I Think I’m Turning Wolverine

I feel like a medical test pin cushion. Blood tests, CAT scans, port-flush – a friend recently told me it’s called the “lab rat syndrome.” Whatever it is, it kills me now when the doctor says, “Good news! You’re fine – see you 3 months.” I realize I will be spending the rest of my life at some doctor’s office. It’s great, don’t get me wrong – enough with the bad news but after all that probing and prodding, drinking gallons of who-knows-what and being injected with dye or toxic metal – I should be able to grow knives out of my knuckles and get all Wolverine on everybody or something.

Watching the news in the waiting room today, they ran no less than three stories on people cutting other people with broken beer bottles and machetes. Who the Hell drives around with a machete? That guy, apparently.

It’s good to see I’m not the only one who wishes to be a hairy Freddy Krueger – makes it less disturbing. Maybe it’s just the media, because they like to string common interest stories together making life seem like some big Carl Jung synchronicity experiment. But ultimately, I blame New York’s mayor and governor. They have it all wrong – they have no idea what the people of this city want. While they’re laser lighting bridges and checking the homeless in to Holiday Inns, I’m passing by the Sunnyside village idiot pissing at the entrance to the pediatric center during office hours. I’m sure the parents in the large windowed waiting room – or the playground across the street – were truly delighted to see him exposing his shriveled penis to pee in public. And why not – it’s legal now!

What should we legalize next, driving around with a machete?

If anything, the bureaucratica feuds are amusing. Not entertaining – just amusing. They should just sleep together and get it over with. But then, that would jump the shark and we all know what happens once the sexual tension is gone – the show tanks. Moonlighting, The Office – Who’s The Boss. I might even add The Walking Dead. This Rick and Michonne thing is just not working for me. I mean, it’s okay but it’s no Captain Kirk and Lieutenant Uhura.

We’ll see – or maybe we won’t because we’re considering canceling our cable. Finally. I mean talk about conspiracy. I looked up The Thing, The Fly with Jeff Goldblum, and Invasion of the Body Snatchers on On Demand and all the movies were $3.99. That’s like four bucks for movies noooobody wants to watch. Well, except me. For the life of Brian, I couldn’t tell you why I never collected those Sci-Fi movies on DVD but managed to have two copies of Blade Runner. But seriously, how am I supposed to raise my boys right without such classic flicks at our fingertips? How?!!

The best I could do was show them the movie trailers. It’s amazing how little they showed of the movie and yet, it piqued your interest. These days, they show all the good parts so by the time you’re watching the entire flick you’re bored because it’s just the filler. There are times when scenes from trailers aren’t even IN the movie and you feel gypped for some strange reason.

I remember the original Alien didn’t have any scenes from the movie in its trailer. Talk about messing with your psyche. The pace, the horror, the evolvement of the alien – it’s the kind of movie making that will never be repeated – try as they might. Alien capitalized on our curiosity, something we have no patience for anymore. When we want to know about something, it has 30 seconds to tell us or else we move on to the next piece of fluff. We don’t waste time figuring shit out – fuck your two-cents!

That might explain why we’ve become a “credit or debit” society. All the cashiers at C-Town ask the customer if they’re paying by credit or debit and I see all the old timers (including my husband) answer, “Plain old cash.” He toys with them by giving them cash denominations that requires advanced math skills and takes delight in their amazement. He’ll tell the cashier to just punch it in – I should get forty dollars even. She does and her jaw drops. Little thrills – that’s what he lives for.

And I get to live to see it – between sticks and needles.

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To The Pandemic Volunteer

A friend showed me a pen she received as a gift – it said, “Stop me before I volunteer again.”

“It’s a reminder,” she explained but its ineffectiveness was obvious as we realized, this was the second parent association we’re on together as volunteers.

As I handed back the pen, I sighed and already it sounded like a threat of resignation. But really, who am I kidding? We’re volunteeraholics. She probably signed up with that damned pen.

Every pandemic volunteer knows what I’m talking about. We call ourselves suckers, targets, 3D losers and we compare our tasks like they’re death sentences.

After serving my time on one thing, I say it’ll be the last and even tell my husband that I’ll take his advice and stop signing up for shit. But the truth is, volunteer work never ends. If it does, it ends badly because slaves don’t get fired.

Yes, I just compared volunteer work to slavery. If you think about it, there’s only one difference – gratification. No reasonable person would volunteer unless they enjoyed the work. They sign up year after year because it’s gratifying and good for the soul. Those are the volunteer gigs where you’re surrounded by like-minded, hard-working, good-willed people and they really are a life experience. Every once in while though, you’ll come across a douchebag who is a slave master and that can fuck with your head.

If that happens, you have to tell yourself that the only jackass who should be tolerated is one that signs your paycheck. Otherwise, walk. You need the aggravation like you need hemorrhoids. I have a friend who sorely needs to take this advice – not the friend with the pen – someone else who stayed on even after everybody left.

Now she’ll have to learn the same lesson I learned the hard way – don’t fill a void. If an organization needs you to fill an important role, the last thing you should do is stick around to find out why because I can tell you why. That role is vacant because the last person was a mistreated mule that most likely died under a pile of bullshit.

But for the rest, I toast my fellow volunteeraholics. You may not always be recognized or appreciated for that matter, but you’ve made a difference, a contribution that is far more valuable than money.

So – Thank You. Thank you, very much.

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A Parent’s Guide To Middle School

We need a new scapegoat. Our classic villains were once American Indians, then Nazi’s, the Russians, followed by Wall Street tycoons and finally, terrorists. But we can no longer target a particular race if we want to be politically correct. So I suggest we target politicians.

They’re the perfect villain. They lie, steal and generally ruin everything – even corruption.

Case in point – Middle School.

I knew the day would come when my child would be entering Middle School. I also knew, no matter what, there was going to be a tremendous suck factor.

The choices were, walk to our neighborhood middle school and hope to squeeze in with 2,000 other students in a building meant for half that – or go to school on the moon.

They must have a space shuttle that goes there, right?

Of course, I’m kidding – I know we euthanized all the astronauts. But I kid you not, my son’s commute to school is further than his father’s commute to work.

That’s the reality today – to get to sixth grade, kids will have to travel to Cuba because no one had the insight that Middle School would need a place to exist anywhere near their preceding school.

Did I mention they built a new elementary school smack in the middle of two other elementary schools and are in the process of building another elementary school nearby?

Let’s not even get into full day Pre-K. Like we need to send a four-year old to school all day only to offer him nothing when he passes the fifth grade.

Maybe because middle schoolers aren’t small and cute anymore, they’ve been banished to a place far, far away.

Out of sight, out of mind – and I get to take mine there.

We chose his Middle School because it’s a brand new building, the teachers are young and enthusiastic and so far he loves it. But every morning since he started, I’ve been religiously offering incense to our shrine. I figured if anybody’s going to look over my son, it’ll be my father’s spirit. My dad, the man who thought the best way to teach me how to swim was to strand me in the deep end of the beach.

I can imagine what he’d say about the situation, “Just let him go – if he gets lost, what’s the worst that could happen? He’ll crap his pants? Run into those topless women in Times Square? Better make sure he has some singles.”

And I want to just LET GO. But I know my son has a tendency to get “preoccupied.” It takes him ten minutes to put on a pair of socks, for crying out loud. He takes out a pair from the drawer and within a minute, he’ll forget where he left them. Then he’ll suddenly feel compelled to comment on baldness and completely forget to put on the other sock.

And I’m supposed to unleash this puppy on the subway?

So we’ll be giving him his own mobile phone to call us when there’s trouble. Some kids his age already had their own phone since fifth grade, but it wasn’t our intention to give him one until he grew underarm hair.

He’s got the odor – that’s close enough.

Maybe that was the plan all along – throw us to the wolves so we’d be forced to buy multiple phones and cars. Mind you, the cars we have already, have no place to park. The phones we’re trying to add are running out of available numbers – and we have five known area codes. By the time we figure it out, we’ll be buried in litter and dog poo and talking to the ghost of Christmas Future.

And I’ll bet he’s a politician.

 

 

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Layover Brooklyn

After obtaining her idNYC, my mom went on a sightseeing spree. She visted four boroughs in four days collecting her free memberships like an urban senior Zelda.

For a week she was texting me pictures of giraffes and sculptures and I had to figure out where she was. I think she got the idea from that Free Range Chicken in those Geico commercials.

Along the way, she devised a bright idea to take us on a journey of her favorites. Not one, not two – but three jewels of Brooklyn within the time frame of a layover. Crazy right?

First of all, Brooklyn is big and before you can even get to the edge of it, you have to go through most of Manhattan. That’s already too long of a subway ride. Then – there’s a million stops once you get into Brooklyn – it’s like a train in the Twilight Zone – it never gets to your station (cue cheesy music).

Still, we managed and began at the Brooklyn Museum, followed by the Brooklyn Botanic Garden with a grand finale of Coney Island.

With 15 minutes to kill before opening, we enjoyed eating onigiri (Japanese rice balls) while watching the water works at the Brooklyn Museum. It’s amazing the effect water has on people, especially kids who are insanely unfocused. It must be like watching synchronized spitting. It’s more interesting than Teen Titans – not as noisy either.

Inside, we had time enough to go through the “Rise of the Sneaker Culture” and got caught for an hour playing pinball, video games and foosball in theThe FAILE & BÄST Deluxx Fluxx Arcade. Who knew? That was worth the suggested admission right there because my guys could easily blow $50 for half an hour of arcade mania.

We entered the Brooklyn Botanic Garden from the Eastern Parkway entrance and went directly to the Japanese Garden. It was serenity beyond measure. Well, visually. By the time we got there, an outdoor concert in the adjacent parking lot was booming very annoying music. Not appropriate music, but a monotone, rap-reggae-what-the-fuck-are-they-singin’-about music that even annoyed the Koi fish.

To keep our visit to two hours, we skipped the Lily Pool Terrace. Probably regretful, still we saw the Cherry Esplande, Rose Garden, Rock Garden, Herb Garden and though we wished we had more time, we made it through the Discovery Zone. When they begged to play the xylophone that magically can’t play a wrong note for yet another hour, we simply said, “Guess you don’t want Nathan’s hot dogs!”

They clutched their empty bellies like an alien was busting out and busted out the Flatbush avenue exit towards the Q train.

A half hour later, we beelined towards Nathan’s Famous on Surf Avenue. Who thought that six dogs, two fries, hot wings, three medium Root Beers and a large Coney Island Lager would cost only…sixty-two dollars!

Or that the boys would actually eat all of that (minus the lager, of course).

What amazed me the most was that the cashier knew to pour me a large beer. And that it was less than eight bucks.

It was the biggest bill for one item of the day.

A whole seven dollars and fifty cents. That was treated by my mom.

The senior citizen.

With an idNYC card.

And that’s Zoltar.

Zoltar

 

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Need Some Help Here

I was searching for inspirational dinner music when my 10 year old requested Eminem.

Eminem?

Where did we go wrong?

It’s my husband’s fault.

He’s too forgiving when it comes to policing the quality of ethnically fused products that we don’t know much about like Rap music, Chi-Mex food, Keanu Reeves and Jello shots made by an adult-baby on Halloween.

Not only will he take Jello shots, he’ll insist – insist – that I do one or five of them, too.

Clearly, I should judge his parental judgements. After all, we had a 10 year old Wolverine and an eight year old Deadpool to bring home.

Ergo, I need some help here.

When the same 10 year old who requested Eminem dinner music, asked that I define the word “ergo,” my reply was that it was the same as therefore.

My example went, “The idiot wouldn’t stop his daredevil stunts, ergo, he wound up in the emergency room.”

Then he asked, “Does that mean he’s dead?”

“What? No – it means,”therefore, he’s in the emergency room!”

“Yeah, but is Ergo dead?”

Literally, my jaw dropped. As in, my mouth fell open – not as in, “Literally, I don’t know how to use the word literally.”

It occurred to me that one day – one of these days – I will take this boy of mine to Glasgow, Scotland. I’ll bet you, my bottom dollar, that he – full blooded Glaswegians – and my husband – will be in full fledged conversation.

They’ll completely understand each other.

Drink each other under the table, too.

And my head will (not) literally be spinning because I’m not Linda Blair, feeling I’ve spent the night with AWADDs (Aliens With A.D.D.) talking Scotch bubbles.

Ergo, this girl is still working on her career.

For the record, I did concede and told my 10 year old that Ergo was, indeed, dead.

His answer was, “Good. He sounds a lot like Samu.”

Need Some Help

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The Five Rings Of Battling Homework Battles

There’s a new resistance party. It’s called Opposition Homework. The party members are not like anyone you’ve ever known, they’re uber defiant, unbelievably stoic and under five feet tall. You wonder how such little people go without snacks or water and produce enough tears and snot to require a change of clothes – all because it was time for homework. I’d rather deal with my period than deal with my kid doing math at home.

Before I came to terms that I wasn’t the only parent with a homework defiant kid, I tried everything. Kumon, using a metronome or classical music, Yoga – still, all those sessions ended with me as the FINISH-YOUR-HOMEWORK banshee.

Now with a fifth grader (who hasn’t brought home a reading log since second grade) I admit, I’m still losing the homework battle. I have made two important discoveries through the interim: one, teachers don’t consistently check the content. So the homework – while done – is also crappy. And the second revelation is, it’s not the homework that needs to be addressed – it’s the work ethic.

The poor attitude towards homework is baffling because as a kid, I did my homework – no questions asked. If I “forgot” to do it – I was shitting bricks the next day – frantically cramming it in before the morning bell. But my guy? He once walked the whole five blocks to school before he realized he forgot his backpack and then had his dad “text” me to bring it.

Seeing that he can’t hide under the excuse of being a child anymore, I did some homework of my own. Using the elemental structure from the “Book Of Five Rings,” this new “way of the warrior,” is in the works to construct the ultimate, Homework Jedi.

Ring 1 Strategy: There are planners – and there are strategists. One does weddings, the latter does revolutions. A plan’s factor is usually time, whereas strategy is anticipating the reactions of the other side. Believe me, getting homework done – without stress – requires strategy. Therefore, when your kid starts flailing on the floor, wailing like the fat lady in a Puccini opera, just start doing his homework for him. At first, he’ll think you’re the stooge, until he realizes that for his name, you wrote “Meat Head” and at the end of every page, “I secretly love Selena Gomez.” He’ll never trust a ghost writer to do his homework again.

Ring 2 Spirit: To have the right spirit, you need the right stance. It might be old school, but I make my boys sit up straight with both feet on the floor (or a step stool for Merry Legs) and make them hold the pencil properly. You’d be surprised how many kids, especially in the upper grades, think it’s cool to hold a pencil like a neanderthal. They write like they took dictation from one, too. I advised them that it’s not real “essay like” to write “Ha! Ha!” as a conclusion and they seriously asked me if I speak English. Spirit is normalcy and fluidity – it’s the element of water. So when their spirit of homework is down, challenge them to the ice bucket – but please – don’t post it on Facebook. I don’t really give a damn who freezes their nipples.

Ring 3 Environment: Examine the environment. I know a mom who sends her son to his room to do his homework. She comes back an hour later to discover he’s been tooling around for the past hour. Despite his distraction-free, ergonomic, Ikea p.o.s. study desk – he exercises his free will to – get out of his friggin’ chair. We do our work at the kitchen table. When I’m preparing dinner, which is during the blue moon, I find holding the chopping knife adds just the right punctuation mark to “finish your math NOW.” For my boys, the kitchen table has become their “station” in which my husband and I can no longer occupy – we take our dinner standing by the island, like outcasts. When I clean their “station” I find scrap notes tucked away that says, “mommy needs a nap”.

Ring 4 Speed: “The quicker it’s done, the more you’ll have fun,” said – no woman ever. Unless she’s the lunch lady. She says it all the time. Speed is superior. Speed and accuracy – that’s Jet Li. To get to “Jet Li” status takes practice. In this world of rebooting at every major obstacle, however, what kid has the mentality to practice? They don’t. As my mom says, “It’s not in their genes.” Did you know that there’s an actual DNA to practice and the current generation completely lacks it? Either you’re born with the knack to play golf, swim, build a spaceship – or not. The arts as we know it, is dead. Photoshop, Pro Tools and death have made mediocre talent sellable, while real talent have to whore themselves off to a mouse named Mickey. But the good news is – YOU have the “practice gene.” Even if your kids can’t, you know how to keep at it. Monotony does rub off – take U2’s new album for example. Don’t misunderstand speed as being fast. When it happens without you knowing when it happened – that’s speed. And that’s what he said.

Ring 5 Void: “…void does not imply something lacking, but rather the elimination of what is superfluous.” Of course, what’s “superfluous” is a matter of opinion. I think fifteen thousand Lego pieces that wind up all over the basement floor is superfluous. My kids think toilet paper is superfluous. That’s what underpants are for. In the case of homework, it’s the actual homework that’s superfluous. If void is virtue, then quality and attitude are the void. To obtain that, you really just have to know – when to call it quits. Focus on the things that will matter in their future: doing the work. Thoroughly, righteously – proudly. Like the brown stains on their organic, cotton underwear.

“Never stray from the way”

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Even The Losers

There is nothing wrong with losing. A loss is like a mistake – they happen so we can learn from them. Duh. Of course with boys, or more like – my boys in particular, they’ll repeat the same mistake about fifty times before they have me wondering if they might possibly be insane.

When the boys were five and three, we used to play a memory game. The first to get the correct answer would get a point – five points to win a round. Although we played several rounds and there was no prize, neither of the boys could stand losing. The loser would throw a complete tantrum in the fashion of John McEnroe minus the tennis racquet, and entirely miss the point of the game, which was to exercise their feeble memory. They needed to learn how to cope with disappointment.

So I took them to Toys R Us, spent an hour there testing out a bunch of cool toys and didn’t buy them anything. Afterwards, we went to Dunkin’ Donuts and came out with nothing but an ice coffee for mommy. Nope – no donuts either.

It seemed like a reasonable plan to teach them that they don’t always get what they want. Ultimately, however, they learned that it’s better to go to Toys R Us with daddy – he’s a sucker. While to this day, they’re still rather sore losers. It’s all daddy’s fault.

At the Cub Scouts Pinewood Derby, my husband was so irate that nobody from our pack won anything that he rallied up all the other dads and determined that next year, we were doing our own derby race. “Screw them!” He yelled, as we gathered up our losing derby cars. Knowing that Samu would mimic his dad and say, “screw you,” instead of thank you on the way out, I told them right then and there that there was no way in Hell I would organize a Pinewood Derby race. Not without beer, anyway.

Honestly though, the boys weren’t upset, they knew it wasn’t all about winning. But daddy?

In the movie, Searching For Bobby Fischer, the chess coach (played by the tea horking Ben Kingsley) says a quotable line, “To put a child in a position to care about winning and not to prepare him is wrong.”

I should’ve listened to Gandhi and prepared the big guy. My bad. I’m not joking when I say he’s the biggest child in our house. There are times the three of them go at it – calling each other names, smacking heads, punching blubber and kicking each other’s butt, like literally – that I have yell, “Daddy! Really?”

In my opinion, girls are better at losing. I’d like to believe it’s because we’re patient, positive thinkers but the truth is, we’re scornful. We never forget, as opposed to boys and their single cell memory. Go ahead, ask a boy any question about school, what they did, what they ate, their mom’s name – and 80 percent of them will say, “I dunno.”

So given the resiliency of children, it’s befuddling to see parents protecting their kids from the pain of losing. You can’t lose without getting hurt. If it doesn’t hurt, it isn’t worth it – not everyone can be happy. Not everyone can be the winner.

But what’s important to remember is, there’s a difference between being The loser and being A loser. And even those, get lucky sometimes.

 

Little child, Medium Child, Big child

Little child, Medium Child, Man child

 

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Roots, Radicals, Reese’s Pieces

As a full time mom, I get to chaperone a lot of the school field trips for my boys’ class. I get a kick out of them. While getting to know my son’s classmates and teachers is a huge perk, the real bonus is in watching them act like monkeys who escaped from the zoo.

Recently, we went to the Queens County farm, where they took a “Colonial Kitchen” workshop in a farmhouse. During the presentation, these 4th graders learned about life in the Colonial days – how children did chores all day, ate after all the adults were finished, married early, caught on fire easily and hardly had sugar.

No sugar?!

Kids and their priorities. They were put to work during the workshop, cutting the farm’s fresh vegetables, making cornbread with molasses (remember, no sugar), churning butter from cream. When it was all done, only two kids actually finished their cups of soup – the rest preferred to finish off their 30 oz bottle of Gatorade and barbecue flavored chips.

You only live once, I suppose. Fresh food isn’t a novelty to them when we have three supermarkets in a five block radius who all sell organic produce.

Damned kids – I thought the soup was delicious and had two helpings – screw them. Then again, it was a mere five degrees outside and the class voted to go see the frozen cow while the soup cooked. Dumb cow.

In the end, what I learned was – I could never work on a farm. But somebody has to. Somebody has to know how to grow potatoes. I mean out of the 28 kids in the class, only one knew that flint rock and steel was a way to start a fire. And he wasn’t even a scout.

It’s sad when you think about it, how little city folk know about surviving and how even less they can pass on to their kids. I could teach my kids how to get anywhere by subway but outdoors, I couldn’t guide them to the North Star unless there was a huge white arrow pointed to it. But at least I know it’s crucial to find it if you’re lost.

These kids? Well, the instructor asked the students what sweeter they thought replaced sugar in Colonial days, as a hint she said it starts with an M and rhymes with glasses. All the kids searched the furthest corner of their 4’x5′ brain and one kid stuck up his arm like he was having a stroke.

“Peanut butter!”

I clawed at my face and thought, we’re all gonna die.

See - Men do belong in the kitchen

See – Men do belong in the kitchen

 

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Gathered Here Today

My good friend, I heard of your loss and I’m deeply sorry. Sometimes we see it coming – many times we don’t but either way, we’re never quite prepared. It is the ultimate Suck.

How do people carry on, you ask yourself. Don’t they know who they’ve lost?

It is strange – to see life continue when for you, it has split between the time with and the time thereafter. But if anything is to be gained, it’s the awakening. That by departing, they illuminate everyone else. All those who are still here. And it makes you want to remind them that every, single day is important.

Cherish it and replace the sorrow with it for now. The void will inevitably come.

I remember, weeks after I lost my sister, you called me up and coaxed me out of my cave. Gathering the dregs that we tooled around with, we poured our memories into our beers and drank until we ran out of money. That’s what I remember of thirteen years ago – not the tears, but the laughter that fought them and the friends who were there when the dust settled.

There hasn’t been a day gone by that I don’t think of her – and I suspect the same fate awaits you with your brother.

He was the backbone to your uniqueness – the bolt in that swan on your bowler hat. He supported your gigs, even when everyone else was at home watching the season premiere of Sex In The City. He scared off your trick or treaters as the scary Cat in the Hat.

What a guy.

You and your family are in our thoughts, bro.

Here is the light, and there you go…

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Journey To Oz

Sweet, sweltering summer – it’s like cotton candy. Soft, sticky and gone in sixty seconds. Ever since I can remember, Labor Day weekend was the most depressing weekend of the year. It doesn’t matter how much fun you have – each summer totally erases the one preceding it and the pang of letting it go is never easy. Summer is the true meaning of living for the moment. When you arrive at the end, you realize you’ve been home all along.

This summer, more than any other was like a journey to Oz. Like Dorothy, we didn’t go much further than our own backyard and discovered our true selves in the company of true friends.

I’d like to acknowledge all the good sports who came along for the journey. The summer of 2013 will go down in history! Well – at least in mine.

Thank you, Astoria Park Track and Field: Talk about a day. We did this Monday and Wednesdays and most of the time we followed jumping hurdles and throwing javelins with a dip in the pristine-with-a-prison-feel of Astoria Pool.

The city parks department has been running the Track & Field program for years – at least a decade, according to a dad whose kids have been going there so long that he got a t-shirt.

I reckon that’ll be me, someday. Because when possible, I must get clothed for free.

Thank you, New York Hall of Science Family Premium membership: Let’s face it – museum memberships are a rip off. No museum holds enough interest to warrant more than two visits. Except – the New York Hall of Science.

Despite the numerous school field trips and outings with friends – my guys can never get enough of this place. We’ve been there three times this summer alone and we’ve yet to do the mini-golf.

What sold me was the reciprocal admission to other science museums. We’ve been to the Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum twice already. If I paid general admission price to the Intrepid, one visit would’ve cost $24 for me and $19 for each of my monkeys.

That’s serious beer money.

With memberships, all you need is I.D. to check in – so I ordered the second adult card under my friend’s name and she did the same for me under her membership to the Bronx Zoo because seriously, would our husbands ever take the kids to these God-forsaken places without us?

So, now we can watch predators and primates in captivity, rather than under the El asking for change in between sips of Georgi vodka. And sometimes, from the window seat at our new favorite eatery.

We’ve probably been eating out a lot more than usual this summer. I think I abused the excuse that it was just too hot to cook, but on the flip side, my Reward points are stacking up.

So, for tax purposes, I’m reviewing the places I felt were truly “Kid Friendly” to my standards. That includes, greeting our party with a smile instead of a sneer and taking drink orders from Mom – not the charming boys asking for seconds of soda.

If you find yourself visiting Legoland Discovery in Yonkers, then you must stop at The Yard House, right outside the plaza. This place was – Spot – Friggin’ – On. As a matter of fact, all restaurants should use this place as an example of “Kid Friendly.” Make good food, bring beer fast, keep it in budget – if that were a girlfriend, she’d be a wife.

When I win the lottery, we plan to revisit Williams Burger, Hinomaru and Landmark Tavern, just because they showed us an awesome time. In the meantime, picnics will do just fine. And for the record, the candidate for Mayor who announces that picnicking moms can serve rice balls with beers – has my vote.

Pass the seaweed, please.

IMG_7893

 

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