Mall Kiosk Hostages

I really used to love going to malls. One of my favorite memories as a kid was scraping up enough money during the week to purchase a new hip hop cassette tape and a paper cup of thick cut fries from the Steak Escape. We took our children to the Opry Mills Mall in Nashville on vacation so they could see it’s grandness. I turned my back for one minute and it happened. My daughter was held hostage by a shiny object at a kiosk.

The young lady was selling “splat toys”. You fling it at the wall and it flattens out in a hilarious fashion. My daughter was intrigued proceeded to practice her softball pitching motion and hit the bulls eye. She thought the price wasn’t a good deal, walked away, but then accepted the ladies counter offer. She spent her hard earned allowance money and this is where the story becomes a life lesson.

When she got a chance to use the new toy it burst open after about a dozen tosses. She was quite upset that her money was now gone and she had no way to return it. No, I didn’t rush out and buy her a new one. I didn’t offer to reimburse her for the allowance. I did teach her what the phase “Caveat Emptor” means.

Dogs can’t replace children

This couple is taking it pretty well that their offspring aren’t providing any grandchildren.

As much as our society is trying, dogs will never replace children in value. It makes me sad to even write that, but I feel that our society wants this to happen. Even the movie “The Boss Baby” addresses the issue.

Back to school anger

There you are enjoying your summer of sunburns, splinters, spider bites and then the back to school circular shows up. Your parents were so happy to show it to you just to let you know the end is nigh.

The best part of back to school was getting a brand new trapper keeper to put your doodles in because the teacher was uninteresting. The worst part was showing up with your new clothes and sneakers only to be mocked for having last years models of Swede Pumas. How did seventh graders know this? I was happy to have name brands!

Showing the kids your favorite movies…

So this morning I decided to show my kids the opening scene in Raiders of the Lost Ark. Later this evening we watched The Boss Baby and there was a reference to that scene. Maybe that will help them forget about Alfred Molina with a face full of spikes.

I guess I forgot how violent some of the movies I grew up with were. I’ll need to pre-screen some of my favorites before I make that attempt again. The rating system of my youth is not the same of today that’s for sure.

Don’t push your kids to do things


I know you want your kids to be superstars at the sport they are playing, but don’t push them. Encourage them to want to get better. One day it will “click for them”. They will figure out how their body works at whatever sport they are playing. The whole point is to have fun. If you are trying to validate yourself via your child’s sports performance then you are doing it wrong.

Don’t compare your kids to other kids. You don’t know what those parents are doing to their kids to get them to that level. You don’t want the kids to hate you or the sport they are playing later on. Set aside your disappointment because you don’t need to live through them. Focus on your happiness and encourage your kids to do what they enjoy.

Do you babysit your own children?

When I was a new dad many years ago and my wife went out with her friends for an evening without endless crying, feedings and more poop than she cared to look at. It was also helpful to have an evening away from the newborn as well.  Someone would inevitably chime in with, "Ah, doing a little babysitting eh?". Well, no, this is my child, do you not remember? They are my responsibility too. Believe it or not, men know how to take care of children.

Let kids ride in the front seat?

When do you let your kids ride in the front seat? Well, hopefully never. Maybe when they are old enough to drive. Once they make that move from the back to front they will try to control the A/C and Sirius settings. We have a 100 pound rule, once they reach that weight threshold, they can sit in the front seat. We figure by then they will be tall enough as well. So we have to control their diet so we don’t end up with a 100 pound 3 foot weeble wobble in the front seat. There are some stipulations.