I consider myself to be far more tolerant of the full range of emotions in children than most dads and can handle unhappy kids, angry kids, and even depressed kids with the best of them, but when we decided to play hooky today and go to the Denver Aquarium, I had no idea that I was going to be transported directly to the third circle of Hell within minutes of leaving our house!
Our plan: lunch at the Old Spaghetti Factory in downtown Denver, a favorite with all of us for its inexpensive meals and yummy spumoni dessert included with everything, then a short 2mi hop to the Aquarium and a chance to see all the cool fish, turtles, sharks, sidestep the flash flood area and even enjoy the tigers. Sounds fun, right?
Our 2yo K- has been having a tough couple of days anyway, and this morning wasn’t particularly relaxing as her crying and whining got on everyone’s nerves and her running around the house naked and insisting that she would not get dressed caused us to leave at least an hour later than we’d hoped.
But still. She’s our third two year old and maybe I have that valuable parenting skill of blocking out the bad memories but I just don’t recall our older ones being quite this manic, though I’m sure that they were.
The drive to Denver from Boulder, theoretically about 45 minutes, took us almost two hours as we stopped more than once to allow Linda to solace K- so as to avoid her completely melting down and hyperventilating into unconsciousness. (those of you who aren’t parents will assuming that I’m exaggerating in that last bit. Trust me, I’m not. It’s quite something to see with a really, really upset baby)
While we were driving and trying all our tricks to avoid going completely insane from the incessant crying and whining, it hit me: Danté was wrong with his map of the various circles of Hell in his wonderful poem The Divine Comedy, because nowhere on the map was a highway where you’re trapped in the car, day after day, year after year, with an inconsolable baby.
Man, oh man, was I glad to finally get to the restaurant!
Not that the rest of the day was vastly easier, but at least we had something to do, lots to see, and even some cool animals to touch and enjoy.
Let’s just leave it at that tonight, shall we? 🙂