First there was a Man. Then a Woman. Then in quick succession, two cats, a confused dog beast, and two kids. I stay at home with them. I'm the Man

Friday, March 26, 2010

I'm not paranoid, I'm a realist.

We play this game at play group.  The parachute game.  We take a well-worn (grubby) 
fluorescent, rainbow colored parachute and hold it in a circle.  It has handles. We sing and we whip the parachute about.  It billows out as it reaches its apex and is pulled back down.  Sucks in concave as it’s ripped up again.  Smiling, singing parents stand and hold its handles.  Pumping up and down to make it move.  Under it our children gather.  We  see them in quick flashes as the parachute is pulled up and quickly  down again.  (Flash)They sit on the gym floor, (Flash)or dance (Flash)or sing, (Flash)or run (flash)or . . . 

 It's the "or . . ."  that gets me.   A little part of me fears this game. 

  I can’t take the flashes.  The long seconds when I lose sight of the Peanut.  Who knows what could        happen under there?  It’s a complete free-for-all.  Every time the parachute comes down again over my angel's tousled, strawberry kissed hair, my mind's eye starts with the horror flicks. (Flash) Giant, enraged 4 year-olds (Flash) stomping and kicking, (Flash) hair pulling, (Flash) biting ( (Flash) bloodshed (Flash) Nazis, (Flash) Dick Cheney (Flash) trans fats (Flash) shivs fashioned from Barbie legs (Flash) toddlers removing dirty diapers.  It only takes a couple seconds of unsupervised play for Lord of The Flies: The Toddler Years to break out.   

 These things have yet to happen.  But they could.  Still, I let her run under there when the game starts.  Out of my sight.  Alone.  I'll do the same for the Pumpkin Man when he's ready, too.  

 Parenting.  Every thing is a goddamn metaphor.  

 This post brought to you by Fatherhood Fridays at .


Homemaker Man


  1. Yes, and that parachute "game" is a metaphor for everything that's wrong with modern parenting, actually. Would you believe, young kids used to be able to play all on their own, waving their own colored streamers or flags or whatever, while the parents sat around and drank coffee? I saw parents doing that parachute thing once and I was knocked speechless with the weirdness of it all. Hello? Let the kids play on their own. It frightens them when we act like children.

    shivs from Barbie legs, eh? Gotta love that imagery!

  2. Sorry - I'm ranting in your comments section. Apologies to all parents who love the parachute game...

  3. That was priceless! You are too funny and a good daddy!

  4. I really want to see a Nazi baby that looks like Dick Cheney now...

  5. Every-time I would get a view of the mayhem under the parachute some boy would be hugging or kissing my daughter. I kept thinking oh god to early way to early. Very well put post.

  6. Our little guy was terrified of the parachute in all it's grubby glory ( Only in the last month has he finally taken to its "charms". I think I preferred the opt-out his terror justified.

  7. Love this post, but hate that stupid game. I also couldn't handle the little gym classes where the parents all sit around in a circle, sing, and generally act like a bunch of morons.

    However, Im all about playdates were alcohol was passed out with wreckless abandon. ;)

  8. I can't believe on the day I have new guests my font is all f*cked up.

    C-Mostly this group is pretty loose. And I just bring a flask.

  9. You went awfully Chuck Palahniucky on us there... Nice. Scary. But nice.

  10. Alicia-You went all reference I had to google on me there. I'll take it, thank you!

  11. Alicia summed it up nicely. :)

    We used to play that game in elementary school in gym class. Though we also had another version called cat and mouse where everyone would hold the edges flapping it up and down while one kid scurried around underneath (mouse) and one kid crawled around on top (cat) of it try to catch the mouse.

  12. That was funny. And it was funny to read the sweet and touching beginning part...not knowing you personally, it was amusing to put that sweet reflective dad up against the swearing, sarcastic dad we read about a wee bit more often. Oh but then the Lord of the Flies arrived and all normalcy was restored.

    :) Good one, HM.

  13. I remember playing that as a child...lots of fun.

    Dick Cheney plays with Barbies? Gross!

  14. I believe my 6 are capable of doing that all on their own with a small parachute...I wonder where they sell them? I bet mine would take it upon themselves to *help* the cranky ones get lost for a time under there. Hmmm...

    Monica, I thought *all* parents were sarcastic sailors behind their children's backs? You mean it's just me???!!! I'm going to have such a complex now. ;)

  15. It was all fun and games until Dick Cheney got tossed into the mix.

  16. Nothing to worry about my paper plate headed friend. I can remember playing that game when I was little and I turned out ok, right? Right???

  17. What are you going to do when they are ready for school? :D

    I used to love the parachute game. In Gym, we used to play shark with it... I can't quite remember the rules, though.


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