People I Want to Punch in the Throat: The Dads at Science City on Saturday

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The Dads at Science City on Saturday


Saturday was a great day around here.  We had beautiful weather and the Hubs didn't have to show houses so we were looking for something fun to do.

Luckily, I have good friends that I can call at a moment's notice and say, "What are YOU doing today and can we come too?"  That's pretty much what I did to my friend.

She told me that she and her family were going to go downtown and visit the new Kansas City Ballet studio that just opened.  It was a supposed to be a big party with lots of fun (free) stuff for the kids to do.  She is a ballerina and her daughters are ballerinas, so they were pretty excited.
My family is neither graceful nor dainty, but we like free stuff and we try to support the arts, so we tagged along.

We took a tour and saw that it was a really beautiful building and it was great to see how many people will be able to benefit from the new facility.  After the tour we were invited to watch a performance.  The ballerina family stayed for the entire show and watched with rapt attention.  My family (even the Hubs) gave up after 5 minutes and begged to go next door to the Science City Museum.

We have a season pass so I said we could go over there a while.  We said goodbye to the ballerinas and headed out.

I was thrilled to see the museum wasn't crowded, sometimes the weekends can be unbearable.  We split up and the Hubs took the boy and I took the girl.

The first thing my daughter wanted to do was sit in the helicopter.  They have a full sized mounted helicopter in there and you can sit in it and pretend you're flying.  While the helicopter seats four, there is really only one seat that you can "drive" in.  When we got to the helicopter there was a man, a woman and an 18 month old baby in the helicopter.  The man was driving and the wife and baby were in the back.

When we walked up I said to my daughter, "Someone is using the helicopter right now, so we just need to wait your turn."  Almost every parent knows that is code for "Finish it up, please."

Instead, these parents proceeded to photograph this baby in the helicopter as if it was a photo shoot for a brochure for the museum.  Not only did they sit there and photograph the kid, they kept stopping and uploading the pics to Facebook.

"Looks like they're almost done now, sweetie.  Thanks for being patient," I said to my daughter as passive aggressively as I could.  Code for "Move your asses, people, we've waited a full 4 minutes for you."

At that point, the mom realized she should probably exit, so she climbed out and spent another 2 minutes coaxing Junior, "Honey, are you ready to come out?"

"No."

"Sweetie, aren't you all done?"

"No."

And so on.

Finally Junior got out, but Dad didn't!

He sat there in the driver's seat pretending to fly the helicopter.  I gave him about fifteen seconds and I was going to say something but then he pulled out his iPhone and did a self portrait and started uploading that to Facebook.  That's when my patience ran out.  I just stared at him willing to look up at me and see me looking at him like he was an idiot.  He didn't, so I finally had to speak.

"Sir?  She's waited really patiently and you're in the only seat she wants.  Would you mind checking your email outside of the aircraft?"

"What?  Huh?  Oh.  Yeah, fine."  And he stuck his fat ass in my face as he crawled out backward still texting or writing on his mom's Facebook wall or something (what sort of adult exits a helicopter like that??).

What.  Huh.  Oh.  Yeah, fine.  ????  I thought I was dealing with a grown man, not an asshole teenager.  What sort of adult behaves like this?  

"Yeah, thanks.  Because, you know, it is a kid's museum."  I said.

The guy never looked up from his iPorn.

My kid played on the helicopter and I didn't think much of the guy until later.  My daughter and I went to the astronaut area.  They have two flight simulators where you can pretend to land the space shuttle.  Again, a popular destination.

As we arrived a little girl about 9 years old slid into the only open simulator.  I told my kid, "Oh good, you're first in line for when the next one opens up."

I looked over to the other simulator and saw yet another middle aged, portly dad playing with the kids' toys.  He was in deep concentration trying to land his space shuttle.

You gotta be fucking kidding me.  What are the odds of finding two douchey dads in one day in a deserted museum?

We waited a couple of minutes and then the 9 year old girl realized she'd taken a long enough turn and asked my daughter if she'd like to try.  "Yes, please," my daughter replied.  The older girl gave up her seat, even though she had not yet successfully landed her space shuttle.

So, of course, passive aggressive slash openly hostile me said loudly, "Thank you for realizing there was someone waiting and giving her a turn.  Someone taught you well."

The girl just shrugged, walked over to the douchey dad and said, "Come on, Dad, you've been trying to land that thing for like half an hour!  You're embarrassing me."

Her mother must be a saint.

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30 comments:

Meg said...

I can totally picture it!!!

Christie said...

I'm totally passive-aggressive in situations like that too! What a douchebag those dad were! I could totally understand if there was nobody there but once you see a CHILD at a CHILDREN'S museum who wants to use the equipment, quit living out your Tom Cruise Top Gun fantasies and move it!!!

CaitlinLE said...

I wonder it your husband wanted to split so he could play without you knowing!

SWV said...

Ugh. Crap like this totally pisses me off. Good for you for speaking up!

Paisley Parmer said...

We dealt with the same "douchey dad" scenario at our last visit to the Orlando science center at the simulator. We waited for 15 minutes and our kids never got a turn before we loudly voiced our opinion and gave up.

chrisval37 said...

I LOVE that you wrote this! I run a daycare and deal with parents like this everyday....really you are going to consult your child on if they are ready to go come on!

Emily said...

So true! Its amazing how selfish folks can be - completely unaware of their surroundings.

CBertolino said...

It happens at the Discovery Museum we visit too. This place is good for kids ages 5 and under MAX. Why are there douchy dads snatching scarves and stuffing them thruogh the giant wind tunnels that are no more than 2 feet tall? A-holes.

Paula said...

I feel your pain.. been there experienced that! People and their obnoxious iphones drive me up a tree! Even SNL gets it! They had a nativity skit with two apple-heads doinking with their i-phones... just watching it stressed me out and made me laugh at the same time! I kept pointing to the tv... yelling see! Even SNL gets it!

Claudia said...

This is the exact reason I refuse to go to our Science Center. The waiting irritates the shit out of me.
I also run a daycare and finally got rid of the parents who asked their children everyday if the wanted to put their shoes and coat on and whether they were ready to leave. Don't ask, take your kids and go home.

faith said...

oh what fun you wouldve had with that story if one of those was your own husband....

SuziG said...

I would smack my husband upside his head... and he knows it. As for dealing with other women's husband's, I would look at them and ask if they've been inducted into the canon of saints yet. If that didn't wake the idiot up, I'd let him know line for the evolution train is in another area. Giving him just the punch in the throat he needs... if he can understand what it means that is.

Ashada Hawa said...

I would totally play on the cool gidgets and gadgets...Of course, I also know to stop when the little ones show up.

Tricia said...

We had a "Weekend Douche Dad" clogging up the slide at a local hamster maze/indoor playground. He was being so wild that my kids were afraid to go up to the top of the maze to go down the slide. Finally, I threw a ball at him and said, "Would you mind getting down and letting the kids play?" AND HE MOCKED ME! But then he got down. Apparently, he only has 48 hours every couple of week to impress his kids with how cool he is. What an ass!

margaretdilloway.com said...

I think many people forgot how to behave. My friend works with special needs kids on social skills, and they always have better manners than the average adult (and they also demonstrate that the average adult has NO excuse for their lack of manners). Once I was at the playground with my son, who was 4. A bigger girl, maybe 7 or 8, was chasing him and knocked him down. I told her to be careful-- it looked like an accident. She knocked him down again, tackled him, and he hit his head on metal. I told her to stay away from him. Her mother said passive aggressively, "Oh honey, you don't have to listen to what that woman says." She didn't care that her kid actually hurt my kid. I got in the woman's face and said, "Then you better teach her how to behave! You're not doing a thing but sitting there ignoring her." I was pretty mama-bear mad (also I was like 6 months pregnant). She took her kid and SKEDADDLED.

K Ferris said...

I am not passive-aggressive about it, I flat out ask them to move their butt so that the children can enjoy the museum. If his big ass wants to play, he can buy himself an X-Box. Sounds like Weekend Dad syndrome. Don't even get me started on douches that have to take a full photo montage and then upload it immediately. It's always funnier to see the reaction when you call out a douche dad immediately. Odds are that 3 or 4 parents around you don't want the argument. I'm a grandma now, so they're usually pretty surprised that a woman would call them out in public. They also don't realize that if push came to shove, I could take most of them in a fair fight. Next time, don't make excuses to your child for an adults boorish behavior. Call tem out of call security. Most museums are signed regarding the amount of time spent in one area.

Suzi said...

SuziSeptember 29, 2013 at 3:47 AM

Do you know why I read you, Jen? Because you are okay with being angry with people who are impolite or stupid or rude. I generally sigh and move on because I have utterly given up on people, at large. You are still in there, fighting the good fight, scolding the bad behavior, and demanding that people make a return to civilized and respectful behavior.

Good for you! I'll remain a devoted reader, because you have the audacity and chutzpah to tell it like it is. You also make me laugh and snort soda out of my nose, and it's worth it.

sassypiehole said...

What a couple of tools. I've had that happen on more than one occasion and it wasn't always DAD! You should carry a squirt gun in our purses incase it happens again. Apparently, people don't like it when you squirt them in the eye with Vodka. Go figure.

gaylechoo said...

My child is a jellyfish fanatic. He also happens to use a wheelchair from time to time when a lot of standing/walking is required, so I can't just let him stand in the lower spot in front of adults. We were at the jellyfish exhibit at the Shedd Aquarium 2 years ago, & it was packed. We waited & waited to finally get our turn see the first tank. There was a couple there, & the man was trying to take a professional quality shot of the tiny jellies with his iPhone. He stood directly in front of the tank, waiting for them to float by, then he'd take the picture & mutter, "Shoot. Missed again." This must've happened at least thirty times. My son finally said, "Mom, are we gonna see the jellies today?" I replied, in my finest stage whisper, "I hope so, as soon as this man is done taking pictures. There are lots of people waiting behind us, too. waiting their turn." Idiot man-child finally got the hint & moved on. Of course, he was in front of us at EVERY tank in the exhibit. I finally managed to get him to react to my shorthand - a LOUD throat-clearing - to get him to wrap it up.

Kerrie McLoughlin said...


That's KC for ya. They're everywhere.

Rory Bore said...

Sad day when the kids act better than the parent. stuff like this just floors me. I've been tying to be really patient with people and the whole "checking my phone" thing - because, hey, I have to check mine sometimes too. But I cannot believe how long some of this "just checking" is taking often. Oh, okay...I'm about to check my foot into your ass. Move along fuckie.

r/b said...

J.H.C......I am the "douchey dad", especially at the Shark exhibit.

This ruined my day.

thefatchickdiaries said...

Not sure why it was necessary for you to comment on both men's weights. Surely jerks come in all shapes and sizes.

Katie said...

me and the hubby (currently without offspring) went a museum in Toronto on honeymoon, and spent the whole time being disappointed that we couldn't use all the interactive parts of the dinosaur exhibit because there were loads of children waiting to use them. We are clearly just big children (but at least we managed to behave like adults?!)

r/b said...

After reading this and the comments, I will now make an effort to be more aware of the kids and other people waiting....We are all exceedingly polite for the most part, my whole family, AND we are all aspies (Aspergers Syndrome) and we will now ALL be even MORE aware....When we see sharks, or a big cats (mountain lion, cougar, leopard, even the little ones, sand cats and caracals) or anything to do with space/rockets/jets/engines
ocean/mermaids/ocean stuff our joy level skyrockets and we are VERY kid-like and so so happy....Curious levels are set to max! Reading this it is apparent we could be more aware of others around us. My son is the same way, and he is one of the most polite and considerate people on earth...he will hold open doors so all people can enter or exit places, he says please and thank you, and loves babies and older people....He thinks it is FUN to share cool things and will spend time listening to little kids talk about Legos and whatnot.Not joking on this, and it's no excuse at all...I can grow and change...I think that this "Throat Punch" might be mine from time to time.....As a person on the spectrum, I will say for myself and all of the people in my family, if you were to say something like, "Hi! I see you are really enjoying this, can we have a turn too?" Not only will we promptly get out of your way, most likely it will serve as a gentle reminder that OTHER people and their children would like to play/see, too.
It's not always selfish d-bagism that makes some of us this way...We get so enraptured, so amazed, we tend to "loop" on stuff we love and want to look at it A LOT. I promise to be more mindful....and sorry if me or mine were the d-bags not sharing.

Susan said...

It sounds to me that you are not the kind of person that is being throat punched here. There is a difference between getting sucked into something, (as you do) and being aware that there are other people waiting, and just not caring. The fact that you took the criticism to heart, and recognized that you might occasionally have done some of the things she mentioned means that you are definitely more self aware than the jerks Jen encountered at the museum!

r/b said...

Hi Susan...this falls under an often uttered phase some aspies use until we train ourselves out of it: "I didn't mean to!"....... Because it maybe (and IS) TRUE we didn't intend to do something doesn't mean much to others and it is not something you can prove. Intention is good in brain, intent as a excuse that what I did hurt you But I didn't MEAN to.....well, it's a weak place to come from. No, I don't upload shit to my facebook as I have no account, however standing with my mug pressed to the glass oblivious to your families looks the same sorta as d-baggington dads. No excuses allowed... learn or get mentioned in PIWTPITT post, considered in this house one of the most shameful things that can happen 😀

r/b said...

and on my tablet, those little weird ?? were silly faces.
(NO ONE in this family wants to be featured on PIWTPITT!) :)

Gary Trees said...

This whole article makes me cringe a little... If adults are meant to just be bystanders at places such as this, why do they also have to pay admission? This just sounds like an entitlement trope to me... I can understand the gripe with uploading things to facebook, assuming that is in fact what was going on. But aside from that, your passive aggressive behavior may be doing more harm than good in teaching your own children about patience and mutual respect for people of all ages, sexes, and sizes.

Ceeleene said...

OMG! You are my soulmate! That has happened to me more times than I can even count and always the same reaction--Oh? What? I guess! It just recently happened at this museum that was not only for kids, but it was one of those stick your face here things. So this family was taking their pictures and we were waiting...They then moved out of the spot, but stayed in front of the display, so I could not take my family's picture. Same thing, dicking around with their damn phones and oblivious to anything or anyone around them! I finally said, "would you mind just moving a bit to the right?" They did, but then I heard the dad say something about people being patient...Meh. You can't win. I work in technology and I can even say for MYSELF, these stupid phones are making us dumber and more out of touch with our fellow man.