Tuesday, May 7, 2013


Sami and I decided today to challenge the urban myth that ankle-biters under the age of five can not be tuckered out. Bullshit.

It started with a road trip to the Playmobil FunPark. No, Tommy, for the last time, it's not Legoland!

Sami has been to Playmo-land multiple times, including one rather loud visit with David, so he was the tour guide, event organizer, and navigator. It's what we in the parental industry call a package deal. Our park ranger started earning his keep at our first stop.

'Trust me - this stop is one of the few where you have to wait in line - we need to get this one behind us early on while they still have patience.'

The 'stop' was to dig into humongoid clams and search for plastic shells. At first, Tommy didn't want to. I then promptly reminded him that Mama is a self-admitted shell-collecting freak and that she would probably disown him if he ditched an opp to snatch some dead crustaceans. Yep, that worked.

After fishing for exoskeletons, we moved on to climbing. Sami insisted on tackling the basic climbing first. As with Angie, I had no idea what he was babbling about, but I blindly trusted the leader. Go for it, Tommy - make it look difficult.

What Sami didn't tell Tommy was that the baby-rope eventually led to the biggest slide ever witnessed by my third-born. Holy slide!

Lauri and Tommy are a bit like the Odd Couple. They love each other, but have firm, but differing beliefs when it comes to certain things. One of those is apparently slides. Lauri's train of thought was 'hey, look a slide - whipeeeeee!!!' whereas Tommy's brain went 'whoa, a dark and covered death tunnel - hell no!!!'. So, yeah - Tommy walked the 'stairs of shame' back down and learned what gloating means. Thanks, Lauri.

Oddly enough, Tommy is not afraid of hooks, eye-patches or scurvy, so we decided to take the scallywags on a plank walk. Arggh, matey.

Sami and I actually managed to paddle our way out to the pirate ship on wooden rafts without drowning any of our offspring. I only mention this because certain lady-types tend to overlook the small triumphs that certain manly-types like to brag about. No dead kids, where's my high-five?

Avoiding a watery grave apparently makes you really crave cooked food. Who knew?

I love this picture. First, there's 'Jaws of Life' Lauri, who obviously has not been fed in a fortnight. Then there's 'Drink Swiper' Tom, whose thirsty liver ignored basic laws like 'Though shall not steal thy neighbor's juice'.

After lunch, we went looking for a castle.

Just for the record, I'd like to point out that it was MY son that found the big huge castle that was the predominant centerpiece of the fun park. That's great Tommy - you can put your hand down now.

The 'castle' had more secret passages and hidden tunnels than agencies that endorse waterboarding. Unfortunately, Tommy was caught in enemy territory and sent to the gallows.

Luckily, they stayed his execution and derelict-boy managed to scale the prison walls and escape.

After Prisoners Gone Wild, I fully expected Sami to lecture him on the responsibilities of being a four-year old.

Okay, talk about your all-time backfires. Thanks, Sami.

After busting out of Compton, my pint-size delinquent decided to go digging for gold. Yeah, baby - find Mama a new tooth!

He failed miserably, but luckily Angie still has a full grill. That didn't stop our height-challenged derelict from continuing on his criminal spree, though.

After looting the sand pits, he bellied up to the bar at the local saloon.

I would like to point out that it wasn't my kid that threw the first tennis ball at whiskey bottles that have a hard time falling over. I'm not saying that it was LAURI - I'm only stating a simple fact that it was not Tommy. You do the math.

I'm crap at math, so I decided instead to force Tommy to paddle around in a boat using only his arms. No reason, really. Just, you know, for fun.

My plan worked until I asked paddle-boy to check out the pond of tadpoles that a certain insanely hot father-of-three type had discovered. Sami only has two boys, by the way.

'Hey buddy - check this out! Do you know what these are?'


'Okay, great, I just wanted to check. I mean, I could just leave it there and trust that you're a genius, but I'm more curious than George - what are they?'

'Baby shrimp!'

With that, paddle-boy giggled off to ram Lauri's boat. Whatever, I'm sure Ken's kid is also no brainiac.   

Not that I was worried at all, but after the Bubba Shrimp incident, I decided to show off my boy's motor skills.  

Yup, that was pretty much it. As Tommy struggled with the go-kart that wouldn't freakin' go, I realized that Tommy cannot pedal. Embarrassing? Yes, but not for me. For a change. For Tommy, embarrassing started when the friendly woman asked if 'wittle Tommy-wommy would like to wide a wittle twactor instead?'.

It wasn't so much a response as it was a growl.

'No! This can I DO!!'

I was seriously contemplating about intervening to save grammatically inept kids with pedaling issues and undersized legs, but at exactly that moment, Lauri came barreling around the corner on his fifth lap. Pedaling like a maniac, I might add.

'Hey, Tommy, check it out - Lauri's on his fifth lap. Um, why are you still in the parking lot?'

After Tommy's blubbery meltdown, Sami and I decided to cool the race horses down.

'Oh Lauri, that's sooo great how you won the race. Really. I am sooo happy for you. Yeah! Really. In fact, here's an ice-pop trophy, just for your face...'

I broke up the Odd Couple shortly before Tom could put actions to words. Lauri's face can thank me later.

Our second attempt to cool down overheated kids was at least moist. It started with Tommy sinking a bunch of boats.

This killed the better part of an hour as the kids raced around the water canals sinking shit. Most of the parents were screaming things at their kids like 'What the hell are you doing? I told you to stay dry' and 'damn it, stop getting your sister wet'. In case you're a new reader, Sami and I are not like most of the parents.

'Yeah, Tommy! Splash him again!'

You see, Sami has been to the park a few times and is a wise grasshopper. Luckily, he called me up the night before.

'Bring an extra change of clothes, a toothbrush and pajamas.'

'But we're not spending the night.'

'Just trust me.'

So yeah, after the sink-and-soak ride, we changed the boys into dry clothes in front of screaming moms and decided to make our way indoors. The first stop was the build-a-kick-ass-robot-that-can-destroy-anything station.

That was it, actually. There were at least ten other stations, but I guess the build-a-pony and Playmo-doll stands didn't rank above making your own cyborg.

As the pint-sized builders terrorized androids, I grabbed a coffee and asked Sami what was next. He glanced at his watch briefly before explaining THE PLAN.

'Those two have been running around all day. They are gonna peak soon, but I've kept the real energy-burner for the end.'

I shit you not; it was like how apes must feel when being released to the wild. Go, be free.

Sami's plan worked - the boys went absolutely nuts and damn near killed themselves from exhaustion in the indoor jungle gym. At one point, Sami rallied up the primates.

'Right! Time to brush teeth and get pajamas on.'

I laughed out loud before the boys could respond. There was no way in hell that they were going to....


I did a double take and confirmed that my son actually was one of the two kids voluntarily agreeing to stop playing. That should tell you how tired they were, but in case you're a moron, here's the money shot.

Ladder Talk:
1) What was the best part of your day?
Peter: That I did a test in school in math.
David: That Tommy was in Plamobil Land.
Tom: That we was by the climbing thing in Playmobil.

2) What was the worst part of your day?
Peter: As by sports, I got kicked on my shin bone and I couldn't play.
David: That I can't sleep with Tom.
Tom: That I had a bad dream on the way home when I asleep fall.

3) What would you like to do tomorrow?
Peter: I want to play with my friends by the party.
David: I want to sleep by Tom.
Tom: Play Playmobil dragons.

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