Wait, Does Everyone Have Their Shoes On?

Last weekend we accidentally left Silas’ shoes at a crab shack in Brooklyn. Why did he have his shoes off at a crab shack? Because he was playing putt-putt — at a crab shack. I know that’s not a valid reason, and I also understand this sounds like an elaborate lie made up by a 7 year-old, but I assure you, we really did leave Silas’ shoes at a place that served shellfish, and also had an 18-hole mini-golf course. If you’ve been to Red Hook, Brooklyn, the idea wouldn’t seem so strange.  Roughly 100% of businesses fail there, so aspiring restauranteurs employ a MadLibs-type matching service that randomly teams their culinary offerings with an ironic childhood activity. We could have just as easily left his shoes at the corn chowder and bumper car establishment.

How does one forget their kid’s shoes? Stress, mostly. Silas was crying because I caused him to bonk his head on a shark tooth. HUH? Exactly: Red Hook. See, as I’m sure you didn’t imagine, the crab shack/putt-putt place had a life-sized fake shark head busting through the front wall: A perfect photo opportunity, right?  So I picked up my boy and struggled to position his head perfectly in the shark’s jaws while my left hand attempted to position my iPhone to get the shot. I lost my balance a bit and rammed Silas’ head into the shark’s open mouth, connecting his temple perfectly with the blunt tip of a plastic Great White tooth. Cue the tears. I think most fathers try to prevent their children from being injured by a real shark, while I intentionally put my son into situations where he might be bitten by a fake one.

Arlo, meanwhile, was already losing it because his cousin, Eli was, according to him, hogging the electronic dolphin ride. Oh, there was an electronic dolphin there too. It was right next to the bar. With Silas freaking out from his shark bite, and Arlo screaming “Arlo fish turn”, we had to leave and weren’t really in the mindset to stop and think, “Wait, do both kids have their shoes on?” Frankly, why would they have them off in the first place? Oh, right, to play putt-putt. I think we’re going back tomorrow for some more of the same, and possibly to pick up Silas’ shoes which I last saw on the deck chair next to the pool table. My guess is they’re still right where we left them, unless a hipster picked them up and is now wearing them as “hilarious” gloves.

I'm a contributing writer to Parents Magazine, GQ, Psychology Today and some others. My book, "This is Ridiculous. This is Amazing: Parenthood in 71 Lists" is available here http://bit.ly/1exfm34. Look for two more books in 2015: "Must. Push. Buttons (Bloomsbury Kids), and an as-of-yet untitled memoir I’ve appeared on Comedy Central’s “Live at Gotham” and “Nick Mom’s Night Out." I live in New Jersey with my wife and two sons and enjoy making them laugh more than anyone else.

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