Pessimistic Optimism

Life as I see it… sort of.

No School For You

Something just didn’t seem right when we arrived at my daughter’s school today.  There was a different vibe to the place and an odd odor floated about.  The owner of the school walked outside to speak with the mothers and me while we were swapping recipes.  This was unusual in itself on two counts.  Number one: the teacher usually greeted us; and B. the school actually has an owner.

The forty-something dictatoreducator advised us that due to a plumbing problem, class was cancelled today.  When I attended St. GiveMeYo$ I thoroughly enjoyed surprise days off because of things like snowstorms, water main breaks or faculty arrests, but my daughter reacted quite differently; she was distraught.  She couldn’t get it through her pretty little braided head that she was being denied access to HER classroom.

It took us a little while to walk back to the van because my studicious genius kept stopping to see why she had to be with Daddy and her brother instead of her school friends and teachers.  She wanted this nightmare to be over.  That’s when my sensitive side took over.

“Honey, school’s closed today.  That’s just the way it is.”

“I don’t want it to be closed,” she said.  “I’m the star of the week” (a rotating honor was bestowed upon her this week and she obviously looked forward to it).

“Me neither, beautiful, but it’s out of my control and you’ll still be the star of the week tomorrow.” 

Unfortunately the conversation didn’t end there.

“Why is my school closed?”

I figured that honesty was the best policy with a four-year-old so I explained that the toilets were broken.

“The kids won’t have to use the toilet,” she said.

Wow, that would be a solution if all the preschoolers adhered to my daughter’s proclaimation.  Unfortunately the teachers and the “owner” probably wouldn’t take her word for it so I didn’t bother making this suggestion.

“I’m sorry, big girl, but you can’t go to school today.”

That’s when the water works kicked in.  By this time we were at the van and she didn’t want to admit defeat so she refused to climb on in so I lifted her somewhat gently and tried unsuccessfully to get her seated comfortably.  She immediately ran the three feet across the van and stood in front of her now screaming brother.  I guess he already knows that old statement misery loves company.  At this point I considered joining in but decided the best thing to do was distract them and strap her in before she knew what hit her.  The hitting her’s only a figure of speech so don’t call the authorities just yet.  My “look at the hippo” stunned them just enough to give my ears a break and gave me the opportunity to strap the dejected princess in her car seat.

Her despair really set in as we drove away.

“Someone’s bringing a snack and I’m not going to eat it with my friends,” she said.

That’s when my supreme ingenuity kicked in.

“Would you like to have a special snack with your friend in the seat next to you when we get home?”

Her face lit up and she giggled. 

“Daddy, you mean my brother can be my friend and we can have a snack together?”

“Exactly.  We can pretend that he’s just your friend and you can have a snack and some juice together.”

At this point the doldrums left the vehicle and she speculated what the snack might be and so did I.  Hopefully I could meet her expectations with something out of the ordinary.  

Back at the ranch I rustled the kids into the house with promises of a fun snack.  They eagerly climbed into their chairs as I filled bowls with trail mix that had M&Ms in it and they were ecstatic.

My daughter’s passion for learning and socializing pleased me to no end, but the fact that a good snack is the only cure for her morose attitude might lead to a weight problem if we have a harsh winter with a lot of snow days this year.  Does Jenny Craig have a preschool program?

October 1, 2007 Posted by | family, Humor, kids, life, parenthood, parenting, preschool, school | 5 Comments

The Waiting (part one)

I’m not much of a dieter so take what I have to say with a (multi-) grain of salt and a pound of sugar.

I took the daughter to BJ’s the other night to do a little bulk shopping because we were down to seventeen rolls of Charmin and two 19.7 oz. boxes of Honey Nut Cheerios at the house so it was obviously time to replenish the shelves in our basement. 

We hit a little bump in the road in the beginning of our excursion, as my daughter puked in the parking lot before we went inside.  This was kind of odd because our boy’s usually the puker (see Yummy, Blleh, Bbllleeehhh, Yummy), but she’s a trooper and decided to carry on with the mission without any prodding from me.  All did seem well when we headed in because her stomach must’ve been empty by the size of the puddle in front of the Lexus’s driver’s door parked next to us.

After the quick cleanup in the men’s room the two of us loaded mass quantities of things we use at the house into the cart.  You know, like, four tubes of toothpaste, two huge jugs of refillable anti-bacterial soap, eight tubs of Vaseline, six jars of mayo and an apple.  Just things we needed… I thought.  I should have brought a list.

I knew that we needed wheat bread so we headed toward that area with high hopes of getting what we needed.  No such luck.  After pacing back-and-forth between the three bread aisles for about thirty minutes I came to the conclusion that they were out of the butter-top version I usually buy; all that was left was the whole-grain stuff, which I know is good for you, but tastes like a sponge, or cardboard, or something non-food like.  You may ask, have you actually tasted it, and the answer would be a resounding YES… I think. 

I thought about stopping somewhere else on the way home, but it was almost my little girl’s bedtime and I figured that we could handle whole-grain for once.  Let me rephrase that, the kid’s and my wife could handle whole-grain for once so I grabbed a loaf and headed to the checkout.

This short story made long was what brought me to my current state of fear.  I discovered yesterday that I didn’t buy the whole-grain loaf; I bought multi-grain instead by accident.  I really don’t know anything about multi-grain besides that it smells like PLAYDOH, but I did read on the package it’s a great source of fiber.  This kind of scares me because my kids don’t really need any assistance in the bathroom.  Well, not that kind of assistance.  If anything, I’d like to curb their output if possible.  Even though this stuff went through my mind I fed it to both of them anyway.  My son’s eaten it yesterday and today with his jelly and peanut butter and my daughter today only with hers.

The boy has gone dump-less since before his first taste of this flavorless vessel for things you normally put on a sandwich, such as jelly, peanut butter, lunch meat, salmon or cheese, so I’m hoping it isn’t some sort of time-released colon bomb that goes off in 48 hours because I think the load would exceed the maximum capacity of his pull-up.  If this faux food affects people differently, my daughter might be in a bind at preschool right now if it hits her just right so I’m keeping my fingers crossed. 

It seems to be out of my control so it’s just a waiting game.  Hopefully it’s worth the wait.

September 18, 2007 Posted by | family, Humor, kids, life, parenthood, parenting, Uncategorized | 4 Comments

No Playing in Preschool

My daughter’s new to the whole school scene this year so we like to interrogate her when she gets dismissed from her daily 2 1/2 hour ordeal.  We ask open-ended questions like What’d you do today, What did you learn, Is your teacher a bitch, and What kids did you play with.

Her answer to the last question floored me. 

“Kids are not supposed to play with other kids in preschool.” 

It kind of inferred an answer to question number three until my daughter revealed the origin of this edict through further prodding, er questioning.

“Who said that kids aren’t supposed to play with kids?” I asked.

“I did,” she said.  “Kids are only supposed to play with toys by themselves at preschool.”

There had to be more to this so I asked a leading question.

“Did one of your teachers say this?”

“No, Daddy.  I came up with this by myself.”

“Are you sure that your teacher didn’t say this while she was screaming at the class?” I asked innocently.

“No Daddy, the teacher doesn’t scream at the class, she talks nicely.”

After some reassurance my wife and I convinced her that it’s okay to play with other kids at preschool and that in fact her teacher’s not a bitch and I really need to accept the fact that my little girl’s in someone else’s capable hands part of the day.  At least it’s only part of the day… for this year at least.

September 15, 2007 Posted by | family, Humor, kids, life, parenthood, parenting, preschool | 2 Comments

Makeout Sessions and Potty Talk

My little girl’s growing up way too fast.  It seems like she just went to school for the first time last week.  Oh yeah, she did just go to school for the first time last week.  So much has changed about her, or me, depending on whom you ask.  I’ve caught her practically making out… twice. 

The first time she lip-locked the boy across the street, which was okay, sort of, because he moved away later that day.  No, it wasn’t because of some futile threat I might have or have not thrown at him that said something about castration.  He’s six, so he probably doesn’t even know what the word means.  I probably shouldn’t have drawn pictures for him.

The second time happened right in front of me, again.  This girl needs a little dose of modesty added to her Fruit Loops in the morning.  While waiting for the teacher to open the preschool door my angel planted a big wet one on a kid in her class.  Luckily for the kissee, he acted like he didn’t enjoy it so I didn’t have to play Pictionary with him, I’ll just keep my eye on the little miscreant.

Another sign of growing up or at least maturing came from something she told my wife.  A more accurate term might be im-maturing even if that’s not a real word.  She explained to my lovely wife that a toot, AKA a fart, flatulation or air biscuit is made up of two poops in her body smashing together.  She surmised this from the information she received about thunder coming from two clouds crashing together.  This kid might have a future in science or as a shock jock.  I prefer the former unless she goes into syndication with the latter.

As a parent for life, I guess I’ll just have to get used to the kids “growing up”, but I don’t have to like it.  Then again, there must be some advantages to them getting older.  Is four to early to mow the lawn?

September 12, 2007 Posted by | family, Humor, kids, life, parenthood, parenting | 2 Comments

Emergency Guidelines or Mere Suggestions

When I’m not playing with my wife and/or kids or writing I’m probably working at my 48 hours-a-week side job, firefighting.  This time-killer gives me an inside view of what many people do in extreme situations or at least stressful ones.  Unfortunately, I’m disappointed often by a lot of people’s attitudes toward emergency situations, their lack of realization that it is an emergency situation, or the fact that I have to see these people sans make-up or clothing a little too often. 

I’d like to rhetorically ask you some questions about some of the things I encounter on a daily basis.   

If four firefighters with medical equipment were in an elevator would you get on and press a lower floor?  What if you were about to be late for work or really had to pee?

I hope your answer to both questions was a resounding no, but I know some people are oblivious to their surroundings whatever the situation is before them.  In fact, this happened to me the other day when a rude little man reached into the elevator and pressed four immediately after hearing us say we we’re going to eight so we kindly helped him out of the elevator doorway and left him behind to feel shame.  People like this are not only ignorant and selfish, but also downright pathetic and should be made to wait the next time something bad happens to them, like an axe to their forehead or a fire hose tied too tightly around their neck.

If an alarm’s ringing in your apartment building and firefighters are going in loaded with heavy equipment and SCBAs (air tanks) on their backs should you walk into the building and get in their way?  What if your dog or turtle was still in your apartment or you left the pigs’ knuckles in the frying pan?

Again, I hope you answered no.  Normal people get out of the way of firefighters during an emergency situation unless they have pertinent information to share, like which apartment the stove’s left on in or if their grandma’s doing yoga naked in 4B.  Some things you need to be mentally prepared for.

If an emergency vehicle’s driving with lights flashing and sirens blaring either behind you or coming towards you should you pull to the side of the road or at the least stop your vehicle before it’s on your ass?  What if you might end up sitting through another red light and might miss the first five minutes of Judge Judy as a result?

This time the answer should be yes unless you want a fire truck to do its best monster truck impression on your VW Jetta or you don’t need your hearing, which will be impaired by the air horn pressed incessantly until you are in our dust.  You probably won’t be shot the bird physically, but make it understood it is being sent telepathically fourfold.

Feel free to pass this information on to your friends, loved ones and local politicians, unless they’re in the airport restroom because they might take that for something else, the politicians that is (see Larry Craig, US Senator for Idaho).

August 30, 2007 Posted by | firefighting, Humor, life, Ranting | 3 Comments

Watchdog, My Arse

Man’s best friend has a lot of good uses in this world.  Number one is probably being a, well, best friend, but after that our furry possessions perform numerous other tasks on a daily basis for their supposedly smarter two-legged dog license holders.

Like most dogs mine wears many hats, and he looks damn good in them, especially the Stetson accompanied by some spurs.  Never mind that, but he does serve many purposes for my family.

He’s a fantastic plaything for the kiddies, you know, something to pull at or climb on or just plain pet and he never shies away from them unless he sees them coming.  When he bucks them off when their hand or foot accidentally hits the right spot he looks in my direction for approval and I nod.  I figure that he needs to get his licks in, too.

Having our dog around fulfills a lot of basic needs at my house and none of them have anything to do with peanut butter.  His thick mane makes a great footrest which is mutually beneficial because my feet stay warm and my corns and warts and whatever the hell else is growing down there scratches his back for him.  Stress reliever is a job that my k-9 boy relishes, I think, because he always listens to me, most of the time, and no one else does, most of the time and this makes me feel good.  I didn’t even have to beat him to obey, much.

Fertilizer is a job title that most dogs take to heart.  Mine’s going for top dog in this field.  He’s so proficient at it that I share his talents with my neighbors when they’re sleeping or not home.  I have him do this because I think everyone should be empowered the same way I am every time I shovel up a load of yesterday’s Kibblesn Bits.  It’s kind of like a Robin Hood thing, but has nothing to do with stealing or gold or anything similar to the story about that tight-wearing freak.

I have to admit that my four-legged boy isn’t as good at one of his chores, being a vacuum for dropped food.  The finicky pooch ignores the conveniently dropped veggies while scarfing up the chicken, steak or SPAM.  The sad part is that this was exactly the reason why we wanted a dog in the first place, sort of.

One of the most important things a dog can do is protect your home from intruders or Tony Danza.  A good watchdog’s priceless as long as he doesn’t eat you or one of your children or was previously owned by Michael Vick.  My family thought we had the best because he always barks loudly at people walking by or urinating in our bushes, that is until the other day.  It was just a regular night with my wife and I getting cozy on the couch using Fido as a footrest while watching The Girls Next Door when our child’s finger painting masterpiece sailed off of the kitchen wall and made an odd noise.  The not-so-brave doggy jumped up, stuck his tail between his legs and whimpered endlessly.  I guess that’s what we get for choosing a Golden Retriever.

August 27, 2007 Posted by | Dogs, family, Humor, kids, life, parenthood, Ranting | 4 Comments

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. 

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

Little Swinger

I am free at last, free at last.  My daughter has made me feel like a Gen X-er for the first time by permitting me to be a lazier father.  I’ve been waiting for this day for a while and today it finally arrived by surprise.

We have a swing set in our yard.  Said swing set is used a lot by both of my children, a few neighbor kids and one strange little fellow who sneaks in late at night, but we’ll leave him out of this.  My four-year-old always wants to be pushed while swinging and I get a little fed up with having to be the pusher.  I don’t know if you know this, but I have to get out of my comfortable hammock to push her every time, so I tried to teach her how to pump.  I’ve tried over and over, but it hasn’t sunk in, until today.

I’d like to take credit for this spectacular milestone, but it happened while I was in the pool.  I heard my name mentioned, you know, Daddy, while floating around so I peeked at my wonderful little girl swinging her little heart out perfectly.  It was pure poetry in motion, if you like that kind of thing, that is.

She caught my eye and shouted out with glee, “I’m swinging, Daddy.”

“You look glorious Little One, glorious,” I yelled.

Okay, okay, it was more like, “That’s great Little One, I’m very proud of you.”  A little encouragement can go a long way, especially if the activity makes my life easier.

My face was moist, but I think it was from me falling off my Spongebob float and had nothing to do with the idea of not having to leave the hammock again… unless the boy wants to swing, of course.

August 5, 2007 Posted by | family, Humor, kids, life, parenthood, parenting | 2 Comments

Fashion Plate

My boy knows how to get under my skin.  He can turn a beautiful morning of singing and prancing laughing and dancing into one of screaming and crying in a split second.  I don’t know why he does this because he knows I hate to scream and cry.

The other day’s breakfast was a typical one of frivolity over pancakes and sausages smothered in syrup.  My daughter somehow managed, in between giggles, to wolf down two pancakes shaped like the letter “C” and three sausage links shaped like … sausage links, and my son did the same, except that his were shaped like circles, the pancakes that is, and he ended his meal a little differently than his big sister.

Most civilized children either hand their sticky plate to their parent or at least leave it sitting in front of them when they’re done; my little guy decided to be a comedian after his last bite.  The little ham placed the Lightning Mcqueen plate jelly side down on top of his head and smiled for the camera even though there wasn’t one.  The syrup coated plate hung there like a hat until I peeled it off.

Somehow I let this infuriate me.  So much so that I think steam literally shot out of my ears.  I said profound things like, “don’t you know that we just washed your hair last night?” and “I can’t believe you just did that.”  He looked at me and just grinned, which sent me through the roof.  I almost wasn’t going to clean him up to teach him a lesson, but then I realized that his stickiness would spread to all things clean in our house and that just wasn’t worth it.  I even thought about setting him on the floor and letting our dog lick him clean, but the two-year-old would enjoy that too much.

My daughter was already set free from the table when this took place but watched with amusement as her daddy had a meltdown.  She’s seen it before; I go on a tirade for a minute or two, come to my senses and try to laugh about the horrible situation one of my offspring put us in.   This time was no different, by the time I cleaned the boy up, I knew that getting upset was futile and childish, the most important thing was to get even.  My boy better watch his back because vengeance is a dish best served cold or something like that.

August 4, 2007 Posted by | family, Humor, kids, life, parenthood, parenting, Ranting | 4 Comments

Sticky Fingers, Almost

There are certain images that all of us carry in our heads that we wish could be magically erased, like seeing someone naked we shouldn’t have, Father O’Malley, or a nasty dead body, Father O’Malley.  I just inserted another one in the bank that will probably stick with me for the rest of my life or at least until I’m back in diapers.

The whole thing started out harmlessly, you know, three little kids playing in the yard being supervised, I use that term loosely, by me.  The nosey little bastards decided to trek behind the humongous playhouse back there and I didn’t think much of it.  Then it dawned on me that our dog evacuates his system in that general area daily and I hadn’t picked up the excrement yet that day.  I hurried back behind the structure after I set my margarita down and my son met me halfway smiling.  I noticed he held something out in front of him that didn’t seem right.  When my mind comprehended what I saw I realized that it was a large piece of dog shit.  I wish I had a camera with me because this scene replays itself over and over in my head and I don’t think it’s fair for me to keep it all to myself.

Let me just say that it’s a good thing that my dog must’ve eaten right the night before because the “log” in my son’s hand was solid.  It was so solid that after I casually ripped it out of the boy’s hand while simultaneously screeching there wasn’t any trace of it to be found on him, not even with the taste test.  

I almost sent the boy back to playing without washing his hands because that seemed like a waste of time because they appeared to be clean, but the parental guidance angel told me that I better do it so I could honestly say I did even though it was totally unnecessary.

On my job I see some grotesque things, but this one beats them all.  Something about my boy holding my other boy’s waste in his hands makes me want to cry… or laugh.  At least he didn’t put it in his mouth as far as I know.

July 27, 2007 Posted by | family, Humor, kids, life, parenthood, parenting | 10 Comments

Is the Boy Decaf?

I was nearly an unwilling accomplice to a barbaric incident involving my children.  The older one, you know, the wise-beyond-her-four-years girl, advised her little brother of her diabolical plan that involved a play household item and him being put inside it for, of all things, my consumption.  The exact words that I eavesdropped heard were, “I will put you in the coffee-maker and Daddy will drink you up.”

Her statement stunned me, but also made me partially proud because she knows that she’s not old enough to drink coffee yet, even if it’s made out of her nemesis.  The fact that she involved me in the disposal of the evidence did bother me a little bit.  I mean, she didn’t even ask if I wanted to take part in her scheme.  She probably knew my answer would have been no because I actually like the little guy a lot and besides it’s always easier to ask for forgiveness than permission.

The boy’s reaction to all this was something to admire; he just ignored her.  It feels good to know that when a high-pressure situation pops up he keeps his cool.  It’s good to see that not everything I do wears off on the kids.

Thankfully the plan did not come to fruition.  In fact, I think that my daughter might have been kidding, might’ve is the key word.  As a precautionary measure I better inspect any food or drink that my daughter gives me, pretend or not.

July 21, 2007 Posted by | family, Humor, kids, life, parenthood, parenting | 8 Comments

Child Faces Near Decapitation on Birthday

The following events took place on July 11, 2007 and are strictly my account of what happened that day.  This post has been very hard to put into words because of the emotional toll it has taken on my family and that is the reason for it taking me so long to write it, that and I’ve been lazy as hell, lately.

In a freakish turn of events during a family outing, a four-year-old girl, my daughter, almost lost her head on of all things, the freaking TiltA-Whirl.

Most parents celebrate their child’s birthday in a special way and we’re not the exception.  We had a bunch of kiddy and not-so-kiddy rides put in a local park and let both children have at it… sort of.   We didn’t actually supply the rides ourselves, some sort of festival did that, but we did bring our eager birthday girl and her two-year-old sidekick, my son, there to have some fun.

The local forecasters, who are actually right about fifty percent of the time, predicted it would rain and the clouds seemed to back them up, but being the positive thinking adventure types we made the short trek anyway.  I probably should have contacted our family meteorologist, Aunt Weather, for her analysis on the precipitation possibilities, because she might have sided with Don Paul and she’s usually right about sixty percent of the time.

With the wind blowing at a mild 30 mph we purchased a few ride tickets hoping to get the cheap thrills out of the way before the storm hit.  The first monster raindrop came down as we walked toward the giant slide and many of its bigger friends soon followed.  By the time we were near the ride the rain became a downpour so we changed course and rolled the double jogger under a shelter that filled up fast with drenched frolickers.  Since noon was upon us we decided to wait out the shower with some cotton candy.  The whining stayed at a minimum because I couldn’t talk with my mouth full.

Eventually it was game on, when the rain lightened up and we exchanged the tickets for bracelets that gave the kids a four-hour pass to ride all the rides as much as they wanted.  I didn’t get one for me because I can usually convince the ride operators to let me join the kids for their safety.  Suckers!  The aforementioned ride operators were your typical carnie types.  You know, they’re like a poor man’s Steve Buscemi without the looks.  One of them was nice enough to wipe the mud off of the kiddie jet boat ride, but the rest didn’t seem to care how muddy our daughter’s birthday dress got.  Apparently she didn’t either because she didn’t slow down one bit.

After sampling all the kiddie rides we ventured around the park to see what else they had.  My daughter pleasantly surprised us by suggesting that she go on a thing called The Tornado so I obliged.  The operator let me protect my daughter for free.  Like I said, suckers.  My brave son didn’t accept this situation well because he wanted to join us, but was just too damn short.  The boy gave his mother fits as father and daughter soared and spinned through the air pointing down at him and laughing, er I mean, waving.  As a result, my wife had a brilliant idea, why not take him on the TiltA-Whirl since there was no height requirement and it’s obviously a simple ride that doesn’t throw you around and scramble your brain.  Right?  Right?  Wrong!

My daughter and I exited The Tornado just in time for me to join in on this egregious error in judgement.  I sent her up the stairs with a smile on her face and even photographed the happy riders as they waited to enjoy their amusement ride from Hell.

A wave of guilt swept over me within the first orbit of the ride.  My son’s face revealed pure terror and my daughter looked different, bad different.  The only female ride operator who actually had all her teeth noticed the same thing and told me she would stop the ride.  I nodded appreciateively and did what any responsible parent would do; I stood there and took an “after” picture of my wife and kids stumbling off of the ride to go nicely with the “before” shot from two minutes earlier.

My daughter gripped her tilted neck while trying to smile and my son buried his head in my dizzied wife’s shoulder when they reached wonderful muddy earth.  My wife relayed what my daughter told her during the brief stint on the ride, “My head is falling off.”

She wasn’t trying to be meladramatic, she actually thought her head was coming off and it took a little convincing on our part that it was still attached as before the incident.

Kids being kids, they rebounded nicely and enjoyed many more (kiddy) rides before we went home to nap.  The little ones slept, too.

July 19, 2007 Posted by | family, Humor, kids, life, parenthood, parenting, weather | 4 Comments