Wednesday, February 09, 2011

I Appologize to My Future Grandchild or The Cycle Continues

* There are days when I wish that I still had my comic strip, because this would be a decent story to draw.

When I was a kid I loved the game Hungry, Hungry Hippos*. I’d play it with my family, friends, Jehovah’s Witnesses who swung by the house, anyone who stopped by. Mostly, I’d end up playing by myself.

* If you’ve never played, it’s awesome; bascially you are in control of a hippopotomus who when you press a handle sticks his neck out to gobble a marble. The player with the most marbles wins.

Most kids didn’t lightly tap the handle to extend the mouth and I was no different. I used to whale on that thing as if it owed me money. And the harder I hit it, the louder the game would be. I would literally play this game for hours on end, just slamming those handles and getting more and more marbles.

It drove my mother crazy.

One day I finally broke her. After a rousing few hours of Hungry, Hungry Hippos it was time for a nap. I carefully put all of the marbles back into their alotted spots and put the game away. During the time when I was in a defensless slumber, my mother took the marbles from the game and hid them. When I woke up and ran downstairs to begin another marathon of playing, I found that the marbles vanished.

“Mom? What happened to Hungry, Hungry Hippos?”
“Looks like you lost your marbles, By,” my mother said. Cue sad trombone: wah, wah, wahhhhh.

I was crestfallen and confused because I knew that I put the marbles away carefully and that they were there before I went to bed. I had no idea what happened and while I was probably pretty sad, I got over it and moved on.

The point of this Blog isn’t to denigrate my mother, who was the best mom anyone could have. The point is that history has a way of repeating itself as I’ve found that I do the same thing to my daughter when she has a toy that drives me bananas.

It’s not Hungry, Hungry Hippos. We have that game and I’ll still roll up my sleeves and kick a bit of ass in it from time to time*.

* If there was a professional HHH league, I have no doubt in my mind that I would be the Pedro Martinez of that game. You don’t want to challenge me to that game.

My daughter has two toys that I absolutely abhor, albeit for different reasons. One is a gigantic lady bug tent that she asks me to set up every so often. The thing is huge, it takes up a quarter of our living room and is a giant pain in the ass to set up. It would be cool if my daughter spent more than 10 minutes in the thing, but she doesn’t. She goes in, checks it out and then forgets about it. And every time I try to tear it down, she has a complete melt down.

The other thing that is hidden in our house a Sesame Street puzzle book. You may think that I’m being a dick for hiding this thing because, “It’s a book, what’s the harm?” The harm comes from the six puzzles of 16 pieces each. My daughter doesn’t like to build the puzzles back up, she likes to dump them on the floor and laugh. Guess who has to clean up this mess of cardboard? You guessed it, me.

My wife has started to get a bit funny with these taboo toys. Every once in awhile she’ll point to where the items are hidden and tell my daughter to get them out. Since they’re buried way under the couch, my daughter will whine to me about getting them until I figure out a way to distract her from the tent and the book.

Am I a bad dad? I hope not, I guess I sorta sound like one and deep down I feel bad about hiding her stuff (like I'm sure my mom did). But I like to think that I’m a father who values neatness and order first. At least that’s what I tell myself as I look for new places to rehide the contraband.

All I know is that in about 30 years (yes, neither girls will be with child before 30), I’m going to have a grandchild and he’s going to like something very much that annoys the crap out of his mom. And his mom is going to hide that toy and pretend that it’s lost or misplace. And all I can say is, “I’m sorry future Byron.”

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