Monday, June 20, 2011

Father's Day Weekend

I had my best set of consecutive days in recent memory over the weekend. Lily was staying over at her Aunt Lori's, so Jen and I had a real date for the first time in ages. We finished work, rushed home, had a quick dinner, then ran over to the local theater for a showing of X-Men: First Class. At the risk of making the predictable observation, it really was a first class film, and I'll be giving it its own post in a bit.

We stayed through the credits, but there were no extras, and then we went out to the lobby. Jen wanted to play some Ms. Pac-Man, but there was a mom there, teaching her son how to play the game. She kept continuing when she lost, to the point that I suggested that Jen put a quarter on the cabinet to claim the next game, and that went over about as well as you'd expect. We played some air hockey and I won, though I did have an assist from Jen, who kept knocking the puck into her own goal.

The games were free by the time our game ended, so Jen played some Ms. Pac-Man while I shot dinosaurs in the face. She got the high score and we were both happy. Then we went home and watched some Everwood.

The next morning, we got up and headed over to my Grammy's house where she was holding a yard sale. Jen thought she was being funny by putting a "Make Offer" price sticker on my shirt until I pointed out the two I had previously stuck on her rear.

After that it was down to the local Farmer's Market, which, I hate to say, is a lot more enjoyable without Lily begging for sweets and swerving to pet every dog. We met people from the local historical society, we saw a neat sand sculpture, and we bought some pasties for lunch.

Then we picked up Lily, went home very briefly, watched an episode of Scooby Doo and then took off for a puppet show. The Mock Turtle Marionette Company in conjunction with Pennsylvania Sinfonia Orchestra put together a piece they called "Museum of Music". They're still tweaking it, (the director called it a "Public Dress Rehearsal") but it was pretty excellent. Actors provided narration while the musicians played well known pieces of classical music and the puppeteers controlled the marionettes as if they were performing the pieces. It was really pretty neat. I'd never seen anything quite like it.

After the show, the director described it as a "French Pastry" school of thought, meaning that if you give a kid a French pastry when he or she is young, the kid will think, "Hey, maybe the French are kind of cool," and likewise, if you expose them at an early age to Classical music in a really engaging fashion, they'll have that spark of interest as they get older and may be more receptive to it as they get older.

It was pretty great all around, though their Bach marionette was rather terrifying. It looked like Chucky and Hannibal Lecter had a baby.

"Hello, Clarice. Wanna Play?"

We played for a bit in the abutting playground and Lily enjoyed that too. Our day wasn't done yet, because we still had a birthday party to attend. It was at Rascals, a restaurant and arcade along the lines of Dave & Buster's or Chuck E. Cheese. We all had a blast. Jen went on the climbing wall,

Lily went in the play area and took a ride in the Batmobile.

I mostly kept an eye on her, but I did manage to sneak away for a couple games. Jen had been cheating when Lily played the Cracky Crabs game and punching the crabs with her hand when they popped out of the top row.


It's like Whack-A-Mole, except with scurrying crabs instead of moles. I finally got the high score.

A winner is me. Fuck you, Cracky Crabs.

I also won Lily a stuffed animal from the crane machine, which made me really happy, because that's one of the things daddies do for their daughters.

We did have kind of an ugly moment at the air hockey table. Lily is an only child, and that is unlikely to change, barring the malfunction of some kind of device. When she was smaller, we usually let her win, but now that she's playing games with peers, we don't always let her win all the time anymore. It's not like I flip the Monopoly board over and yell "WINNER!!!" while pointing to myself, but I think there is virtue in understanding that you're not going to win everything every time and I certainly don't want to raise a self-entitled monster. We were playing air hockey and I was ahead, 6-4. I hadn't decided if I was going to let her win or not at that point, but it was rendered moot when she turned away from the table in a pout. This trait has been in evidence for a while. Back when she had just turned three and we were playing "Don't Break the Ice", she would refuse to take her next turn if she thought she would lose. So, we're going to have to continue to work on this.

Sunday was Father's Day. Jen and Lily got me a kid's sized soccer ball and Lily made me a wonderful card. I scanned it with the intention of uploading it here, but the file got corrupted, so I'll have to rescan it and edit it into the post when I get the chance.

Edit: Here's the card. Lily did all the writing and all the drawing and she drew green hearts on the other side because she knows I like green.

She did all the writing herself and put hearts in the place of letter "O" because she loves me so much.
We did take a brief detour into Bizarro World. Around our house, things are usually like this:

Lily: Can we go outside and play?
Me: Ugh. Outside? Wouldn't you rather stay in here and watch cartoons instead?

I like soccer. It's unique among my interests in that for everything else, I've always had something of a natural aptitude, but not so much with soccer. But I stuck with it, and over the years, I got to be, if not a great soccer player, then at least a competent one, by virtue of sheer tenacity. I thought it would be fun to kick the ball around, but she wasn't interested. Ah well. C'est la vie. We've got some nice weather ahead of us. I'll take it along with us next time we go to the park.


  1. Great Post Joshua. I enjoyed reading it and it sounded like everyone had a great day! Love to you