Sunday Realizations

The parents who allow their kid to bring the coolest toys to church get to run the impromptu baby sitting service during service.  It’s the same concept of bringing a bubble wand to the playground.

Two Transformers and one Elsa doll was all that it took.  Next week, Cookie, you get a string and some sticks.

Well That Escalated Quickly

Me:  Little Cookie, little Cookie what do you see? (Bill Martin’s Little Bear children’s book turned into a walking game).

Cookie: I see the half moon looking at me.

Me: Half moon, half moon, what do you see?

Cookie: I see everybody looking at me.

Me: Everybody, everybody, what do you see?

Cookie: We see everything looking at me.

Me: Everything, everything, what do you see?

Cookie: We’re done, Daddy.  Everybody saw everything already.

There’s No Good Answer

What do you do when someone else’s kid throws a tantrum?  What if it’s not just any tantrum, not an omg-I’ve-waiting-in-line-overnight-but-they-ran-out-of-the-newest-iFadphone-just-before-me tantrum, not even an omg-they-handed-out-free-iPads-and-I-didn’t-get-one meltdown, but a full on hey-this-is-something-I-actually-care-about* psychotic break?

There’s never a correct reaction to one of these.  Smile, and you’re condescending.  Grimace or complain, and you’re an uptight grownup who’s obviously never had kids and can’t sympathize with anyone who has.  Stare straight forward, and you’re cold hearted bastard ignoring the profound human tragedy unfolding before you in 14 acts and 27 octaves.  Avoid making eye contact, and you’re the lazy bum shirking his societal obligation to help.    Try to help, and you’re interfering with someone else’s kid (and also run the risk of picking up the next designer strain of Streptococcal Spoiledbratius from the bawling germ factory).**

What to do?

The tyke (5? 6 years old?) started off running circles around the subway pole, little hand gathering untold biological filthiness from the epitome of uncleanliness in the New York subway system.  His mom shrieked at him to stop, and after a half-hearted attempt of dragging him away from the pole, she couldn’t even and retreated to her seat.  The urchin, having won his hard fought battle to go back to the pole, instead flopped backwards on the subway floor, rolling on the wet floor (it wasn’t raining) and howling at the injustice of it all to every subway rider trying very hard to ignore the calamity unfolding.  After a few minutes of not drawing any reaction from anyone, the kid leapt up and turned his attention to the subway doors alternating between trying to pull open the doors of the subway car and pounding on the glass, screaming that he must get off of the speeding express train.  All the while, his mom stared straight ahead like every other passenger.

Ugh.  I wasn’t going to say anything.  I really wasn’t.  I’ve been in New York long enough.  I know the rules… except someone had obviously (but not obvious enough to the mom studiously ignoring her raucous brat) vomited on the doors in the early morning, and the little monster was banging his little hands right into the congealed spray pattern, little chunks either clinging to his grubby hands or flying everywhere.

“Um… you might not want your son to play in someone else’s subway vomit.”

A glare.  A yank of her son’s arm by a mother who has transcended discipline.  Smiles from the other passengers.  Did I do the right thing?


*Just kidding, Apple fans. My portfolio cares. I care.

**Cookie, you had the right answer.  You slept through it all.  Sleep is the correct reaction to a meltdown.

This Is Where I Belong

Mommy:  * braaap*  Oops, excuse me.

Cookie: That’s a 4, Mommy!

Mommy:  What did you say?

Cookie:  That was short and a little on the quiet side.  It’s a 4.

Mommy: …!

There are times when every father of a little girl has to sit back and wonder what type of influence he has had on her impressionable little mind and worry about what irreparable damage his slightest mistake may have caused.

Mommy:  No, that was at least a 7.  Mommy’s burps gets bonus points.

Cookie:  No, 4.  7s need to be louder, like this.  BRAAAAAP!

This wasn’t one of those times. This is how I knew I married the right woman, and this is how I knew you are my kid.  Other families may have their genetics and have their traditions.  We, Cookie, have our eructation gradation.

Lego Friends Complaint

Dear Lego,

I have a complaint about the Lego Friends line of toys.  It’s not the usual one about gender stereotyping (though as a parent I have to do extra work to unchain the limiting play aspects of this line, but fortunately as a long time Lego customer, I have enough bricks to allow my girl to create a world of imagination and adventure on her own).  It’s not about the body image of the minifigs, though, for some reason, boys get the classic, blocky people while girls get the thinner, Barbie-distortion ones.  It’s not even a complaint that the armor, backpacks and other body wear don’t work across the two Lego products.  Nope.

Do you know how hard it is for a procrastinating dad with OCD to wrap the damn Lego Friends boxes at 2 AM on Christmas morning?  Do you really need the oblong edges?



Musical Taste

Cookie:  Dad, stop.  I want to eat at this restaurant.  I like the music.

That’s not quite what I expected to hear from my two-year old as we walked down the street, but I’ve learned to just accept and adapt.  Besides, Miles Davis? Good choice, kiddo.

I’m not sure where you obtained your musical tastes.  Like every other read-the-same-book-extra-IQ-points-maybe-bandwagon-parent, Mommy played Bach and Mozart for you non-stop (from womb speakers to your crib mobile to your toddler sleep radio).  Don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing wrong with Bach or Mozart, but their exquisite pieces are not the ones coded into the cheap plastic speakers mass marketed to the bandwagon parents.  Even pedestrian Mozart sonatas, however, is preferable to the mindless swill that is labeled as kid music, badly sung by costumed dinosaurs, and tolerated by parents for their supposed educational value.  I’m not sure how kids can tolerate such endless torture (apparently some of these songs are being used as actual torture), and I am very thankful that you are not one of those kids who demands endless repetition.

Miles Davis aside, given what music was fed to you your short life thus far, I was very shocked and proud one Saturday afternoon.  We were sitting at the bar in a burger restaurant on one of our Daddy-Daughter Days (also known as Mommy’s day off).  You suddenly put down the burger and turned towards me with a very serious face.

Cookie:  Daddy, I like this song.  It’s now my favorite.

Pink Floyd’s The Wall. I can’t fault your taste, but that’s not a song I was going to introduce to you at two.

Now I just have to figure out how keep you from being zombiefied by the latest boy-troop tripe.