The Virtuous Banana Split

Dear Will:

Today Seth and I were tooling around in the family Camry when we passed an ice cream shop. “Dad,” he said, “I think we should go get some ice cream at Baskin 31 Robbins.” So I wasn’t surprised when I got home from work to discover that he had charmed his mom into having the whole family pick up Bryn from her class at the ballet studio—with a detour on the way home.

It’s actually a good idea—and not just because a family outing to 31 Flavors makes eating a banana split seem, well, virtuous somehow. I don’t know about you, but I can tell you that around here we spend way too much time getting things done and not nearly enough goofing off together. And we’re trying to do something about it.

So tomorrow we’re going to occupy five really bad seats near the upper reaches of Angels Stadium. More bonus points for our side. We’ll stop at In-N-Out on the way there (an inspired family tradition if you ask me) and spend much of the evening fending off requests for cotton candy. Part of the time we may even watch the game. It will be great. Good for us for sure.

We’re not always this good and messing around, of course. Earlier this week I sent my wife an email suggesting that we go to the theater next week. (I know what you’re thinking: “Nothing’s more romantic than being asked out by email!”) What ensued was the following exchange:

Dana: I’m pooped. I don’t want anything else on my schedule.

Peter: I’m pooped too. How about a date on which we simply go upstairs and take a nap?

Dana: You’re on.

So you see, my kids are fighting an uphill battle in their quest to lighten up Mom and Dad and inject a little more silliness into our day-to-day. Perhaps as a measure of how things are going we should install some sort of Giggle-o-meter somewhere in the family room that measures how often and how intensely we’re having fun. If it doesn’t record enough giggles in a given week it automatically rents a movie and hides the vacuum cleaner. If I could figure out how to make such a contraption work, I could make a killing. I’m guessing it would be a huge gift item on Fathers’ Day.

So let me ask you: What are you doing to goof off this weekend? Will it involve more giggling than vacuuming? If not, may I suggest ice cream and a trip to Blockbuster.

But enough of this. Seth is challenging me to play Animal Rummy with him. Sounds like an offer I can’t—or at least shouldn’t—refuse.


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