Welcome to parenting tips 101. Don’t expect many of these, I don’t really have a lot of tips in this area.
This past weekend I was busy doing God knows what and had the television on for background sound. Law & Order: Special Victims Unit was on because it’s always on. (Note: that’s fact.) Anyway, you can’t help but eavesdrop on the show. The episodes that day each involved a toddler being stolen from a public place. One second they are there the next a kid-toucher is running with them down the street toward the subway. These guys are pros and (according to the show) know where every camera is so if you lose your kid good luck! So…the next day I found myself at a big water park with lots of people. I wouldn’t let a second go with my eyes off my kid, fearing he was going to be snatched by a kid-toucher and taken to a dungeon… I consider myself lucky there was no incident; however, and this is going to be hard to believe…there was a bar in the middle of the park with three televisions and one had on Law & Order SVU – I’m not joking folks! That’s not acceptable regardless of how much you like Ice-T. Is Ice-T hyphenated? By the way, is kid-toucher hyphenated? Obviously I have fears of both… In summary: If you are a parent don’t watch this show, especially if you are going to a water park the next day. This has been parenting tips 101…
Today the family went to the post office to get my son a passport. The process is numbing to say the least. Here’s how you figure out how long you have to wait: Take the number of people in front of you and multiply that by 45 minutes! Needless to say, even though we were early we had a long wait ahead of us. Halfway through my son came up to me and yelled his favorite four letter word – P.O.O.P! No problem, right? Wrong. There are no bathrooms in the post office and it was 12 degrees outside so we weren’t going out to find a place.
Here is what I learned:
1. When you tell a child “Okay, so this is how this is going to happen” they know something crazy is about to go down and they will listen.
2. You don’t have to ask for space, once people realize what is about to happen, they will scatter like cockroaches.
3. Just keep your head down, after all, it’s not like you’re going to stop even if someone asks you to.
4. Just look confident – like you’ve been there a million times before. Look them right in the eyes when you walk up to the garbage can and dispose of the goods.
Last week I went to the playground with my wife and son. First stop is always the swings, the boy loves the swings! At this particular playground there were three swings with a boy swinging from the one on the far left. I decided to place my son in the swing on the far right, leaving the center swing open. I was applying the same etiquette reserved for urinals in the restroom.
It didn’t take long to learn that this was not a good idea. The proper swing etiquette is to actually put the children next to each other so they can see each other and possibly socialize. Also, you don’t have to worry about the splash factor with swings.
Lesson learned: Urinals and swings have very little in common.
Children. They roll and then they crawl. Eventually, they need to walk. To assist our boy we got sit-down walkers with wheels and push toy walkers. This wasn’t enough – we also needed the wings. Walking Wings: Straps for lazy parents to “walk along with” versus just holding hands.
Initially they were not on the radar, but when a fellow “Mommy” was giving them away because she no longer needed them (“Oh my god, they were a god send, absolutely amazing…”) we had to have them. No charge. Just pick them up at her office in SoHo.
I arrived on Greene Street or something like that; it was deep SoHo, not tourist SoHo. The address I was given (#55) was not on a building; however there was a 53 and 57 so… The building was gutted – complete destruction. As I entered a security guard approached. I gave him the Mommy’s name and said the words “walking wings”; he stared at me for a minute, and then led me across the site to a freight elevator in the corner.
Due to the construction, the building was a dump. The elevator took us up to the fourth level. The doors opened to an expansive production area. Everything was brand new and there were lots of glass walls, plush sofas, and flat screens on the walls. I had arrived at either a high-end ad agency, movie Entertainment Company, or a porn empire.
A man sees me wandering in and approaches, asking what I want. I explain I am supposed to pick up “walking wings.” The confusion these simple two words bring is astonishing. Finally, the man went back to one of the huge glass door offices. Several men were surrounding a woman behind a desk. This woman was the Mommy – she got up – had everyone “take 5” and brought me a brown bag. I look inside the bag and saw that it contained one pair of walking wings. I walked out, down the freight elevator. I nodded to the security guard on the way out (showed him the bag containing the walking wings). Sometimes the only way to describe a situation is Only in New York.
So, that’s the Walking Wings Story. We never used the wings (it’s easier to just hold the hands) and my one takeaway is that office space definitely had something to do with a porn empire.
Planning a family trip to the Poconos? If you are coming from the city, I’ve got a MUST stop for you. To help celebrate entering Pennsylvania (YAY, I’M OUT OF NEW JERSEY!) pull off at the Delaware Water Gap exit and treat everyone to an old-school breakfast, Compton style. Welcome to Compton’s House of Pancakes!
DISCLAIMER: This is not Compton from Boyz In The Hood, this is a restaurant in the small PA town of Stroudsburg. Still, it’s okay to yell COMPTON MOTHER FUCKERS! Everyone understands how cool that is, even if they don’t know who Easy E is.
The timing was perfect, a nice, long nap for my son and after an hour and half of driving, we were all ready to get a meal. The wife decided to throw a wild card and order lunch. Did not seem wise at the time, but she knew something because her BLT was “top 5 of all time” status. The omelets came with a short-stack of pancakes so my choice was easy. However, the last time I had an omelet with a short stack was at an IHOP in WI. The meal was not less than 2500 calories (still ate most of it – I really like breakfast) so I was a little nervous. Anyway, the omelet was not IHOP big and the short-stack was a nice size. My son got a silver dollar short-stack. So, how were the pancakes? BEST EVER – NO CONTEST! My son loved his short stack with and without syrup. At one point he even grabbed a full pancake, because WHY NOT – they were that amazing.
Okay, so the pancakes were amazing, how about the restaurant itself? We were in the back dining area which was very family-friendly and pleasant. Up front there was a counter where I suspect only talk of fishing and Ted Nugent is allowed. Also, Compton Mother Fucker!
Compton’s House of Pancakes is the perfect place to start off your Poconos holiday.
BONUS: No drive-by shootings occurred.
There are many activities that are not fun with a kid, but amusement park is not one of them. When it was suggested we go to Fete Paradiso, an old French amusement park resurrected in Governors Island I was excited. Would there be cotton candy or ice cream? Would there be games? PLEASE GOD, LET THERE BE GAMES!
There is a free ferry to the island, but for a couple of dollars you can take the East Ferry. Pros: You get to spread out, not as busy, and YOU GET TO SPREAD OUT! Cons: Less money for games.
We arrive and we are one of the first ones on the island. I felt like a pilgrim. We walk around the island and find the amusement park, set up in Nolan Park. The very old rides give it a spooky, horror movie type vibe to it. This is in addition to the typical Governors Island feel, which reeks of an insane asylum gone badly. That is not to say it wasn’t awesome, because this is what made it awesome. Everything is laid out perfectly, complete with Carousels, Kid Car rides, and yes, old-time games. Perfect, that is to say until the other parents showed up. Pretty sure the ferry came express from Park Slope and the only way to get on the ferry was to 1. Ask to confirm it is free, because you are cheap (even though you are probably rich) and will bitch about the two dollar rides at the park. 2. In general, be an awful person. 3. Have a child named Hudson or Harper.
Despite the parents, Hudson’s, and an attempt to steal our table we finished strong and the family had a good day of rides, games, and overpriced grilled food. I also learned that my son likes people talking into megaphones. I may have to get one (Bonus: Get to do Scott Weiland impersonations)…
Overall Grade: B+
It’s almost time, BIG milestone: first word(s). Of course there is a good chance we will get a “Mommy” or “Daddy”, but what if it’s not? Here are the Vegas betting lines on other potential first words/phrases.
“HOT DOG” Odds: 5 to 1
The nickname of our dog. They have spent more time together in the past year than they have with anyone else.
“CORONA LIGHT” Odds: 15 to 1
I have had a recent run on this beverage. “Corona Lights” have been very popular this Summer.
HIS NAME Odds: 2 to 1
He likes to kiss himself in the mirror, so there’s that to consider.
“BLANCH”, “DOROTHY”, “ROSE”, or “SOPHIA” Odds: 10 to 1
Whenever my son gets the remote he always seems to find The Golden Girls. It’s uncanny.
“BLUE CAR” Odds: 7 to 1
His favorite, he can ride it forever. Often when Daddy is drinking Corona Lights.