We try to leave the house and do things with the kids. We really do. And we try to come up with really fun and different things for us to do as a family.
This weekend, we announced, “We’re going to SantaCaliGon!” (Just so you know, this is a fairly large local fair that takes place every year on Labor Day. Of course, it’s usually hella hot, sticky, and crowded and full of things like fried dough, fried pickles, fried meat, and whatever else you can fry.)
So, YAY! We were all going, and YAY! we were going to have fun, dammit!
This announcement was followed by a chorus of:
- “Can we take our video games?”
- “Can we take the portable DVD players?”
- “How long do we have to stay?”
- “When we get home, can we play our video games?”
- “Will it be hot?”
- “Will we have to walk very far?”
- “Will there be video games anywhere near where we are going?”
Holy hell, you would think we had told them we were taking them to Guantanamo. And staking them out in the hot sun with no water (or video games) until they shriveled into mere shadows of their former selves.
“But there will be rides!” we said over-excitedly.
“I don’t like rides,” said one of them very non-excitedly.
“And treats!” we added.
“We have treats at home,” they explained.
“Well, we are all going to have fun anyway,” we explained.
And so we went. And they were miserable. And the smiles were all gone.
It was like we had dragged them to an extra day of math class, except out in the hot, hot sun.
Suddenly, their feet hurt and they were melting and their skin burned and they didn’t FEEEEL GOOD!
So that was that one time when we left the house. And we forced fun on them. And finally, they all got to go home to the place where all their electronics were waiting for them. It was clear the electronics were lonely, too—there was one solitary tear rolling down the side of the X-Box because the boys had been gone for so long. Luckily, we made it back just in time and there was no serious, long-lasting separation anxiety between children and electronic equipment. Whew!