Monday, July 13, 2015

Segregated splash parks OR "Why Beachwood, why?" cried my four-year-old

I used to blog all the time, but I don't so much anymore because no one wants to read a blog exclusively about kid stuff, and that's all I ever do. I think back fondly on what it was like to have hobbies and interests and find that I can't really remember. I'm not complaining, just explaining why I'm terminally boring now. What I'm saying is: I don't know how to blog any other way anymore. For example: At church this past Sunday our youngest son puked bright orange sweet potatoes all over Wifey’s black dress and she had to spend the rest of the service looking like Halloween. That's a bloggable event for me now.

But we love our boys and we love summer and so we try and take them to the splash park as often as we can. You may not know this but little kids flip for splash parks, and watching your children splash around is practically a cure for cancer. Our little suburb has a good pool, but the really affluent suburbs around here have their own exclusive splash parks.

Aerial view of center

In terms of rubbing it in, the worst offender is a town called Beachwood. We can see their splash park, nay splash complex, from the street but one can only go in if one has a SPLASH PARK PHOTO ID.We drive through Beachwood all the time and Junior always wants to go to their park because it looks AMAZING and GLORIOUS. And I have to tell him that he can never go in. Thanks a lot Beachwood. You're breaking my son's heart, you wieners.

Isn't this America? Don't we have a constitutional right to splash? I'm sure that's in there somewhere. And I get that the residents pay the taxes to build and maintain the park and so forth, but we'd gladly pay extra for admission as non-residents. Doesn't that sound fair? Come on, Beachwood. Be reasonable. I guess if you let one poor family in, you'd have to let them all in, and then you'd have a full-blown infestation on your hands, so I totally get it.

Wifey and I are always planning how to break in. Maybe we wait in the parking lot and beat up another family of four that looks like us and take their stupid Beachwood photo IDs? My wife and kids are pretty good in a fight, it might work. I could also boost Wifey over the fence and then throw the kids over to her. Or maybe I could slip the disinterested teen girl who is working the door $50 to look the other way while we sneak in. Then again, $50 is probably nothing to a teenager from a rich neighborhood and it's not like I have $50 just lying around.

Even if we could sneak in, we wouldn't stay long. Surely as soon as we hit the water someone would recognize us and yell, "These guys aren't rich! Take them away!" and then guards would come out or something.

And that would be the end of our elitist aquatics.

Monday, May 11, 2015

I hate bathtime

My 3-year-old son LOVES bath time. He splashes, plays, and sings at peak adorableosity, but he loves the bath so much that when bath time is over he goes absolutely insane. Wrestling a wet toddler is the worst. It's like trying to land a 35 pound fish, only a fish fighting for its life with a barbed hook in its face would be less slippery and more cooperative.

I try to to surreptitiously pull the plug and let all the water drain out gradually. My thinking is that if the bath dies of natural causes, he'll won't notice or he'll be less upset, but it never works.

To make things infinitely worse, he gets dry skin on his arms and legs, so we took him to the dermatologist who said to put industrial grade 10W30 super-thick skin cream on him as soon as he gets out of the tub to "seal in" all of the moisture. Then he runs off and it becomes one of those rodeo contests where they chase a greased pig. This is essentially what it's like:

Is it bad to compare your kid to a greased pig? I don't mean it in a bad way, just in a descriptive way, you know? I hate bathtime is what I'm saying. If someone could invent some sort of automated toddler washing machine, I'd kiss them right on the mouth.

Monday, April 13, 2015

Phrases that I wish people would use less

Here are some things that I wish people would say less. I'm not saying they should "die" or anything like that, just that they should take a much-needed rest. Is it pretentious to make a list like this? Absolutely, and with that out of the way, here goes:

"Obvs" and all other forms of shortened words. Some people say these seriously, some people say them ironically. Both drive me nuts.

"Vice versas" such as: "They don't care how much you know until they know how much you care" or "To the world you may be one person, but to one person you may be the world." I'm not sure what these are called exactly, and some are OK, but there are entirely too many flying around. Taking a sentence and then switching it it around doesn't necessarily make it deep.

Things that probably started out as therapy phrases but have mutated into silly cliches, ranked in ascending levels of annoyance:
  • "It is what it is." What does this even mean? This is effectively saying nothing. Instead people could say something like, "I'm trying not to freak out," or "I'm trying to keep things in perspective."
  • "Real/Being real," as in "Before this I was not real, but now I am real, kind of like
    Pinocchio." It's an annoying and unnecessary way to "honest." 
  • "Speaking my truth." Really? Is it that profound? Just say it's your opinion, man. Or your experiences. Take responsibility. 
  • "My journey"/any use of "journey." Don't dramatize your life. I supposed if you've changed religions or gotten cancer or found your birth parents or something like that, you can say you've been on a "journey." But if not, your thing probably does not rise to journey level.
"Speaking truth to power." This phrase may have had significance historically but any time I hear it used now it's in the dumbest places. I'm sure abusive corporations and corrupt politicians start shaking in their boots when you give them an earful in a podcast, blog, or tweet. This phrase implies that speaking truth to those in power does something, and in reality all of this "truth" isn't going to actually reach those in power, and even if it did, it wouldn't change anything. Do we think corporations or politicians answer to the people? Those in power don't have to listen to truth at all. Maybe if the phrase was something like, "Speaking truth to lots of people who subsequently demand change/revolt," then I could get behind it.

"That happened." So smug. Just say, "Wow. That was funny/weird/improbable."

That's my list. Please leave a comment if you think I missed some, or I should've left some alone.