Saturday, June 7, 2008

Pandas and Puking Aren't Necessarily a Bad Combination

We decided to go out to dinner and a movie as a family tonight. The plan was to pick up tickets to Kung Fu Panda, go to the Outback Steakhouse next to the theater for dinner then catch the film.

Zak unfortunately changed the plan by getting sick during dinner. Literally sick -- he threw up half a cheesburger, a couple of bites of mashed potatoes and two cups of milk right back onto his plate. So we made profuse apologies, left a hefty tip and hustled him back home.

Danelle stayed with him while Taryn and I hurried back to the theater. We figured that she might as well still get to go, and Danelle could take Zak some other time. And it would give Taryn and I the chance to do something with just the two of us.

Zak and I seem to naturally end up doing things together -- soccer practices, playing Guitar Hero, going to games. With Taryn it's been a little harder so far, and sometimes she seems to feel left out. It's probably partly her age, partly her gender, partly that she's the second child. Whatever the reason, I know it's something that I need to be aware of and not let become a problem.

I took her out of preschool one day just so she and I could have a special day at the zoo. I'm going to go with her on another trip to the zoo in a couple of weeks with her preschool class, at her request. And tonight was another unexpected opportunity so I couldn't pass it up.

Let me pause here to give special props to the good people at AMC Theatres. We went to the customer service counter when we got there and I explained the situation, and they gave me two passes good for any film at any time without any hassle. I guess it shouldn't be surprising or noteworthy when a company treats customers fairly, but I appreciated it nonetheless.

We were able to get in just before the previews started and still get my favorite seats -- right smack in the exact middle. And Taryn was a little doll throughout. Sitting on my lap for most of it, hiding her face during the "scary parts," scolding me for laughing too loud.

When we got back Zak was already in bed but not yet asleep, so Taryn was kind enough to give him this review.


"There was a little bit of fighting. (To which Zak responded, "I kind of figured that, since it's called Kung Fu Panda." Sharp as a tack, that one.)

"The panda didn't know how to do kung fu. Then the squirrel teached him how to do kung fu. Then he knowed how to do kung fu.

The panda was super, duper duper hungry."

I keep reminding myself that one day, sooner than I think, neither of my kids will want to do stuff with me. It just won't be cool. So I should not only enjoy these moments but do everything I can to create as many of them as possible.

Hopefully I can find more ways to find time for Taryn that don't involve Zak getting violently ill. But for one night, I was kind of glad he did.

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