Musings from George

Mini-me and bouncy houses
June 26, 2007, 12:31 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

We scheduled chaos for last Friday. Chaos involves small children (I counted seventeen, eight of them months either side of three years old) and inflatable objects (I don’t know who created the bouncy house, but what a godsend!). Attending to those many children were close to twenty adults, because we invited our son’s teachers and several only children had two parents along.

Expecting our three-year-old son to melt down when the hordes trashed his toys, we had tried to prepare him for the onslaught (remember that first dent in your new car? don’t we all have a certain sense of “Mine!” that never really goes away). We told him that everyone was going to share, and we hoped for the best.

I was pleasantly surprised (bordering on shock) how well-behaved he was, and what a gracious host he was. As a couple of boys attacked his Matchbox cars and toy parking garage, he ran past them and encouraged them to come try the bouncy house. He ran around the yard offering every kid a juice box. He shared his mini-sofa with a couple of other kids. There really wasn’t any conflict through the evening, which included a couple of cases of beer and a half-dozen bottles of wine to wash down the curry (my wife is a great cook, something I try not to take for granted). We sat in the long warm evening and listened to the sound of calories melting away in the bouncy house ,and enjoyed the food and drink. The whirr of the air pump keeping the house aloft is about as loud as a vacuum cleaner, but I have never praised a vaccum cleaner in the same manner.

Saturday the rental company was late coming to get the bouncy house, so we burned off a few more calories out in the back yard. Yes, I broke the rules… I am somewhere more than three times the “maximum” sixty-pound limit…but no damage was done.

When they did pick up the house, we again expected our son to melt down. Instead, he ran after the guy taking it away to yell “Thank you!” I was as surprised as the man from the rental company — and proud, too.

The little social experiments that we call children continue to age, and so far I am pleased with the result. There’s no telling what life holds for us, but I hope some day that my son can read this somewhere and know how proud he made me, if only for a weekend.



2 Comments so far
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Nice stuff, George! You’ll enjoy having this written record when (like us now) your children spread their wings and fly to the next stage in their lives, only looking forward. And it makes provocative reading for the rest of us.

Comment by Mark

Indeed, it’s very hard to imagine the path from here to an empty nest. Wresting a couple of children through a regular bath cycle is wearying, and I try hard to look down the path to the days when I’ll look forward to their calls from college (or whatever a ‘call’ looks like in fifteen years).
I miss all of you in Seattle, really and truly.

Comment by jaquette

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