Unfit Father

Published on August 6th, 2015 | by Richard Black

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A Trip to the Zoo: 10 Fun Facts About My Latest Parenting Failure

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I used to feel sorry for these guys until I had children and realized that, at the very least, this lion has the opportunity to sleep during the day.

It was around the eleventh episode of My Little Ponies when I wondered why there weren’t many male ponies and why the political structure was matriarchal that I realized my daughter and I should probably get out of the house. It’s not that I’m against children watching television. I’m pretty sure the Surgeon General recommends that kids get between seven and eight hours of TV a day and I think that’s just great

As a stay at home dad between fixing meals and making sure my daughter has enough high fructose corn syrup in her diet it’s tough to jam in that much screen time. I try but I often fail and I blame, in part, the dearth of children’s programming that I find even remotely tolerable for my failure in this regard.

I’ve recently heard that kids need to get out of the house every once in a while. As a child of the 80’s, and one who tried to spend as much time as possible watching television or playing video games, the advice sounds a bit strange, a bit unintuitive, but I’m an open minded sort of guy.

My daughter, upon finally understanding that I was going to shut off the television, disagreed and by “disagreed” I mean that she would have put a shiv in me if we were sharing a prison cell. Fortunately neither of us are in prison, at least, not yet.

I made a mental note to buy a safe to secure our flatware and battened down the hatches for an F4 level fit. Children who watch television are, in many ways, akin to junkies. Both groups weigh in at around 80 pounds, have poor terminal capabilities when it comes to TV or heroin, and both are also remarkably strong.

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Just mention these things to your children and they will run over their mother to get out the front door.

I was at the point of trying to pry Darcy off the couch with a crow bar to get her to go to the zoo when I tried a different tact. I asked if she wanted to see a polar bear because what five year old doesn’t want to see a polar bear?

Darcy bounced off the couch like it was a fucking trampoline. Her sandals were on before I could even find my keys and she was out the door, having unlocked it with my keys, before I was able to put on a pair of pants. The downside was that I wasn’t entirely sure that the zoo had a polar bear exhibit. I’d seen a few commercials on television about polar bears and I assumed that the ads were for our local zoo.

That, however, was a problem for future Richard. I was just happy to get Darcy off the couch and into the car until I remembered that I really don’t like large crowds, hot weather, or even really the zoo. There’s only so many times I can wander by the same exhibit of groundhogs and say “Darcy look. It’s a bunch of groundhogs!” before my enthusiasm begins to flag.

The experience was, I feel comfortable writing without hyperbole or exaggeration, the worst of my life and that includes the time my parent’s told me they were getting divorced.

I thought about writing something to detail the trials and tribulations my daughter and I faced during our time at the zoo but, quite frankly, I don’t have the time. Instead I’ve summed up our outing in ten comprehensive, yet concise, facts:

 

Temperature: 92 degrees Fahrenheit

Humidity: 183%

Number of miles walked: 114

Number of miles parked away from zoo entrance: 56

Percentage of time daughter was riding on shoulders: 87%

Pounds lost (total): 17

Pounds lost (water weight): 16.9

Time spent at the zoo: One hour and seventeen minutes

Time spent viewing polar bear: 48 seconds.

Animals viewed: 2

 

And there you have it ladies and gentlemen. Please join me next week as I review a play area in my city assuming I don’t contract dysentery from the adventure.

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