Saturday’s picnic, despite being a two year-old’s birthday party, turned out to be downright pleasant. I give a round of applause to the kid for being well behaved and a standing ovation to the adults who were who were instrumental in ensuring that behavior.
The parents, as well as the father’s sister, took turns escorting the birthday girl to a nearby playground where she could whoop it with the other screaming hellspawn. That kept us old folks free from the outbursts of a bored and cranky youngster as well as providing the kid a chance to enjoy herself in her element.
If only such arrangements could be made all the time.
I remember what it was like being a kid in the company of grownups. Not at the age of two, of course. I’m referring more to elementary-school age, but the same dynamic still applies. Instead of doing what I wanted to do, I had to sit and politely endure mind-numbingly dull adult conversation, usually between my Mom and some other equally bored housewife she was visiting.
Fortunately for me, I was older than two. I was old enough to fight back. My preferred tactic was harsh, almost terrorist in nature. Since I was a good kid, I would only unleash this form of retribution if the situation became intolerable. Intolerable, in case you were wondering, meant the conversation was dragging on long enough for me to miss part of a favorite TV show.
What I did first was to ask to use the friend’s bathroom. Permission attained and now perched on the toilet, I would shift my weight to one side and then let fly with as much force as I could. Due to skill attained through sheer repetition, not to mention the high-bran breakfast cereal my mother made me eat, I was able to achieve the hit-and-slide on the dry porcelain more often than not. A single flush afterward did little to censor my statement. Vindication was mine.
I am positive that a similar battle, in some bathroom out there somewhere, is being waged today. Mothers, and I suppose fathers too, really should think twice before yammering on about some piece of crap they bought on sale. To kids, it’s not as interesting as a rerun of “Star Trek” and it never will be.