Yeah, so, I had a few parenting fails this weekend.
OK, let’s start at the beginning … A few weeks ago, mighty, mighty good man David and I took the Spawn to a toddler-friendly playground near AT&T Park, home of the World Series champs San Francisco Giants (Go Giants!). It’s a nice playground. It’s on the small side, which means The Boy can run wild, but no matter where were are sitting in the playground we can see him. We don’t have to run around chasing him, and he can play freely. And by toddler-friendly, I mean, there isn’t anything too crazy for him to hurt himself on. There is no giant play structure designed for older kids, etc. There’s some low cement walls at the center of the park that he can climb, and they are wide enough for him to walk on or push his trucks, but they’re not so high that I have a panic attack when he climbs them. Also, there’s a sandbox and one of those little roundabouts that kids love, but always make me want to throw up.
We love going to this little playground. The Boy tires himself out and usually falls asleep in his stroller, and then we walk to nearby Java House and get a hot dog and beer and sit outside. It’s awesome.
So anyway, a few weeks ago we were at this park, and we were walking back to the car when I noticed that some folks were leaving AT&T Park. There was no game going on, so I was confused. I walked a little closer, and I saw a sign saying that the children’s play area in the ballpark is open to the public FOR FREE when the Giants are playing elsewhere.
WTF?! If I had known that I would have been going to this little play area all the time. I love being in the ballpark.
OK, so, cut to this past weekend, the Giants are playing in Arizona, so we decided to check out the children’s play area. It only takes us a few minutes to drive to the ballpark. As we got closer we could tell that some sort of event was going on. It turns out that it was some benefit concert for Genentech, and it featured the musical stylings of popular artists such as Train, Demi Lovato and Nickelback. Oh good. It’s everything I hate.
We went to our little nearby playground instead, where – sadly – we could still hear the music. So, there we were, feeling terrible that The Boy (and me!) got denied the ballpark, and he was being forced to listen to Train. THEN, The Boy fell off the low cement wall on his face! He’s a tough little guy and only cried for a minute or so. It was a scary-looking fall, and we’re all lucky it wasn’t much worse. He ended up with a few little scrapes around his left eye.
Parenting fail #1: Subjected the kid to Train and he fell on his face.
But wait, there’s more.
Saturday evening, we decided to be brave and take Calvin out to dinner with some friends. He was fine for about 45 minutes. Then the whining and squirming started. David and I took turns walking around with him. Eventually, this ended with shrieking and The Boy knocking over my beer. We were those parents. We were so embarrassed. I apologized profusely to the waiter, who – without me asking – brought me another beer. He could probably tell I needed a drink.
As we packed up our stuff to leave, humiliated, another set of parents walked by us. They were also leaving with a boy probably a little older than Calvin. He wasn’t wearing any pants. I said to our friends, “Well, at least our boy still has his pants on. So, we’ve got that going for us.”
Parenting fail #2: Attempted to take kid to dinner in a restaurant 90 minutes before his usual bedtime.
But wait, there’s still more.
On Sunday, we took Calvin to the Oakland Zoo with my sister and her family. We had a really great time at the zoo. He loved looking at the goats in the petting zoo, but what he really wanted to do was just run around. We came to the zoo for him, so if he wants to spend his time running around the grass and digging in the dirt instead of looking at animals, that’s cool. Go for it, kid. We sat in this open grassy area and ate peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, while The Boy ran wild, scooped up dirt and brought it to us by the handful.
Eventually, we caught up with our group and decided we wanted to ride the train (It’s an actual little train that goes around the zoo, not the band Train. We’re not monsters.). As we were walking to the little amusement park area, we could see the train. David pointed it out, “There’s the train, Calvin.” The Boy got really excited and started running … down a hill. Then he fell on his face. SMACK! It sounded awful. There was a little blood, but it stopped bleeding quickly. Then, it appeared: A fat lip. His first fat lip, but considering he is such a daredevil, it probably won’t be his last. We got in line for the train with my sister, her husband, Tony, my mom and my nieces.
Tony: “What happened to his lip?”
Me: “I punched him.”
Parenting fail #3: [See photo below]
So, here’s what we learned this weekend: We are probably not taking The Boy to a restaurant again until he’s 4 (does not apply to taquerias). Also, I would like to wrap him in bubblewrap.