Sunday, January 17, 2010


I get notions. They tend to make the husband suddenly remember somewhere he has to be.
I had one of these great notions yesterday.

"Let's go into the city and take the kids to the carousel. Then we'll go somewhere fun for dinner. It'll be a great surprise."

The carousel is made by Charles Looff. It's very beautiful and historic.
It's set in some city gardens with an ice rink, bowling alley and park.

This particular city has parking issues. We drive around for ages.
We can pay $15 for a lot but I object - especially as we will only be an hour or two.
Finally we find street parking. We don't have enough quarters for the meter.

The kids are pretty excited now so we decide that the husband will head off to the carousel (still a secret) and I will get change and feed the meter.
Ha. This is when I realize I have become an old lady who doesn't venture downtown so much anymore.
No-one wants to give me change for the meter. I finally convince the municipal parking lot to. As I am walking back to feed the meter I get accosted by a man.
He has the most unusual of circumstances.
His car has been towed, he needs to get to some place where his wife is in hospital - he just needs $7 for the bus, He'll send me $20 back in return.
It would be compelling if I didn't know it to be the oldest scam in the book.

By now I am imagining that my kids will have already rode the carousel and my own car will have been towed.
I give him a few dollars so he'll go away.

I feed my meter and head for the carousel. I'm already thinking that it would have been easier just to go to the local park when I see the six year old standing outside the carousel. Face crumpled. Next to her is the husband looking irritated.
Oh dear. Not the golden moment I had pictured.

"What happened?"

The six year old informs me she is VERY disappointed. Carousels are for little kids and she thought we would be doing something much more fun.
I am not a fan of ingratitude. I am about to begin a long rant about the children in Haiti when I decide not to entertain her behavior. I tell her she can sit on the bench while we ride with the twenty month old.

Cue hysterics.
This is an emerging dilemma for our family. We have a five year age gap between our girls. What is fun for the baby may not be for the six year old and vice versa.
However the baby gets the short end of that stick. She is constantly doing things that are more suited to her sister.

I gamely try to ignore the tantrum and focus on the baby who is clambering up the leg of one of the carousel horses.
The six year old is now pleading to join in and making outrageous claims of contriteness.

I battle my own disappointment and frustration, plaster a smile on my face and we ride.
The baby does love it. She is shouting "Weeeeeeee!" and grinning like the Cheshire Cat. We ride again and then move onto the park.

Next we go for dinner. The husband and I gaze longingly into hip bars and restaurants where adults are drinking yummy looking cocktails and looking carefree.
We head to a child friendly place.

The six year continues to struggle. She is moody and rude.
Gloom settles over the table.
I run a mental tab of how much this great notion has cost and how the twenty month is the only one having a good time. Ironic - since she would have been just as happy digging in the back yard.

I have a feeling that my notions may not be entertained for the foreseeable future.


  1. At least one of them had fun and the 6 year old needs to understand that at times you have to do something that the younger one will enjoy as well.

  2. This is filed under the "You can't manufacture a good time" theme in our family. But you have to keep trying! And at least the babe had fun...

  3. Sounds like you were in San Francisco...? If so, do share the "child-friendly" restaurants.
    We too long for the hip places for cocktails and usually end up at the family friendly mexican restaurant instead.

  4. What a blast from the past! Did you know I used to manage the Operations of that Carousel? Know it inside out, from the time it was installed at that corner! I agree, too bad that it's not more convenient and affordable for families to get down to that area! Sorry that your 6 year old was not thrilled to experience it! Haven't taken my 5 year old down there since she was two! Need to venture down there with both my girls again, someday soon! BTW, I think I saw you and your fam outside Crepevine tonight.


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