Friday, July 07, 2006

please just do it for me

Did everyone have a good 4th of July? I had a lot of fun that day - I went to our traditional ward flag-raising ceremony, sung the Battle Hymn of the Republic with the ward choir (we were enthusiastic, if not exactly good), ate donuts, went on a good walk, saw my family, and went to see the big fireworks show in the downtown park. Yes, I realize this is sounding a lot like a journal up to here, but this is all just background.

What's really on my mind is an incident at the fireworks show. After Dan and I found an open spot of grass, we plopped down our plastic bags (it's Seattle - of course it rained at 7PM on the 4th of July) and blanket, and sat down. A family came a few minutes later and sat right behind us. No problem - everyone wants a good view of the fireworks. In fact, the fireworks were even going to be shown on one of the local news channels.

So at 10 o'clock, two fireworks went up and exploded - that's how they got everyone's attention to count down for the TV news show. As soon as the first, and rather mild, firework went boom, the little boy behind me yelled. And he kept yelling - yelling, crying, screaming, and pleading "I want to go home. I want to go home. I want to go home." Maybe he had seen the Wizard of Oz recently, but in my opinion, the little guy was scared of the big, loud fireworks. His mom comforted him, cuddling him on her lap and burying his head under her coat to muffle the screams.

So far, nothing struck me as really odd - I just felt sorry for the little guy. But as the fireworks continued, so did the screaming. After 5 minutes, he was sounding desparately terrified; after 15 minutes, he was sounding in pain; after 25 minutes, the finale began and drowned him out; and after 30 minutes the show ended and the parents began picking up their things and carried the still loudly weeping child off with them.

I was really annoyed - not with the child, not with the noise, but with the parents. I really wish I had turned around at some point and said to them, "Please take your kid home - if you won't do it because he is terrified and screaming and crying, then please just do it for me."


Jenny said...

I'm always afraid I'll end up being the parent who forces their child to do something "fun" when the kid is screaming their head off. Case in point: Nick and I went out tonight (gasp!) to go see the Joseph Smith movie at the Legacy Theater in Salt Lake. (We went to the Lion House for dinner afterwards because it was close, relatively cheap, and they validated our parking, but that detail is incidental to the story. But the rolls are never incidental. I love those rolls.)

Anyway, Lucy's sat through the movie before (we took our young women; Julie C and I went with our mom when they visited a few weeks ago) and never really had any problems. But now that she's learned that she can move (crawl, wiggle, scoot, go up stairs, rambo roll [a move apparently telepathically inherited from Jon) she's decided that moving is always infinately better than sitting still.

About halfway through the movie she decided to start singing along with the music: "daa daa daa maa maa daa ..." floated softly down the row. Then her tactics became more aggressive: "uhhiii!" (we call it the baby dinosaur sound--there's a bit of a growl in the middle). And finally a cry loud enough to cause the person in front of us to actually take off their translating headphones and turn around. So I stood up with her, let her crawl around on the side, and eventually ended up outside the doors. (Remember, I've already seen it 3 times, and Nick had never seen it, so this obviously gender imbalanced parenting act actually was ok.)

So all I'm saying in this really long comment is that I can sympathize with the parents (this is the first time we've been out of the house together in weeks, oh, he'll start to like the fireworks once they get going, oh bother ... , oh well ... , oh look, I can tune out my own child ...) but I really hope we never get that bad.

Future Parenting Question: What do you do when one child is terrified and the others are having a good time?

Nick said...

It rained at 7PM on the 4th for us too. Actually it rained from about 4 to 7- and not just your average seattle sprinkle, this was hard driving stormy rain. I had to brace up the peach tree with boards. It rained so much that I haven't had to water since then yet.

It must have been all the Mormons praying for "moisture" in sacrament meeting.

Julie C said...

PS - Is there something I missed that would let only the first few lines of my post show and not have it hog the whole screen when we're scrolling through the list of posts?

Nick said...

first, compose the post in html mode, and you will see some code that look like "span=fullpost" or something like that. Write what you want to appear on the main page in front of that code, and the rest of the body before the 2nd bit of code that says "/span"