Tuesday, September 02, 2008

The One Where Dr. Bloom commits the cardinal sin of parenting

Dr. Bloom was on call this holiday weekend, so we were hanging around Bloomsburg most of the time, much of it car-less. The grandparents Bloom took pity on us one day, and took me and the kids to a fair. I made playdates for the other dates, and generally kept the kids entertained. But alas, by the end of the weekend, Dr. Bloom had caught up at work, the kids were tired and whiney, and worse . . . there were no snacks.

When I say to Dr. Bloom that we should do something fun with the kids, he proposes the grocery store. This would not be fun for the kids, or for me. I check my email, and wait for Dr. Bloom to come up with a more interesting possibility. He suggests the grocery store again. In those few moments, Little Bun becomes engaged in The Pokemon movie on Cartoon Network (I now hate the cartoon network for ruining holidays with inane marathons).

I mention to Dr. Bloom that I am not thrilled by Little Bun watching the endless Pokemon commercial, so he tells Little Bun to turn off Pokemon immediately and put shoes on to the grocery store -- he can't sit around and watch tv all day. He clearly does this to make me sorry I asked him to intervene and to make Little Bun cry. But wait -- it gets worse.

I calmly tell Dr. Bloom that he has mishandled the situation: Now I have an enraged child, who believes that he is being punished for watching Pokemon by going to the grocery store, which is already NOT FUN.

Dr. Bloom smirks; I freak. I take a moment, and then decide that I will never hear the end of Pokemon OR the grocery store unless I take the kids and go, stopping at the playground first as a peace offering. But I don't tell them this -- I just say, "Kids, meet me at the door." They do.

Dr. Bloom demands to know where I'm taking them, so I dig in my heels, and say nothing. Then IT happens.


Appalled, I'm silent (we do not undermine one another's authority as a RULE), but I'm still putting the kids in the car (they are no dummies; they don't believe their dad that they can choose not to go wherever it is I've asked them to go).

Finally, I take a deep breath and say


Dr. Bloom responds, flustered, trying to reclaim some authority for himself, which he now realizes he might have lost for both of us: "You need to think about the consequences of your actions --" Only he can't think of any for a second. Then one dawns on him and he lights up: "They haven't gone to the bathroom first. What if Miss I has an ACCIDENT?"


With that, Dr. Bloom, like the kids, gets in the car, sulking. We sulked our way to the splash playground, and after, to the grocery store, and home . . . to a quiet, indoor Labor Day picnic, Pokemon on in the background.

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