11.29.2004



patience
we all need to have patience
yes, in that senstive Axel Rose sort of way
we all need a little patience
the key to parenting is patience
the key to dealing with others in public is patience
when dealing with other parents in public it is vital to have an excess of patience
we are all overly protective of what is ours, especially our children

over the past several days I had various "incidents" with an assortment of parents
all of which involved a need for attention towards our own children as much as towards others
co-parenting perhaps?
well, that is what it should be
but
that is not the way it tends to be
as for me....I need to re-evaluate my dealings with others in public
crashing and coliding into other adult personalities just makes for an awkward experience
and who wants to feel awkward

INCIDENT ONE: Pittsburgh Children's Museum

Dean was crawling in a massive structure that looked like a bird's version of a gerbil's "haba-trail"
there was this multi-level structure strung together with all sorts of cables
it was huge, maybe 3 stories high and 30 feet in diameter
with holes cut through out each level for a small person to climb through
after Dean was in this structure for some time I thought that I might climb in myself
maybe spook Dean
maybe share the fun with my son
I consulted with a museum employee as to the rules of this structure
she said, "sure....climb on in! have fun! that is what it is there for"
so I did.... I climbed in
early on into this odd structure, just a few levels up I started to feel slightly claustrophobic
a level which may be large enough for a toddler or small child to crawl in was just enough room for me to fit
after all I am a bit of a beast
I tried to snake my way from opening to opening as best I could
half way up I ran into some bottle neck
a few girls wanted to go back down
they waited
as I noticed that they did not realize they would have to move I decided I would just head back down
I said my good byes to these girls and tried to snake my way down
just as I had snaked my way up
only upside down this time
in doing so I clumsily stepped on one of the girl's fingers
having noticed this I checked that she was okay, made my apologize and then went down
then called Dean to come down
since he rarely listens to me
I enticed him down by asking if he wanted to see if "the cousins" where here yet
just as Dean and I were about to leave for another section of the museum I got a tongue lashing from the young girl's grandmother..."YOU SHOULD NOT BE IN THERE! YOU ARE TOO BIG! THIS IS FOR KIDS!"
anyone who knows me knows I am not much for taking orders
after all....I am just a big kids
and not unlike most kids....I am not much for being yelled at
I was calm a patient for a few lashings of the tongue
I said that it had been an accident and that I was sorry
but this little lady was determined to drive it home
she continued with the "YOU SHOULD NOT BE IN THERE! YOU ARE TOO BIG! THIS IS FOR KIDS!"
so I informed her that I had checked with the museum employees and they had told me that I was more than welcome to climb in the giant bird cage
we went back and forth
neither getting anywhere other than frustrated and angry
and went our separate ways
once the dust settled I tried to approach her again in another section of the musem
there was no reasoning with her
after all I SHOULD NOT BE IN THERE! I AM TOO BIG! I AM NOT A KID!"
so I agreed with her
admitted that I was wrong to climb in the giant bird cage that was clearly for kids
then we went our separate ways
she may have been satisfied, until she saw me going down the giant slide that fed out of the anti-gravity room

oh well, I paid my eight bucks
and I was not going to let someone who was tired of living to stop me from having fun

I did feel bad about stepping on her grand daughter's finger
but in our society we are not judged solely on actions but also on intentions
to granny's attack I plead not guilty or perhaps insanity
INCIDENT TWO: Food Court off Interstate 70

in an outlet mall on the way back from Pittsburgh we stopped in at the food court to get some food
after eating some substandard grub Dean went over to play on one of those coin operated cars that shakes about in place for a few seconds at a cost of fifty cents
the type of device that they are perfectly satisfied sitting in without the vibration
until an ignorant parent like myself puts the unsolicitated money in the slot
then
the once perfectly fine inactive car now needs more money to be active
we went over there and waited as a women finished feeding her child so that Dean could satisfy his immediate need
Dean was well behaved and entirely patient
after the little girl climbed out Dean moved towards the car
just as he was about to climb in the door way of this little Who Framed Roger Rabbit car a long legged girl stepped in front of him and started to pry her way in
Dean pushed his way past her and snuck his way in the door
the mother of this girl yelled at Dean, "NO PUSHING! DON'T PUSH!"
yes Dean had pushed this girl
but
the girl had failed to wait her turn
a common case of action and reaction
without her action of stepping out of turn there would not have been the reaction to push
not to mention it was a 3 year old vs. a 7-9 year old
clearly the mother should have given greater attention to her daughter than my son
we were able to sort it out minutes later after the smoke settled
it was a pleasant exchange
glad we left friends
unlike the sour old grandmother from Pittsburgh who is sure to mace the next poor fellow who vaguely resembles me

INCIDENT THREE: The National Zoo

yesterday morning I called one of our neighbors to see if I could borrow their older son, Elijah
Dean and Elijah are buddies and pals, perhaps even best friends
it was clearly too nice a day for them to be playing around indoors
we tried the deck out back, but that was only good for 20 minutes
so I packed a survival kit filled with juices, clementines, fig newtons, and a FONZ card for free popcorn
then we marched down the road to the zoo
Dean felt a need to stop and rest periodically
there were some minor complaints of his stomach hurting
but his activity level made me think he was fine and just feeling that he needed to have Elijah slow down the pace
this complaint that I thought was fabrication until he had a machine gun vomit session at dinner time later that evening
we made the several block trek to the rear entrance to the zoo
and headed straight for the PIZZA PARK
it is fantastic
a massive structure that resembles a large pizza roughly 20 feet in diameter
there is an olive large enough for the kids to climb through
as well as sliced onions and mushrooms that can be stacked or tossed
and also a large wedge of cheese that works perfectly as a slide
then finally a whole tomato that is perfect for perching upon
the rain of the night prior left this large foam structure damp
after the boys slipped and fell and got soaked
I removed their socks and they opted to do their wrestling thing in the perimeter of the pizza park
during that time there was a girl, an older girl, perhaps in the 9-11 age range
she had stacked each and every onion and mushroom slice into a tower
Elijah could not contain himself
he approached
surveyed the situation
and did what boys do when they see towers
he knocked it over
I witnessed the whole thing
sure I could have stopped it
but
there are times where you just have to let boys be boys
and let the world sort itself out
well
to my dismay
this girl was a tad sensitive
she threw a tantrum more fitting to a three year old
and stomped away
as she went to put on her shoes and evacuate
I had Elijah approach her and make an apology
there was a fitting full sentence that I wanted Elijah to deliver
"I am sorry, I had not realized that you were still playing with those pieces"
but, Elijah is more of a one word type of guy
he issued his sorry, spun around and went along his way
never being heard by this somewhat temperamental girl
so I had him say it again
he did his same routine of a quick unheard apology and spin in the opposing direction
I asked that he make eye contact and say the whole sentence
two more tries later
he had her attention
only to get an aggressive reaction to his sincere apology
of what sounded like "go to hell"
I looked at the parent and said...did she say "go to hell?"
the mother assured me that she said "whatever!?!?!?"
either way
the meaning was go to hell
it seemed like Elijah was being an appropriate 4 year old (nearly, his birthday is next month)
sure I could have stopped him
but I tried to educate him afterwards
while this mother enabled the tantrum
did not instruct her daughter to behave more empathetically to 4 year olds
not to mention
her child was monopolizing each and every topping for that pizza
leaving all the other children with a plain pizza pie


this is basically how my life goes....

I go around doing things that I need to apologize for


if you go to Pittsburgh
you must go to the PITTSBURGH CHILDREN'S MUSEUM
even if you are not a child or if you have children
parents
kids
and
museum geeks (their words not mine)

Pizza park Review

Zoo on Pizza


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