Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Random Washington DC thoughts

If your child is going on a trip that has at least one overnight, someone needs to go with him or her. It's not fair to the child or the parents who go along to give up your responsibilities for a weekend. One poor girl burned through the spending money her mom had given her when she dropped her off at the airport, and the other parents chipped in to make sure the poor thing ate on Monday.

If you do go on a trip with your kids, then please act like a parent. I had to correct a lot of kids who acted inappropriately over the weekend. Not the kids who got loud in the park. I mean the kids who tried to climb up on the lap of President Roosevelt's statue in his memorial for a cute picture. Or the boys who thought it would be fun to stare at and take flash pictures of the homeless people sleeping on a grate near Union Station. If you don't like me correcting your kid, then you act like a parent.

When you're on a mass trip like we just did, teach your kids to be polite. We were moving through crowds at the various museums and memorials, and I was never prouder of Girlie Bear than when she kept excusing herself and making way for other people. A lot of the kids acted like they were the only ones using the stairs, escalators, elevators, and sidewalks.

Don't let your child take a Gameboy or whatever when you're out and about at the sites. One kid had his parents spend hundreds of dollars for him and his mother to go to Washington, and never stopped playing his Nintendo DS, including during the changing of the guard at the Tomb of the Unknowns and at the Kennedy gravesite in Arlington Cemetary. Something tells me this trip isn't going to go into his autobiography.

On a more positive note, I owe a lot to Girlie Bear's teachers for all of the work they did to put the trip together and make it happen on the ground. Good teachers deserve a heck of a lot more money and respect for what they do.

A shout out to the nice young lady who was riding in the car we got on at the Metro Center subway station on Saturday. That pole dance you were doing at the front of the car was quite entertaining. While I'm sure your boyfriend liked it, I had a heck of a time getting myself and other dad between you and the kids so we wouldn't have to explain what you were doing.

Another shout out to anyone who flew on Southwest between Baltimore and Louisville on Friday and Monday. I'm so very sorry. I know it was only an hour or so in the air, but it was probably the longest hour of your week.

Same shout out to the people who rode the Blue or Yellow lines in the Washington DC metro this weekend. We tried to keep the kids down to a dull roar, but we know our large, noisy, and energetic group disturbed you.

When visiting our nation's capital, please remember that security is up. Don't get snitty with the security guard at the museum when she wants you to open your bag for her. It's not personal, it's her job.

Every 16 year old boy and girl should be forced to accompany and participate in a 5th grade class trip. It would be the best birth control known to man.

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