Sunday, August 26, 2012

A Day with the Grandkids

by Pa Rock
One Tired Grandpa

Yesterday began with a trip to the local IHOP for breakfast where I was reminded of why it is that having children is a privilege of youth.  Old people cannot possibly keep small children safe and calm when there are so many great things within grabbing range.  I shoveled my food down quickly and then walked Judah, in his pram, around and around the outside of the building while his parents ate and fed his brother and sister.  Judah enjoys riding in his pram.

After breakfast we rode the "Max" to the area around the Portland Zoo - where we visited the Children's Museum and spent the day watching the kids enjoy the various interactive exhibits.  Sebastian played hard at everything, and Judah especially likes mechanical things.  One play area had a wheel that, when turned, moved quantities of a bark-like substance up a conveyor belt.  Judah immediately knew what it was for and how it operated, and he turned the wheel well past the point where most children would have gotten bored and moved on to other activities.  When other kids weren't loading bark onto the conveyor belt for him, he would stop turning the wheel and load it up himself.

Sebastian enjoyed a stage area where the little kids put on their own production.  He danced for the audience.

There was one area reserved for very small children that Willow got to enjoy.  She liked sitting on a water mattress and bouncing around.  Willow is very focused on her older brothers and intently watches what they are doing.  She also likes to play with their toys.

Last night was "movie night," a Saturday ritual in the Files home.  We all sat around their small DVD player and watched most of "Polar Express," the boys' favorite movie.  Molly and Scott made popcorn, and Sebastian set up his popcorn tent.

I think it is great that they have chosen "The Polar Express" for their movie fixation.   Sebastian and I watched it in Phoenix one night when he was just a few months old.  (When my kids were small, one of their regular movies that they watched over and over was Gene Wilder's version of "Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory."

This morning I am at the Alaska Airlines departure area waiting to board a plane to Phoenix.  The personnel at Alaska Air are so much more cheerful than the US Air people whom I dealt with on Friday.  It is possible to be pleasant in a high pressure job, and for those who can't maintain a pleasing demeanor when dealing with the public, they should find another line of work - like cleaning chicken houses.  

The TSA people are also much less uptight than their counterparts in Phoenix.   My large stick of Old Spice deodorant went right through the checkpoint with no problems, although a couple of years ago the same item had been seized at Sky Harbor in Phoenix.   (I didn't let that bother me too much because the woman who seized it obviously needed it.)   Also, the last time I was at the Portland airport, one of the TSA guys was wearing a turban.  Joe Arpaio would never allow that degree of personal freedom in Phoenix!

The plane is boarding.

No comments: