Sunday, July 4, 2010

Happy Independence Day!

Glorious experience today.  His voice dripping with sarcasm. The consumerism side of any major holiday leaves a lot lacking.  Christmas for example can be down right depressing as you see parents and loved ones struggle.  Struggle to either a.) come up with any idea that shows they know the gift receiver beyond their sex. (Yeah, I'm talking to all you ugly tie and cheap tool set givers out there.) or b.) to spend the adequate amount of money to prove their love.  Yes that was a throw away example and I know it, but it's just getting the point across that we over think and spend when it comes to quality family time...even those fabricated by a Hallmark holiday.

I took my 20-month-old daughter with me to buy some fireworks.  We went waaaaaaay out of town and hit several different fireworks stands.  The first had a mile long line and there was no way I'm going to wrangle my holy terror for an hour standing in line.  The one across the parking lot had no one in line but also nothing on the shelf....go figure.  We continued to drive around podunkville.  The locals were obviously congregating for their own fireworks show.  We drove LITERALLY 2 miles per hour down main street while some jerk off searched for an available parking spot.  I probably wouldn't have been as irritated if my daughter wasn't whining from boredom and my bladder wasn't about to explode. 
So we get to the next shop and it's a large fabulous air conditioned facility.  It was actually overwhelming, so many choices and I didn't have a clue what they did.  Funny, you'd think they'd just make signs like

 These are great for little kids
These Explode in the Sky
These will ruin your sidewalk with little black spots
These are just loud and not much else
These should be illegal, so buy them while you still can
These will make you look cool to your neighbors
These will make your neighbors want to kill you
These will guarantee a trip to the ER tonight

Seriously?  Would that not make the shopping go immensely faster? Tons of color and crazy names, but not one description...ok aside from sparklers.  We left this place when I over heard a sales person say they were out of the little chickens, snakes and tanks.  If you don't get those references, your parents must have let you play with more dangerous toys when you were a kid.  I loaded the kid back into the car and drove across the street to the next outdoor stand.

The line wasn't bad, about 20 minutes and we were being served.  My daughter is adorable and extroverted and knows no stranger.  This made the heat and bladder compression bearable as she flirted with others in line.  The dude behind the counter helped me pick out a ton of kid friendly America rocks celebratory favors.

We pit stopped at McDonalds so daddy could go and picked up some fries for the ride home.  Ah, simple pleasures to keep the lil 'un occupied.  An aside, she's learned the letter M is for Mommy, so she points out EVERY M she sees and says momma.  It's cute, but Cheese and Rice there are 40 dozen M's before you even get through the door at Mickey D's.  

2 1/2 hours after departure we were back with our booty.  We coated ourselves with bug spray and headed outside.  I lit a sparkler for my wife to entertain the kid while I set up a spot in the yard to light shit on fire.  Kiddo immediately picked up a piece of the sparkler that fell as it burned.  Luckily no blister, but little bit of crying. 

The first thing I ignited taught me something new.  The giant empty flower pot I flipped over to use as a stage is made of Styrofoam.  Why I didn't connect with this as I picked up what should have been 40 pounds that was actually only 10 is beyond me.  So my flower pot now has a hole through the bottom, well a second really the first was there from the manufacturer.  Looks suspiciously similar.  Maybe there was never supposed to be a hole at the bottom, maybe it was another firework display gone awry in the plant.  Eh, probably not, but it would make me feel way less stupid.  So I snagged a couple cinder blocks from the garage.  Do you ever wonder how or why people just randomly have cinder blocks available?  Aren't they for commercial construction and corpse over a bridge disposal?  No? Must just be me.  

My little girl DID NOT like my next decision.  I picked up one of these lady bug things.  Remember, there are no descriptions, lots of warnings, but ZERO heads up to what you're in store for on the package.  This thing whistled at top octave and decibel and shot up in the air like a friggin' rocket (no, it was not a rocket, it was literally shaped like a lady bug).  She burst into tears.  Great job dad.  So I chose what I thought would be less loud and still keep her interested.  The chicken DID NOT lay any eggs.  Instead he just exploded.  More tears.  Fantastic.  We went back to the sparklers for a bit, no tears but she did break for the nearest exit upon seeing them.  Christ, I'm traumatizing my child!  I decided she needed more control over the noise and gave her some pop its.  You know, those little white tear drop shaped bags of rocks and gun powder that you throw at the ground or friends and it snaps (Jesus that description is terrifying)?  Yeah, no, that did not make her more comfortable.  Instead she began bawling and clawing at the door knob. 

OK, fireworks are done!  We came back in and I flipped on the Capitol Fourth of July Special that Jimmy Smitts was hosting.  Well I'll be damned if the fireworks on TV didn't make her start whining.  Damnitalltohell!  I've made my child hate fireworks.  Bad Daddy.  Bath time came around and then bed time.  She's spent the last two hours waking up crying, presumably because of the fireworks still going off outside.  Cheers to another self-induced sleepless night.  Happy Birthday America!  Better luck next year, huh?

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