buffalo, family, Humor, kids, life, parenthood, parenting | 5 Comments

Now That I’m a Star, Where are the Perks

It’s been two days since the media confirmed the one thing that I always knew; I belong in the limelight.  Look below for another glimpse of my performance.

Star Maker

Now that you’ve seen it again please tell me how come I still have to do all the same things I did before I “made it”?  Today, I changed diapers, did laundry, grocery shopped, had a good cry and ran the dishwasher just like almost any other day.  I thought the world was going to be my oyster or at the least my toaster by now, but the only out of the ordinary positive thing that happened was that my daughter had a great potty day.

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t want to be treated differently, but some kind of financial reward would be nice… soon.  Some free time would come in handy, too.  Maybe I could break 100 on the golf course if I get out more than once a year.  That only applies if Putt-Putt’s still in business, of course.

I need to nip this negative thing in the bud quickly because I know the good stuff is on its way.  It’s just taking a little longer than I expected for Brad and Angelina to ring me up for a fun n’ sun in a Mozambique Aids camp with the wife and kids.  I thought, at the least, I’d be asked to play a rapist on Law & Order SUV, by now.

I guess I’ll go on like nothing happened until something happens.  It’s not easy being in demand when no one’s knocking on my door.  Maybe I’ll wait outside.

May 10, 2007 Posted by | All about me, Buffalo, career opportunities, firefighting, Humor, life, Ranting, Television, Usual Day at the Office | 8 Comments

Career Photo Op, Chance of a Lifetime

My job occasionally gives me the opportunity to be an extra on television and in this modern age, on the web.  I don’t get paid for this, but the possible exposure can only boost my writing career.  I never know when the occasion will present itself, so I always have to make sure I look my best while I’m working.  I need to take advantage of any chance I get. 

Yesterday afternoon the cameras were rolling and I actually made the cut on both mediums.  I hate to brag, but I was brilliant.  Even though I was only on TV for a second, I hit it out of the park.  I was so good that the news station used a still frame of me for its main promo on the web.  I’m talking; it was the first photograph on the home page.  This is big-time, baby.

I’ve been walking on air all day today because of my new-found celebrity.  When I went to the bank everyone acted as though they didn’t recognize me, but I saw them talking to each other about me around the conference table behind the glass partition that said Employees OnlyIt was almost sickening how they pretended not to notice me.

If there’s a downside to my exposure it’s the way my family and co-workers will probably treat me now.  They’ll wait on me hand and foot or shower me with gifts just to make sure I take them along for the ride.  I really hope they don’t do those things, but I’m keeping tabs.

I’m reluctantly putting the pic in the following link only because it needs to be seen: Star Maker.

No, we don’t all look alike, and yes, I’m positive it’s me.  I think it shows my best side, just like my web log photo: My Best Side.  I might want to shave my neck, though.

Just so all three of you that read this thing know I will remain the same humble guy no matter where this incredible stroke of luck takes me.  Say hi to all the little people for me. 

May 9, 2007 Posted by | All about me, Buffalo, career opportunities, firefighting, Humor, life, Ranting, Television, Usual Day at the Office | 7 Comments

Jumping for Joy

Today’s the boy’s birthday and he loves it… I think.  He doesn’t exactly verbalize everything clearly, yet, but he’s jumped for joy a few times already and we’re still in the AM and haven’t even given him his multitude of gifts.  As for the jumping for joy, I wish that I still did that, but at my age I’d probably break my hip or at the least, twist my ankle.

Shouts of “happy birthday” greeted the little guy as my wife ceremoniously paraded him into the kitchen right after he woke up.  My daughter’s over-exuberant chant excited the birthday boy so much that the second his toes touched linoleum he leapt toward the ceiling and cackled.  Then he noticed the toy cars assembled around a Little People birthday cake and got air, again, and immediately joined in on the celebration with his little wheeled friends.

There are probably at least one hundred toy cars in our house at the moment and I have the feeling there will be many more by the end of the day.  It’s not that I think the boy cars and girl cars are up to something, even though that would be worth watching or videoing, I just know that the pool of gift-givers coming to the party knows that he loves cars and will shower him with them.

I’m guessing that the boy’s jumps for joy will multiply exponentially as the day goes on and it will be a birthday to remember.  For us that is, because at two his memories will most likely just grow out of the plethora of pictures that will be taken today so I better smile whether I’m happy, frazzled or delirious.  My guess is I’ll be the former most of the day unless, of course, the kids don’t do exactly what I want them to do… quietly.

April 15, 2007 Posted by | Buffalo, Donuts, family, Humor, kids, life, parenthood, parenting | 4 Comments

Sorry Mr. Photographer

I wrote a post about a Lying @#$%ing Photographer the other day and I think he might of read it because my little angel’s pic did end up appearing in a newspaper on March 18, nine days after the shot was taken.  Because of this I feel that I need to apologize for my scathing attack on this defenseless picture taker.

My only complaint about the photo is that it was only in the Niagara County edition of the local newspaper and we don’t even live in Niagara County.  Lucky for us, my in-laws do, and they joyfully collected all their neighbor’s papers so our family members could have copies for ourselves.  I just hope no one saw them in the act of collecting the papers or they might be in the Niagara County edition crime & courts section next week.

The picture itself was huge and colorful and um, er, showed my daughter, er, um, with her fingers in her mouth pulling it wide open while my wife, son, and I looked on.  This is one of those proud Daddy moments and all I can say is that she’s definitely her Mother’s daughter.

March 19, 2007 Posted by | Buffalo, family, kids, life, Myrtle Beach, parenthood, parenting | 3 Comments

Lying @#$%ing Photographer

Last Friday we had the pleasure of flying on the inaugural flight for Myrtle Beach Direct Air from Niagara Falls, NY to Myrtle Beach.  I included the destination in case a couple of you couldn’t connect the name of the airline with where it took us.  It was a festive scene at the airport with a band and some media.  Unfortunately, if there were any free cocktails they must have just been for the crew because I didn’t see any.

The airport has a small terminal with a huge runway that we were able to see while waiting for our plane to arrive.  When it landed the media types snapped pictures and filmed much of the usually mundane happenings of a plane unboarding.  They even pulled a couple of people aside for interviews.  What interesting info could they possibly have gotten from questions like How did it feel to fly here? or Was it everything you thought it would be?  Maybe someone cared, I guess.

There was one photographer who I thought had an eye for a good story because he took photographs of my little girl looking out at the plane.  She hammed it up for at least ten pics and then he came inside and asked us her name and age for the local newspaper.  If I would have been thinking on my feet I could of made up a funny one, like Marsha Mallow or Britney Aguilera but we gave the real one instead.  I’ve never considered myself to be a publicity hound but I actually liked the idea of my daughter’s picture being in the paper.  We called both sets of grandparents to warn them because we knew they’d love to see their granddaughter in print and so they could brag to their friends.

The next morning came and we checked the on-line version of the paper and the story did not include a picture of our precious un-camera shy beauty queen, but did include a photograph of the first person to head out onto the tarmac to board our flight, who, I must say, isn’t as attractive as my daughter.  If it sounds like sour grapes, that’s because it is.

The reality is that it doesn’t matter that she wasn’t in the newspaper because we probably have about twenty thousand pictures of her already and one more wouldn’t make a difference.  Besides, now we won’t have to field all those modeling agency calls that the picture would have generated.  At least not for another fifteen years or so… I hope.   

March 14, 2007 Posted by | Buffalo, family, Humor, life, Myrtle Beach, parenthood, parenting | 1 Comment

Superbowl Woes

I’m a football fan and enjoy the Super Bowl as much as most people, but it brings back bad memories from the early ’90’s.  Yes, I’m a Buffalo Bills fan.  Many of us try to convince ourselves that it was great just getting there four years in a row, but that’s just a rationalization to keep us sane.  I try to block out the bad stuff, like Norwood’s wide left, Thurman’s missing helmet, and me crying in the fetal position in the bathtub, but reminders come out of the woodwork this time of year.  Yesterday, I turned on ESPN just in time to see the football just miss the goal post and witness Bill Parcells being carried across the field with a huge grin on his face.  This rebroadcast brought that feeling of eating three spicy burritos in less than ten minutes back to my stomach.

Since the Bills aren’t there, again, I’m hoping to enjoy the game for what it usually is, an over-exposed spectacle of hopefully funny commercials often interrupted by some poorly played football.  I love that the winners of this usually lopsided contest are declared the world champions even though all the teams play in the U.S.  Do sports leagues in other countries make similar proclamations?  For instance, does the Nigerian Shoeless Sprinting League declare their race winner the world champion shoeless runner?  Or does the Fiji Clam Shucker Association declare the best shucker a world champion?  I really don’t know, but I doubt it.

I think I’m just jaded because my beloved Bills have never been deemed world champions.  The way they played the second half of the season shows me that we still have hope they’ll make it someday.  Unfortunately, it usually only takes a few games in the beginning of the season to say maybe next year.  Go Bills!

My pick for this year is the Kevin Federline commercial, er, I mean, the Colts by more than ten. 

February 2, 2007 Posted by | All about me, Buffalo, football | 2 Comments

Brrrr

It’s freaking cold outside.  This is the type of cold that not only freezes your nose hairs, but also tunnels under your layers of clothing and sends a chill up your ass… I need to stop wearing those low-rise jeans.  The little temperature reading on the morning news reads 5 degrees, and that’s not Centigrade for you metric freaks.

In most winters a January freeze is no big deal in Western New York, but this year Mother Nature let us off easy after kicking our ass in the October Surprise storm, until now, so I wasn’t mentally prepared for it.  Not that I’m mentally prepared for most things in life, but that’s a different story.

Some regular routines have to be altered to survive in this weather.  One of them is how you take care of your pets.  Hopefully the kids or Al Roker don’t distract me enough this morning after I let my dog out in the yard.  I’d hate to go to the back door an hour later and find him frozen to the deck, it’s a bitch to clean this time of year.  Yes, even dogs shouldn’t be exposed to this weather very long, with a few exceptions, like Huskies and poodles.  Did I mention my dislike for poodles?  As for cats, I think owners are encouraged to let them out in this weather, even if they’re primarily house cats.  Those shut-ins need to see the outside world and there’s no better time than now.  Little frozen whiskers are good character builders and it let’s them know who’s the boss… at least until they thaw out. 

My kids aren’t in school yet so they don’t have to be exposed to this cold, unless I’m out of Budweiser or cheese.  But I’d hope they could drink something else until this chill blows over.  I probably won’t take them outside today because of the hypothermia and frostbite dangers, but if they don’t behave I might shut the heat off for a little while and keep them in the den, where the average temperature on a 45 degrees day is 48 degrees.  I’m kidding, I wouldn’t do that to the little bastards, but I can’t speak for my wife.

I guess the most important thing to keep in mind while we’re freezing our behinds off in Buffalo, Paris Hilton and friends are suffering, too.  The high in Beverly Hills is only going to hit 66 degrees today.    

January 26, 2007 Posted by | Buffalo, Dogs, Humor, kids, parenthood, Ranting | 2 Comments

Zoo Rescue

Indian summer invaded Western New York this week and we took advantage of it by heading to The Buffalo Zoo.   The usual cast of characters went on the adventure sans dog, but Uncle and Aunt NJ joined in on the fun.

We waited until the boy woke from his nap to inform the most excited zoo goers where we were venturing to and then we told the kids.  Our daughter ran around the house as excited as Mark Foley on Congress’s new page day, except hers was in good clean fun.  The boy acted hyper too, but that was because he saw one of his cars on the floor, and little things like that excite him… just like his father. 

Our daughter recognized the zoo’s sign when we arrived and told our guests that we were there.  The kids liked the elephants and bears but our little girl was a little disappointed that the germ-infested petting zoo wasn’t open.

“Are the animals sleeping, Mommy and Daddy?”

“Some of them are, little one,” I said even though I really didn’t know if they were sleeping or vacationing in Des Moines, but I had to give her an answer.

We usually bring our lunch to the zoo to avoid the over-priced roller dogs and chicken(?) nuggets but we wanted to live life on the edge or we’re just lazy, so we ate there.  The counter woman was slower than my mind could comprehend and she forgot to give us our fifty cents change back and just waited next to the already microwaved food much longer than necessary.  Maybe she hoped Uncle NJ and I would forget about the two shiny quarters waiting to be transferred to my pocket.  I asked her for the change when she got within shouting distance and she gave me a look, and then she proceeded to count out five little dimes and threw them at me (okay, she handed them to me with an unfeeling “sorry.”).

We sat at a pint-sized table across from the “jungle gym” and thoroughly enjoyed our lunch.  I thought that it’d be the same bad food that you get at most amusement type destinations, but I was wrong; the hot dogs were juicy, the cheeseburgers were tasty and the fries were hot and crispy. 

The kids ate as much as can be expected while staring at the playground so we cleaned everyone up with wet wipes and headed where they wanted to go.  This is a great entertainer for the kids who need a break from staring at animals from the other side of a fence or window.  Here they can act like the little animals that they are.

Our daughter’s a pro at this place so she ran up into the snake tube without looking back, but my son always stays on the ground floor and plays with the steering wheels and tic-tac-toe type of things.  This time was different, he worked his way up the staggered cushioned steps and went to the slide and slid right down.  I beamed with delight, the proud dad of a boy without fear.  This came back to haunt me a couple minutes later when young Mr. Fearless went back up the steps.  This time he skipped the slide and moved on to bigger and better things, the snake tube.  This thing can be a parent’s worst nightmare because most adults don’t fit up there and would have a tough time retrieving a child that’s unwilling to come down on their own.  We experienced this at a fast-food restaurant’s playground last year with our daughter.  It took forever for her to come down after much pleading, threatening and bribing from quite a distance away.

We watched our boy with a combination of horror and delight as he entered into the tunnel behind a group of older kids.  Any other kid up there at the time was an older kid so he wanted to do what they were doing.  He disappeared from our sight immediately and we hoped for the best.  My wife, brother-in-law, and sister-in-law waited by the slide hoping that the boy would come tumbling down soon.  Instead, we noticed a bottleneck at the tube entrance and came to the conclusion that something, make that someone, was stuck in there.  The sun shined through the plastic cylinder and revealed a 32-inch body unsuccessfully trying to ascend deeper up the tube.  We could tell that it wasn’t going to happen.  Before we argued over who’d go get him, I knew I wouldn’t fit; my wife found our daughter and gave her a mission.

“Go and help your little brother out of the tube, please,” my wife pleaded.

“Okay, Mommy!”

Before we knew it, my wife and her crew could here a little girl’s voice coming out of the slide.

“This is my brother and I have to bring him to my mommy and daddy.”

Then I heard the same thing on my end and I could see my strong little girl pulling on a leg in the tube.  She looked at an older girl and determinedly explained the situation to her.  The five-year-old looked at her with a “get a move on” expression.  I think she wanted to get in the tube and was sick of waiting.  My son was successfully removed from the tube a few seconds later, feet first, of course.

“Good job, little one,” I said.

She smiled at me and went back in the tube.  Our son sat there enjoying the moment with a huge grin on his face.  I think he knew what he was doing.  I hurried up the rope ladder and brought him down by us for good.  We didn’t need to go through this a second time.  Especially since some of those little kids seemed pretty upset that someone blocked their path to parental freedom.

We were very proud of our three-year-old daughter coming through in the clutch that we promised to get her something at the gift shop on our way out.  This is a big thing for her because we’ve only bought something there once or twice in all of the times we’ve been there.

We watched the Macaques for quite a while because they were climbing trees, fences and each other and then we saw the giraffes, which our daughter loves.  They were far away from the viewing area this time so it wasn’t as awe-inspiring.

When it was time to leave our daughter joined my wife on a quest to find a souvenir.  After much contemplation and mind changing she settled on a stuffed penguin she named Penny.  The funny thing is that there aren’t any penguins at this zoo.

Like usual the children did not disappoint us on this family outing.  They find ways to make things fun and memorable… I think we’ll keep them.
   

November 29, 2006 Posted by | Buffalo, kids, parenthood, zoo | Leave a comment