The boring parent

For the past few weeks I’ve been injured and/or ill, and not the most entertaining parent. The most I was able to do was drive Moomin to the library. For a few weekends we just laid around reading. We both read a bunch of Warriors books, the Percy Jackson series, the Five Ancestor series by Jeff Stone, and Moomin read The Golden Compass, The Blue Hawk, some Elfquest and One Piece Shonen Jump comics (which are very good!)

One Piece follows the adventures of Monkey D. Luffy, a 17-year-old boy who gains elastic abilities after inadvertently eating a supernatural fruit, and his diverse crew of pirates, named the Straw Hat Pirates. Luffy explores the ocean in search of the world’s ultimate treasure known as the One Piece and to become the next Pirate King. On his journey, Luffy battles a wide variety of villains and makes several friends.

I also read about 12 Georgette Heyer books which were on sale for $1.99 each for the Kindle.

We played this typing game and Moomin spent lots of time reading the Justice League and Warriors web sites. I showed him how to start a Tumblr. (We’ll see!) Most of the time though, honestly I just hid in my bed and tried to make time pass. It was hard to cope. The big highlight of the day was going up onto the roof to sit in the sun on sleeping bags and read up there.

On deck

It was a good highlight as it’s beautiful on the roof of the boat. You can see that being sick and cranky doesn’t make my hair look any less awesome….

On deck

Last weekend I felt well enough to go out. We hung out in Oakland with my friends and their twin 3 year olds which might not have been thrilling for Moomin except that it was a board game party with brownies and pizza. Now my friends have the highest thumbs up ranking despite having tiny incoherent rugrats who talk about pee and stickers all day. He might even have thought the rug rats were kind of cute and creative…

On Sunday we drove to the Musee Mecanique which he hadn’t even been to. Ambitious since it is at Fisherman’s Wharf and I would have to find somewhere to park and use my wheelchair in unknown territory, in a crowd. This plan worked out really well though! There was (expensive) parking right next to the pier with the museum. In fact it was valet parking and with the validation from a nearby restaurant it only cost $12.00 for a few hours — really not bad!

Moomin was amazed at Fisherman’s Wharf and thought it barely even looked like San Francisco. People from out of town might think that’s what San Francisco is but to him SF means the Mission District and Bernal Heights, the Zoo, and downtown. He was struck by the similarity to Jeju Island (I assume the touristy bits of Jeju) right down to the expensive fish sticks and people busking all around the harbor. We looked at the battleship and the submarine (from the outside) and then hit the Musee Mecanique. Moomin was shocked … VERY shocked… that I got $20 in quarters. That is EIGHTY quarters! How can anyone spend 80 quarters!?

We slowly worked our way through the strange mechanical arcade games. We both really liked the baseball game from 1937, which kept score and was fun to play. Moomin and I both also liked the Snake Eats Snake mutascope peep show. I did all the scandalous peep show machines of ladies from 1898 in their underwear. We watched a huge array of very creepy puppets dance around or be executed or rescue people from burning buildings.


Then we hit the back of the building where the 80s arcade and pinball machines were. Hyperball and the Indiana Jones pinball game were both excellent! For the Indiana Jones one, you fire your pinball by pulling the trigger of a fake pistol.

Milo playing Phoenix

I got the high score on Phoenix, losing my cool at one point to yell at Moomin for reaching into my game and putting my forcefield on. Arcade game etiquette, dude!!! Then nearly ruined my entire arm trying to impress him with my PacMan skills.

Moomin explained to me at length in the car about how he has never really liked video games. I told him how when he was little I would try to get him to have fun playing simple games, but it would just stress him amazingly. Anything with a time limit or where you could fail, he would break into an actual sweat and would start to freak out. But then after playing Plants vs. Zombies and a few other things, he realized he likes and hates particular kinds of games. Anything that’s from a first person (limited or omniscient) perspective, he hates, which rules out any sort of shooter game or things like Super Mario Brothers, or anything where you run around and explore with a character. He likes games where you are more like a general controlling lots of different things or characters at once and it’s more about strategy, and if you decide what to do with different resources he likes it even more. Is this kid ripe to play Civilization or what!?

Anyway, our San Francisco adventure was a nice trip. I’m thinking of buying the Kids’ Guide to SF again (the last one got juice spilled on it in the car & grew a coat of mold). Then Moomin could pick exciting stuff to do during the times when I feel up to going out. I’d like to come more to San Francisco and explore it with him as we might explore a strange city while traveling. It balances our inevitable weekends of nothing-but-reading!

arm wrestling robot

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61 Responses to The boring parent

  1. Grace says:

    Sorry you've been sick, but your weekend out sounds great! I totally want to go check out the vintage games and peep-show now! And that's a great picture of you.

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