Twelve Dollar Popcorn


Checking the Rule Book 

OK dad, you can’t step on the floor because it is lava but it is OK to step on the rug because it is magic and you can throw pillows on the ground and walk on them.  Also, you are the trapper…..wait, no.  I am the trapper and you are the tickler but you can’t tickle me if I have you trapped.  Ok, so I will hide this plastic Easter egg and you close your eyes and count to 1 million.  Then you have to find the egg but keep your eyes closed and I will tell you if you are hot or cold.  AND NO LEG TICKLING!  Also, you can’t tickle my armpits.  Only my tummy and I get to keep this pillow shield in front of me.  Wait hold on (runs to room and returns with crayons and paper)  first though, we need to make our badges.

If you are a parent this might sound familiar.  If you aren’t, think back really hard and you might remember playing this type of game when you were little.  I smiled last night as my oldest daughter took the rule making to the next level and almost got downright bossy about it.  I remembered being a kid expertly stacking smiles on top of joy on top of anticipation as I prepared for my next adventure.  Planning, setup, and rule making / explaining, often holding more fun than the game itself.

Floors made of lava and alligators are totally sweet.


Thanks for the Effort Dad 

image via pinterest

I can’t seem to turn around these days without hearing the latest feats of some crazed over-achieving supermom talking about carpool and soccer practice and the seven layer rainbow cupcakes they made last night for their kid’s entire school.  You know the ones, can’t have a 2 minute conversation without mentioning Pinterest and the 1001 things they can’t wait to do with mason jars.  I suspect that we are subjected to each detail of their crafting triumphs but always spared the detail of their failed attempts.

While I may not have a 12 course gourmet meal bubbling away in a crock pot at home, dads are out there trying to make an effort too.  Sometimes, we don’t always get it right the first time, but unlike our pinterest mom counterparts, we aren’t afraid to share the story of the not quite perfect moment.

A couple of weeks ago in an effort to create some dad magic of my own.  I bought my daughter a banana split.  To go.  I imagine there are moms that just read that and shuddered.  You should have seen my wife’s face as we walked back to the car where she and our napping little one waited.  Look, it came in a plastic thing and you should have seen my daughter light up when I said yes to her request.  Sometimes I am so blinded by the glory of the moment I fail to consider the details.  Halfway home the treat had been passed to mom and my daughter was complaining about how sticky she was.  By the time we got home there was a river of ice cream in my wife’s lap and every time the car turned it seemed like another levee broke and the mess amplified.  There were a couple of tears, a yell or two, finally some laughter and embarrassment.  In fact, upon arriving home, there was such a mess that clothes were removed in the garage and the once glorious treat that had been reduced to a sticky mess machine was tossed in the trash.  Seats were wiped down and chins and elbows cleaned off and then we had a Popsicle from the freezer.  Finally a recipe that didn’t come from Pinterest, too bad it turned out to be a recipe for disaster.

I am not saying that all of my efforts turn out this poorly.  I consider myself a bit of a veteran dad now and I don’t even wince at the twelve dollar popcorn they sell at the circus.  But man is it fun seeing new dads swallow that reality for the first time.  I know I probably should have made the banana split at home with all organic ingredients and served them up in re-purposed mason jars but I am pretty OK with how it turned out and not even afraid to share the story.

So  remember all you dads out there, sometimes the glory is worth getting blinded for and we appreciate the effort.  Also, here is a little free tip.  If you ever decide to surprise your kids and tell them you are taking them to Disney on Ice, you better get that “on ice” part out pretty quick.  That was totally weak.

(Note: After writing this and looking around the web for pictures, Pinterest had banana splits in mason jars, so much for it being a joke.  Unreal)


About Simon

I am a husband and a dad of two little girls. I am a lone Y chromosome and am already planning my escape strategy to deal with the estrogen flood that is on its way. People say there is a lot of joy to be found in the simple things and I have found they can provide a healthy dose of anti-awesome as well. I am, in general, a pretty optimistic guy and needed a bit of a creative outlet; so here it is. Thanks for stopping by. View all posts by Simon

40 responses to “Twelve Dollar Popcorn

  • Mr.Tod A.Parker

    I love reading your blog……especially the parts about ‘The Banana Split.. Im not a parent, so of course It had me cracking up. Keep are very good at it.

  • klrs09

    Dad’s aren’t the only ones who sometimes fail at the ‘glory’ moments; we Mom’s have plenty, too. It was sweet that you tried, though. I was laughing out loud at the image of the melting banana split in your wife’s lap. Nothing quite like the icky mess of melted ice-cream!

  • klrs09

    Good morning! Just want you to know I’ve nominated you for a Kreativ Blogger award. The details are on my blog — you are under no obligation to accept or follow through with the details — I just want you to know what a fantastic blogger you are and how much I enjoy reading and sharing your words!

  • tracye1

    Simon, I am a recovering Supermom with occasional relapses, but this I know….my husband is king of the “banana split maneuver”. Usually without me present. The kids love it and it’s always when they don’t expect it. You’re doing great and your daughters will remember those memories forever!

  • weekdayswithmommy

    too funny! you hit the mark so many times! dads deserve praise too! thanks for the laughs:)

  • SzaboInSlowMo

    As a soccer mom (who really hates that term), I could have been offended. Yet I wasn’t, because I really can’t stand that person you describe…the crafty one. I’ve raised my kids to their teens and all the while felt inferior to those crafty women who one-up me while take the store-bought route. I tried to be one of them for a while and just couldn’t cut it.

    So your blog post is sweet. 🙂

  • squirrel circus

    Our favorite/most dreaded game in the car is playing 20 Questions. Not a lot of physical feats to perform or obstacles to conquer, but one of the twins likes to let his round go on FOREVER, until we’re begging him for the answer. Then he says, “Okay, what if I told you that it was something you guessed a while back, but I said it wasn’t it?” We’ve considered strapping him to the roof of the car, a la Lampoon’s Family Vacation, but we take a deep breath and say, “Your turn is OVER.”

    Oh yeah…don’t take this the wrong way, but buying a child a banana split to eat in the car is TOTALLY a dad move, and I can promise you that your wife could have predicted exactly how it would all end, the minute she saw it. 😉

  • JOEL

    simon,lovew all of your blogs keep it up i love you granddad

  • fmlinardo

    “I know I probably should have made the banana split at home with all organic ingredients and served them up in re-purposed mason jars”

    That is a great line. You owe me a diet coke, I spit mine out in laughter after reading that.

    I reblogged this. Good stuff.

  • Frank's Place

    […] Twelve Dollar Popcorn Apr26 by fmlinardo Reblogged from sweetandweak: […]

  • fmlinardo

    Reblogged this on Frank's Place and commented:
    Stumbled into this dad’s blog. It’s great. This post is from his blog called sweetandweak. Check them out here

  • Don Scrooby

    “Sometimes, we don’t always get it right the first time, but unlike our pinterest mom counterparts, we aren’t afraid to share the story of the not quite perfect moment.” Now, Simon, I really like that. The male ego isn’t always as competitive as we like to think. Great bit of vulnerability there.

  • Carol Wuenschell

    Speaking as a pre-Pinterst m om who would never have gone near it even if it had been there, you are right on! Super-mom is for the birds. Sooo funny! I loved it.

  • westsideluxeliving

    Reblogged this on westsideluxeliving and commented:
    Wow did I love reading this. I’m a dad and everything here is true. There is just not enough good dad material out there for me to read and associate with.

  • Lisa Smith Molinari

    Would have laughed out loud about the Pintrest-crazed mason jar moms, but I’m reading this in the library. Also, my kids are a bit older than yours (11, 14, 17) but I realize that I was remiss in not teaching them the the-floor-is-hot-lava game and corresponding rules. We will have a training session on this tonight! Great writing!

  • Ruth Rutherford

    You forgot the rule about announcing what is “base” — that one couch, tree or bed that, once touched, protects you from everything.

    I am not a mom yet, and completely relate to the feeling of sheer annoyance when confronted by self-proclaimed “super moms.” No one cares that the eggs in your kid’s egg salad are from cage-free, organic fed chickens. You should be more concerned about the fact that all the kids in the cafeteria are laughing at your kid because you sent egg salad in his lunchbox.

    As a daughter, I want to encourage you to keep buying banana splits to go. My best dad/daughter memories involve him doing fun, spontaneous stuff that my mom would never do.

    • Simon

      Thanks so much Ruth, and you are dead on about “base”. Also hilarious poor kid unwrapping his cage free egg salad on harvest oat bread wrapped in wax paper that he will later attempt to wipe his tears with.

  • geordiesgirl

    Epic! I love how my 6 year old takes soooo long to explain the rules rather than just cracking on with the game! Its so funny! Great post.

    • Simon

      I totally agree, I think the rule making part must be more fun than the actual game. I hope to start playing it soon, I am still trying to count to a million.

  • cakeinthehouse

    Pinterest is another time sucker that I’m scared to get in to. I’d rather read your blog! On a side note, gelato will not melt as fast as ice-cream. Commercial ice-creams especially have more air churned in to them, which make them softer, which makes you pay more for AIR, and results in it melting faster. Next time you take ice-cream on the road, demand for gelato!

  • yoonanimous

    i’m inspired to call my husband up and tell him thanks for all his parenting failures (like the seven foot long double edged lightsaber “for finn” that has dinged every surface in my house). because, as you say, at least he tried. thanks for the disney tip, so funny.

    • Simon

      Thanks Yoona. At least Finn is a boy, hard to stand by the story that all my little princess daughter wanted for Christmas was the semi-automatic Nerf blaster I got her.

  • dpbowman

    And don’t forget the $10/person (maybe more by now) 2 1/2 minute elepant ride! These really are The Glory Days! Well said! Lead on Fearless One! (Sorry for all the exclamation points. I am just agreeing heartily.) ….!

  • Maggie O'C

    Oh Simon, you are sweet! This blog is sweet! Like Suhwheet, not dear, you know. One of my daughters went to a fall birthday party once and for dinner the baked potatoes were somehow turned into ghosts for Halloween….whaaaa???

    And your daughter’s game description sounds like Calvinball.


    • Simon

      This comment is Suhweet! Thanks so much. At some point food that is decorated to look like stuff that isn’t food has to stop right? I had forgotten about Calvinball, awesome.

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