Parenting Can Be A Rip-Roaring Good Time

If you’ve been doing it for a while, you probably have a catalog full of funny parenting stories to tell. Maybe you even have times where the whole day goes into the history books as epically disastrous. But what’s even better is when you can share an epic, funny parenting story… about your spouse.

Strap in folks. Kristi’s jeans are about to rip.

An Adventure Unlike Any Other

Let me start by saying that I have complete permission from my wife to share this story. What’s the point of having a (hopefully) funny parenting blog if we can’t be open and honest about our own parenting disasters, right? And if you’ve been reading this site for long, you know my family has a history of adventures that seem to go incredibly wrong. So maybe we should have expected it when I announced to Kristi, “I think we should head south of Seattle to run our errands today instead of up by our house. It would be nice to have some fun in the city on our way.”

I readily admit I did not learn my lesson last time. The Kurt Cobain road trip was a disaster because it was spur of the moment. I didn’t plan ahead, pack snacks, or prepare in any way. This day was very similar. I had the urge to get out of the house, and considering we live only a few miles from downtown Seattle and only had a few errands to run, I thought it would be fun to spend the day in the city.

And there’s that classic “Brian” mistake. Having ideas. Thinking I can plan a spur-of-the-moment fun day for my family that won’t end in disaster. Since starting this blog, I’ve noticed that most of my funny parenting stories all start with me saying, “I have an idea.” And while she won’t admit it, I’m positive Kristi muttered, “I can’t believe I’m agreeing to this,” under her breath as we were heading out the door.

I should have known.

Kids climb on troll
To kids, there’s nothing more exciting than a huge creature they can climb all over.

The Plan

The plan was simple enough. We only had two errands we wanted to run, and the rest of the day could be fun. We needed to swing by a furniture store and a hardware store. Easy! So I suggested we go check out the troll under the bridge in Fremont, then check out Gas Works Park, and then play at another park in the shadow of the Space Needle. Could that possibly be a better day for kids? Doesn’t that sound awesome? Yeah, I thought so, too!

It started out great. We arrived at the troll, and the kids were in awe. Reese couldn’t wait to climb up there, and even wanted to climb up on his head (but I shot that down, I’m Captain Safety, remember?). Macy was a little more cautious. I even caught her kicking dirt at the troll’s hands to see if he would suddenly realize there were all these kids climbing on him and wake up. But eventually, she joined Reese and happily climbed all over him.

On to the Next Adventure

We let them play for a while, but after a few minutes, I told them it was time to go. They protested, but I promised that the next stop was going to be just as awesome. We were going to a park! I hadn’t yet been to Gas Works park, but I’d heard good things. In addition to being a beautiful place, it was supposed to have incredible views of downtown Seattle, too. They weren’t happy about leaving, but they finally climbed in the car, and off we went.

I wasn’t wrong about it being beautiful, or about it having amazing views. But I WAS wrong in my assumption that the park would have a playground. And that’s where things really started going wrong. Not only was there no playground, it had rained earlier, and the kids weren’t exactly wearing the best, “run and play in muddy grass” shoes.

So, while we did our best to get the girls to stop and enjoy the view (it was beautiful, by the way), we couldn’t stop their little bodies from running around like crazy in an attempt to make up for there not being a playground. Reese darted off towards the water, and Macy followed, paying little attention to the mud they were traipsing through. They stopped at the water’s edge and then darted off another way. I don’t know, maybe they were hoping that by running full speed through grass and mud they could make a playground appear.

Space Needle from Gas Works Park
Even kids can enjoy views of Seattle from Gas Works Park. But as a parent, I really wish there was a playground…

You’ve Waited Long Enough To Hear About the Ripped Jeans

After a while, running around in circles lost its appeal, and Macy was pooped and Reese was bored. Kristi and Macy headed back to the car while Reese and I, at my insistence, took one more stroll to the water’s edge. A few minutes later we headed back to the car, and when we climbed in, were greeted by a hysterical Kristi.

I tried to ask her what was so funny, but all she could do was laugh and laugh and laugh. She finally just opened her door, climbed out, and bent over to show me her butt. Her jeans had ripped right down the seam, and stretched a good six inches in length. I joined in her laughter. After what seemed like hours of laughing, she finally calmed enough to explain that this was an old pair of jeans she’d been hanging onto for years, and knew there was a small hole already. But trudging through the mud and nearly falling while trying to get Macy in her car seat was apparently too much for the jeans.

So now we had a problem. Kristi was flashing the Emerald City, but we’d already promised the girls a fun afternoon at the Space Needle, AND we still needed to run our errands. We decided to wrap Kristi’s jacket around her waist (you know, to hide the peep show) while she ran into a couple small clothing stores nearby. Surely she could find something that would work for the rest of the day.

When Your Pants Are Ruined, You Just Buy A New Pair. Right?

The first place we tried was closed. The second place had nothing but wacky styles that Kristi wouldn’t be caught dead in. And the third store was going out of business and had hardly anything left at all. So we were forced to make the hard decision: Do we keep stopping in clothing stores until we find some pants, or call it quits and go home?

Eventually, we settled on something in between, as Kristi decided to just continue to wear her jacket around her waist, even though she could feel the rip getting bigger with every step. These jeans were hanging on by a thread now, and it was a race against the clock to get home before they fell off completely. Unfortunately, we decided the Space Needle simply wasn’t going to work out. And instead of heading south of Seattle to the stores we’d planned on, we just headed back in the direction of home to run our errands and promised the girls we’d do something fun at home later.

As you can imagine, that didn’t go over well. Fortunately, Macy fell asleep, and we just happened to by driving right by the University of Washington, so Kristi and Reese hopped out to go check out the cherry blossoms. This seemed like enough of a special bonus that it satisfied Reese, and we were able to head home.

Just Another Funny Parenting Disaster

To wrap things up, neither of our errands were successful, and Kristi still doesn’t have new pants. The stores we stopped at on the way home didn’t have what we needed to complete our errands, and trying to find new pants with tired kids in the car just wasn’t working. So, after all that, we came home empty-handed.

I guess the moral of the story is to upgrade your jeans more frequently. But at the same time, if Kristi had, we wouldn’t have had another funny parenting story to share with you. Let it serve as a warning to you: Family adventures can be awesome. But you either need to plan for them, or have way better luck than we do.

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