Operation Caffeination

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Beating the Seattle Freeze

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It snowed this morning. It is pretty unusual for us to get snow this late in the year in Seattle, so the city went into lockdown mode. My hearty bite-size adventurers and I ended up having Carkeek Park to ourselves, and enjoyed a private show courtesy of the Bubble Man before we finally meandered our way to the downtown REI in the late afternoon for dinner before returning home for the evening.

It is always interesting to parent your own children in a group setting, and it’s perhaps even a little weirder here in Seattle because…well, let’s face it. Seattle parents are weird. They will talk to your kid and ignore you, or instruct their children to talk to you for them even though you’re sitting right there and can obviously hear them. Some will swoop in to drive their children away from other kids when they try to make new friends on the playground. It can be hard to talk about this kind of behavior (at least for me), because there’s always the feeling that I must be doing something to cause these parents to dislike me. When you’ve been here as long as I have, though, you begin to realize that this kind of antisocial behavior is, for better or for worse, normal by Seattle standards.

The families we met at REI today were very typical Seattleites. I ended babysitting for this little boy’s mother briefly while she rushed her younger child to the bathroom, but she managed to get through that and an additional hour of standing side by side, watching our kids race around in the indoor treehouse, without ever speaking to me directly. By the end of the evening I knew her kids’ names, what schools they attend, their favorite colors, their favorite foods, their favorite tv shows, that their dad is fun to play with but doesn’t spend enough time with them, that the older brother doesn’t remember his little sister being a baby, but that she totally remembers being breastfed and misses it. I wasn’t even able to get the mom to tell me her name.

Seattle is a strange and lovely place, full of awkward, displaced people.

The good news is, this particular brand of awkwardness is hereditary doesn’t appear to be hereditary.


Warming up at REI at 5 o’clock!


Written by GRSeim

March 7, 2012 at 5:21 am

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