Sunday, May 17, 2009

Day 594 - 3rd Street Prome-not

Today we decided to take the kids outside and take a nice stroll down the 3rd Street Promenade in Santa Monica. For those of you not familiar with 3rd Street, it's a pedestrian promenade between 2nd and 4th Street in Santa Monica. Just a few more blocks east is 5th Street, and if you go a little further you'll hit 6th and 7th Street. Did I describe it well enough for you?

As with most well intentioned trips with the kids, you start out with a positive attitude and by the end of the day you're exhausted and in dire need of some Xanax, Zoloft, and whiskey. Personally, I don't believe in the use of drugs and alcohol to remedy your problems. I like to resolve my problems the good old fashioned way -- with hookers and handcuffs.

Our slow spiral downwards started with lunch at Le Pain Quotidien. Crazy Grandma and Lazy Grandpa also came so we all sat down around the community table. As soon as we put Emma and Andrew in their high chairs, they became restless. Emma squirmed, but Andrew squirmed and made sounds that were either Tasmanian devil mating calls or greetings heard at the annual Flatulence Festival.

Our waiter thought he would help us out by giving the kids plastic cups of water with straws, but it really just made the situation worse. Emma and Andrew refused to touch their sippy cups and would only drink out of the plastic cups. Andrew started to squeeze his cup so hard that the lid popped off and water poured out, and Emma shook her cup up and down splashing water all over the place. The poor couple next to us looked like foreign visitors at Sea World who didn't realize they were sitting in the Splash Zone during the Shamu show.

Finally the food arrived. We ordered a bread basket for the table, and I received my turkey sandwich. Just as I was about to grab my food, Lisa moved the bread basket into my glass of water. The water spilled all over the table, my sandwich, and my lap...specifically my crotch. It was an embarrassing stain, yet strangely refreshing at the same time.

Towards the end of the meal, the kids were getting bored. We could tell they wanted to leave because they kept on saying, "Mere et pere, je veux partir!" Amazing they could learn French in 45 minutes, non? Lisa and I decided that once we got back on the promenade, we would let the kids walk around to stretch their legs.

Bad idea.

How could we be so stupid to let our kids walk around the promenade when they are so little and wobbly? Being little Japanese people ourselves, we should've known how dangerous it is to walk around towering white people! We told Crazy Grandma that we wanted to put the kids back into the stroller, but Crazy Grandma said that she would watch Andrew. While Crazy Grandma was crouched over trying to catch Andrew, I was trying to put Emma into the stroller. Emma did everything she could do to stay out of the stroller. She grabbed me. She kicked me. She tazered me.

Meanwhile, Crazy Grandma and Andrew were talking to another family about 50 feet away. In the corner of my eye, I noticed everyone laughing. I checked my pants, but the water stain was gone. I looked closer, and realized Andrew was flirting with a little girl! He kept on blowing kisses to her over and over again. I think Andrew eventually won her over because they exchanged diapers and have a play date on Saturday.

We painfully made our way back to the parking garage and drove home. While driving, I was thinking how I have these grand thoughts of taking a family trip to the zoo or an aquarium. But how could we survive that if we can hardly make it through a day on a promenade? I've asked friends with older kids, and they tell me that our kids need to be a little older before you can go on trips. When I ask how old, they tell me 50. Then when I tell them that I'd be dead by then, they respond with a knowing smile, "Exactly."

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