Saturday, February 14, 2009

The Grind Day Out

I think I was a bad dad today in some ways.  Lori had a scrapbooking day, so today was to be a Daddy/Daughter day.  With nothing planned, we made a stop at the post office to get the mail (she does enjoy being the one to open the box and get the mail out and play with the key and stuff).  The night before, Rachel had suggested the park where the tire swing used to be, but it was too cold. 

She had wanted to go some place she could play, like the mall, but she had also decided to wear a very fancy red dress because it was Valentine's Day.  Not a dress for heavy play.  I had a small errand, so we stopped at Fred Meyer.  She declared that she needed some "alone time" and begged to be allowed to play in the Fred Meyer play area.  I felt it was a cop out, but it was what she asked for, so dropped her off and wandered around the store mostly aimlessly for awhile before retrieving her and going on our way.  Lori had suggested a movie as an inexpensive way to entertain her and spend some time with her and had even gone so far as to bring up the movie website on the computer that morning.  They were playing Madagascar 2, Bolt and The Tale of Despereaux and a few others at the $2 theater in town.  I have to admit that Rachel's at that stage now where things bore her pretty quickly.  In the past we could walk for hours at Bellevue Square, now such a walk would be a death march of "I'm so bored.  My legs are too tired.  Carry me daddy.  Can we go now?"  So I figured the movie was a safe bet, but it was a really hard sell.  She had already seen Madagascar 2 and Bolt and those were the only two I was offering her.  She and her mom are reading The Tale of Desperaux now and I had heard that it wasn't a very good movie and I really wasn't in the mood for a movie about rats today, not sure why.  Madagascar 2 was a known entity because I really enjoyed #1 and Bolt was from The New Disney, so that was probably going to be good, too.  I had a hard time selling her on the idea of even going to the movies, and then in line, people were talking about Desperaux and she asked if she could see it and I softly declined.  She didn't really push it even in the slightest, so I didn't feel bad at the time, but I do now. 

The timing worked for it to be Bolt and I'm glad she had already seen it because it's a little intense and also a little heartbreaking and so I was glad she was already clued into what would happen but also a little too young still to understand all of it.  I have to say, I teared up a few times, starting with that billboard scene in Las Vegas.  She also admitted to me that the movie was trying to make her cry at one point.  Also, because I'd never taken her or any small child to a movie, I did not know about booster seats, but even when I found out, could not see any to grab for her.  So, she spent part of the movie sitting on the edge of her seat, part of it standing, part of it with me holding the chair down for her so it wouldn't fold up on her, and part of the movie sitting on my lap.  So at one point, I'm making that little "herk" noise in my throat trying to hold back the tears (I was not emotional until I had kids.), she, sitting on my lap, turns her head upwards, brings her arms up kind of like one of her ballet poses and hugs me around my neck.  It was very sweet.

Afterwards, she wanted to play video games.  I don't know if her grandmother has let her (she said something about being told she was good at driving some kind of not sure what but sounded like one of those motorcycle or jetski type ride-on video games), or if she just saw the older kids playing, but she wanted to play.  I'm looking at the machines there in the poorly lit lobby of the $2 movie theater and thinking that it's probably not a good idea, she wouldn't be able to see any of the screens and she probably wouldn't understand the gameplay of many of the games. 

So we left and I suggested Starbucks.  No, she said, she wanted something interesting.  I was at a loss.  We drove around for awhile, but I couldn't think of anything that would entertain her.and we both got bored in the car and so we went home.  I think she had a nice time today and she won't remember it unpleasantly, but I'm also not sure she'll remember it at all, it just didn't feel like much of a bonding time (outside of all the time spent waiting in line to buy tickets where I let her grab two fingers and I'd lift her into the air) and I felt like I said "no" way too many times today over stuff that was really not important for me to say no over and that I hadn't planned and did not deliver interesting.
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