Sunday, January 1, 2012

Daddy Mac Will Make You 'JUMP! JUMP!'

Raising children on your own is a job, and like any other employment it has its days when you are laughing at the water cooler, and days when you're banging your head against the cubicle walls. There's no retirement or vacation pay; no medical or dental, but there is job security. From the day your child draws breath you are a parent until you die. But this security doesn't come without a very high price. Trying to raise kids in this economy is like Snooki trying to pass the LSAT's; a desperate and risky venture. However, there comes a time. . .*

*In my case,the end of Christmas break when the short people had gnawed through their restraints

. . .when you throw caution and finances to the wind in order to keep your children entertained. I'm all about spending quality time with the shorties, but what does that even MEAN? Reading Proust by candlelight? Playing marathon games of Crazy 8's? These days, the phrase "quality time" has become a bigger catchall than Rosie O'Donnell's shirt after All-You-Can-Eat Riblet Night at Applebee's.

Left to their own devices my short people would spend the entire day gaping into a computer screen which drives me batshit crazy for two reasons: first, we only have ONE computer and Mama needs to get her blog on, and second, if I want to expose my progeny to artificial intelligence I'll make them watch Celebrity Week on 'Jeopardy'. When it comes to spending time with M and J I approach it with the same philosophy I use in all aspects of parenting: wear them out. I have found that both my short people and I are much happier individuals when we are simply too fucking exhausted to annoy one another, so with that in mind I shelled out the $60 and treated the three of us to two hours at Sky High Sports.

So. . .much. . .overstimulation. . .

Sky High is a renovated warehouse that is now home to wall-to-wall trampolines, a foam diving pit, and. . .oh Sweet Baby Jeebus. . .a dodgeball court. The kids obviously outnumber the adults here and they are fearless little bastards. They bounce around like Robin Williams on crystal meth, run from one trampoline to the next, flipping and diving like a one-winged Cessna. There were also two blonde 85 pound cheerleader/pole dancers in there practicing their jumps and eye-humping the 20-something staff member with the skin-tight shirt and tribal tat. Pfft! Step aside, ladies; let a veteran Cheerio show you how its done! Yeah, famous last words. You see, I have difficulty remembering that I am no longer in my twenties. On my last birthday I turned. . .well, let's just say my cake had more candles than an Enya video and leave it at that. So, of course the inevitable happened while I was showing off my mad handspringin' skillz and a fell ass over teakettle in front of everybody. Not one of my finer moments, but I was pleasantly mollified when Barbie and Skipper collided midair and one of them got her hair stuck in the trampoline coils. She wasn't physically injured so I didn't feel too bad pointing and laughing.

"We all float down here. . ."

My short people are especially fond of the foam pit, but I take umbrage with it for two important reasons. Number one, there is a large sign near the foam pit that clearly states "NO FLIPS!" Now, one of my dearest friends is Filipino and I just don't see where Sky High comes off ostracizing an entire ethnic group like that. Hatin' is whack, yo. And number two, the foam squares are suspiciously moist and are enshrouded by a stench that can only be described as a melange of ass and cheese. I shuddered at the sight of so many children in shorts and tank tops landing face-first in that Petri dish of shame and degradation; envisioning the spread of a Junta-like virus which would eradicate mankind as we know it. No. . .just. . .no.

You're goin' down like a dime-store hooker, Junior.

While I am not an advocate of bobbing for HIV in the foam pit, I am a huge proponent of the Sport of Kings: dodgeball. Never before has there been another sport that so perfectly combines speed, agility, and public humiliation as dodgeball. Yes, Sky High Sports has a trampoline lined dodge ball court which should level the playing field and limit collateral damage, but I was delighted to note that children are just as bloodthirsty as I was at their age. . .and still am. They were throwing some heat and aiming for the head with such lack of mercy that it brought a tear of joy to this jaded woman's eye. The beautiful thing about dodgeball is that there are no age brackets, and the rules are about as fluid as the food on Bob Dole's lunch tray. I don't care what that 7 year old harpy was complaining about; kicking the ball IS legal. Sure, when you do it, you'll have all these whiny little crothlings squawling "Hey! You can't kick the ba--" but they won't even be able to finish their sentence because they'll get a lightning fast rocketball right in the kisser on a direct flight from your foot. Learn your lesson kids. . .quit your bitching, and don't mess with the crazy old lady.

All in all, I'd say the trip was a success. The short people had a blast, I got a great workout, and no one on the dodgeball court pressed charges. I may not be one of those moms that makes organic vegan cookies in the shape of endangered animals or spends hours throwing more games of Chutes and Ladders than a Vegas prizefighter throws matches, but when it comes to learning how to decimate your opponent with a well-timed overhand pitch to the crotch, I'm your gal.



Gia said...

Hahahah this place sounds amazing. It almost makes me wish I had kids to bring there. Almost.

Scott Jung said...

I'm not sure where you come up with these phrases that make me want to cry, laugh out loud, and wet my pants all hide laughing, but keep it up and I will keep reading.

I love me some dodge ball and am a big fan of the two ball approach. In case others are not aware of this tactic (I am sure you know) one ball is lofted in the general direction of an opponent, who must focus and concentrate like a game of 500. They hold that sharp focus on the incoming lofted ball, right up until ball #2 cracks them in the stomach.


Jen said...

GIA - It is not for the faint of heart. Between the shrieking children and the speakers blaring 3-Oh-3 and Blink 182 at deafening volume it is a cluster-fuck of epic proportions.

SCOTT - Thank you, it is nice to find people who share my sense of humor. Usually I just get weird stares and questions like "What does Dante's 'Inferno' have to do with Wal-Mart?"

I have not yet mastered to two-ball approach but have acquired mad turnaround time on the second volley. :)

Anonymous said...

My kids are big on the multi-ball approach -- just keep 'em coming and eventually you'll get a hit.

I took mine ice-skating. Same "wear them out" technique but slightly less chance of getting smacked in the head. Also, when M and J are old enough, you'll have the joy of taking them to action films and filling everybody up on popcorn -- something I love to do with Oldest and Middlest. Of course, it helps that we tend to like the same kind of movies. The kind where people get shot. Please, if I wanted romantic drama I'd call my single girlfriends -- I go to the movies to see things I can't experience in real life, thank you very much.

Fyre said...

A TRAMPOLINE-LINED-DODGEBALL-COURT?!?!?!?! Whoa, sorry, I just got uber-excited there for a sec. ;D That is like a fantasy come to life for me...can you only go there if you have short-people? 'Cause I so wanna go throw down with my mad dodgeball skills, yo! Of course, just because I was the ruler of dodgeball back in grade school, I don't suppose I should still think those are bad ass skills now, should I? Sigh...

Oh, Jen, I so thought of you this morning...but not in a creeper way. One of my neighbors was leaving to walk their dog and I knew it would have made you laugh like a mad woman: him - an early 20-something wanna be hipster dude sporting a tacky fedora and skintight jeans; the dog - a yapping white poodle; the thing that made laugh until I snorted - his wannabe-like-Marc-Jacobs friend wearing the black kilt, black leather jacket (with pseudo graffiti in white on the back) and black wannabe biker boots. It was so uber-hipster-ish, I know you would have loved it.

Wishing you and your readers a 2012 filled with snark, inappropriateness and much for us all to laugh at!

P.S. My verification word: smars. Why does that make me think of some sort of embarrassing bodily function?

Jen said...

FYRE - You TOTALLY don't need short people! But you do have to be willing to make the trek to the ghetto (aka. Tigard). Jesus, your neighbors sound magical. Do you live near NW 23rd or Hawthorne? They sound like your average denizens.

Smars. . .heh-heh-heh. . .sounds like schmeg. . .heh-heh!

Jen said...

ANDI - I'm with you; my main criteria for choosing movies is by how much shit gets blown up, and unless some of that shit is Sandra Bullock or Meg Ryan, I ain't seeing their movies.

Ally Gregory-Moore said...

I do this exact same thing. Except, I do it with my dogs. (The previous statement taken out of context would make me seem like a pervert.)

I take my dogs to the dog park and let them run around for hours while I read a book. Once we are home, they pass out and I can get shit done without them following me around.

Happy New Year to you!!

mark said...

That seems like a place of survival skills training. Should we find ourselves in the Matrix or a werewolf/vampire filled world those who have visited Sky High Sports will be at a real advantage. Well done, Jen. Here's to another year of kickass parenting. Happy New Year to you!

Tainted Fibers said...

Happy New Year! Keep up the awesome blogging!

Andrea said...

You win! Hands Down!!! No way have I provided anything close to that level of entertainment as you did...both by bringing your kids to Happy Land and by bloggin about it for our amusement! FLIPPIN awesome!

Jen said...

ALLY- I am yet to find a discernible difference between raising children and dogs. Now, if I could only get my short people crate-trained...

MARK- I credit Sky High Sports for my wicked hot Buffy The Vampire Slayer aerial skillz.

T.FIBERS- Thank you! Happy 2012 :)

ANDREA- Whoo-hoo! It is so rare that I have a parenting WIN!

chemgirljaime said...

that sounds rad as hell.... I'm effing jealous!

namaste said...

awesome kids/mom activity! you rock for the creative thinking, jen!

CiCi said...

Holy shit balls Jen! That places looks so rad! The closest thing we have to that in my area is a warehouse filled with bouncy houses; it also includes a foam petri dish pit of doom. I too subscribe to your single mom philosophy: Get 'Em too damn tired to whine.
I hope you and your short ones had a lovely New Years!
PS-apparently I have relatives in P-town...who knew?! I just got a holiday card from them post marked from your holy land!

Word Verification: outgoof (A thing I do all the time to make Mini Me laugh)

Audra said...

If I had a place like that where I lived, I'd include that expense into my monthly budget tracker. I live in the coldest (not really) and the stupidest (totally accurate) place EVER and they have NOTHING like this to entertain my little people for the long winter. Although, where you and differ is that I would watch them wear themselves out so that I could have some "mommy" time when they crashed. Wearing myself out so that I could crash with them totally defeats the purpose of wearing them out in the first place, if you ask me!

Lizbeth said...

We had one of those places in our old neighborhood and I thank my lucky stars my kids were too young to go there. If I had know they had dodgeball that would have been a whole other story. There were a few kids I'd like to have nailed. And I mean that in the nicest of dodgeball ways....

Jen said...

JAIME - Take the train down sometime and I will hook a sistah up!

NAMASTE - Desperate times call for desperate actions, Girl! :)

CICI - Wha...what!?!? You have P-Town relatives? You realize that's Fate's way of telling you that you and Mini Me need to visit! :)

AUDRA - I figured it was more fun than going to the gym. Since I could hardly walk the next day, it was obviously more effective too!

LIZBETH - Dodgeball is the perfect venue for someone with my repressed rage. And since most short people (other than my own) annoy the ever-lovin' crap outta me, I was truly in my element. ;)

Lunachance said...

Thanks for your post. I am so frustrated with my neighbor (he is ready to quit on his hormonal, hateful, angry, immature, spiteful, 17 year old daughter), and I told him that he is not allowed to quit on her since he made her (a touch of background: he cheated on the wife and a divorce ensued; it was a bad marriage from the outside, so I cannot imagine what it was like inside the house; he is self employed, overtly favors the son and is tired of the daughter's attitude) and his parenting job ends when he inhales his last breath... So, I am inspired that you are able to find glee in parenting your "short ones."

The trampoline/dodgeball center is breathtaking. I am sure everyone who enters is changed forever. Something tells me that they implant an invisible tether line that makes you want to return, even if you do not think you want to :)

As far as laughing at Barbie and Skipper, just adopt one of my favorite slogans: it is my duty, right and privilege to fairly evaluate everything I see. You are upholding your responsibility to yourself...

I don't have kids, but one of the first rules of dog training is: a tired dog is a good dog. A second philosophy is to be firm, fair and consistent in your training. When there are rules, dogs will learn their limitations and be able to obey what is asked of them. I am assuming it is similar with kids. The two biggest differences are: you cannot use pinch collars on children and crates are really frowned upon when applied to the kids.

It sounds like you started out the new year on a happy foot. Continue on in 2012.


Charity Woosley said...

I am TERRIBLY afraid to jump in shit like the foam pit. I'm always afraid i'll fall to the 'bottom' and suffocate.

oh god it's making me panic attacky right now!!!

Anonymous said...

That place seems awesome. All we have are those bouncy houses that definitely do not have dodge ball. I have outlawed my kids from going into any foam/ball pit as I do not relish the opportunity to have them contract the plague and then have to try to discover a cure for their rare illness, contracted through the petry dish of disease and petulance that is that pit. No thank you.

Good for you for spending "quality time" with the kiddies. A worn out child is usually the only type of kid I wanna spend any time with. Unless it's the tired and cranky version, because nah-uh. Go take a mother lovin' nap!

Jen said...

LUNA - I am SO jacking your slogan! It makes my judgmental nature slightly less. . .judgy.

CHARITY - The more you fight it the faster you sink. It's like sweat-stained quicksand.

MISTY - I wish to God my short people still napped. ((le sigh!))

Britt said...

I'm not going to beat around the bush.

I was 98% sure I saw "Haitians is whack, yo." IMMEDIATELY after your hate for the NO FLIPS! sign.

I was going to overlook the poor grammar and hit you with a "RACISM CAN'T BE SELECTIVE, JEN"... but I misread.

That is all.

Jen said...

BRITT - I have no problem with the "Hate-I-ans" (said in proper Cher Horowitz tone).