When I was about five years old, my dad’s youngest brother was still in grad school at USC. He would occasionally come by in his Isuzu Impulse (hey, don’t laugh…those puppies had lotus-engineered engines) and take me out for special adventures. I recall tons of fun activities. We would go to places like the McDonnell Douglass Museum of Flight (in Santa Monica), Museum of Science and Industry in expo park, out for ice cream, to Roxbury park, back to his apartment in Century City to watch quality programming like Speed Racer on Beta Cassette or build model airplanes or star trek ships. It was really nice to have a non-parental adult figure, who enjoyed spending time with a kid like me.
I feel like as parents it’s easy to get caught up in the routine and take kids for granted. I find myself complaining too much instead of enjoying the spontaneous and ridiculous moments. Having relatives close by can help make kids feel like they can reconnect with the adult crowd. Or at least it did for me. I’m not so secretly hoping that if my little sister doesn’t wind up far away that maybe she’ll do the same kind of thing for Miss V when she’s a bit older and more independent (aka potty trained and relatively tantrum-free).
Anyway, back to the subject at hand, flaky pastry. The croissant. This was and is my favorite pastry. Perhaps because I have been told by wife, who happens to be an expert on the subject, that about a half stick of butter is folded into each one. One one particular outing with my uncle, we had stopped at Music + or the Warehouse (wow, those places sound ancient now!), and then at Double Rainbow for a snack. I got an ice cream and a croissant. Now you’re probably thinking…”but what about his cholesterol!” No? Well, that’s what my uncle used as his arbitrary reason for crushing my craving for a second croissant. I’m sure he was right. After all, there was a big cholesterol scare in the 80s.
I wonder what kind of arbitrary explanations I’ll come up with when I have to put Vivi’s whiny demands to rest. Right now we seem to be having good success by telling her, “it’s sleeping now, no more.” She responds with the sign language sign for sleep, and a shushing sound. It’s actually pretty cute. I’d say it only works about 40% of the time, though. I’m curious what other alternatives people have used to reason with little people. “Because I said so,” seems like such a cop-out.
Or maybe I’m going about this all wrong, and you simply cannot reason with small children.