Friday, March 23, 2007

Sippy Cup Smugglers

Another dad and I were talking about flying with kids. I was cursing the shoebomber who made it a requirement that we take off our shoes when going through airport security. When managing a couple of kids and all of the six hundred items necessary to amuse and soothe them on a cross country flight - the last thing anyone needs is to be tying their shoes. I can't bend over to tie my shoes since the backpack I wear on flights is filled with a compressed stuffed animals safari (CSAS to the military-parental complex) in case the kids need comforting on the plane. So I have to kick our bags around the airport till we find a good spot to sit down, while my wife drives the stroller and carries my son in her mouth by the scruff of his neck.

My friend assured me that this was nothing. I haven't flown lately, but the restrictions on liquids are impossible, since a pack of small kids requires require constant infusions of various beverages, medicines, and ointments. Apparently things have gotten so bad that parents are taking a page from the drug cartels and ingesting needed substances in prophylactics.

They are putting the mule back into formula.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Home Decor

With our kitchen done, my very sweet out-of-state sister-in-law gushed, "Oh, your house must be so beautiful now!"

I answered, "The kitchen and bathrooms look good. But the rest of the house still looks like Geoffrey, the Toys "backwards R" Us giraffe, threw up."

Tough Explanations

Weekend before last was a Jewish holiday called Purim. Purim has evolved into a party holiday - adults are encouraged to drink and children wear costumes and get candy. The story behind Purim, like many Jewish holidays is simply "They tried to kill us, they failed. Let's eat."

In the case of Purim, the merriment thinly conceals real terror. Consider this popular Purim song which begins:
Oh, once there was a wicked, wicked man
And Hamen was his name sir,
He would have murdered all the Jews,
Though they were not to blame sir
and ends
The guest of honor he shall be
This clever Mr. Smarty.
And high above us he shall swing,
At a little hanging party.
Adults come to terms with this dichotomy. But this is a holiday for little kids. How do you explain mass murder to a three year old? This comes up frequently in other contexts. My kids see the front page of the newspaper, graced by Zarqawi or Zawahiri (al-Qaeda, brought to you by the letter Z) or the monster of the moment and my daughter says, "He's not nice."

"That's right," I tell her, "He has issues."

So on Purim my daughter tells me, "Haman has issues."

When my son and I discuss the Battle of Trafalgar (I am raising him to be a Trivial Pursuit champion) I quiz, "Why did Horatio Nelson have to stop Napoleon from taking over Europe?"

"Because Napoleon had issues."