JB’s parents have this story about going out to eat at a Sizzler when JB was little, maybe around Dylan’s age or so. Actually, it’s not so much a story, because they’ve never shared the details of what exactly happened during this outing, only that it was so traumatic they didn’t go back to that Sizzler for, like, twenty years.

We haven’t experienced anything quite so bad with either kid, but I have a very bad memory of taking Riley to a Blockbuster when he was in that mobile-yet-completely-unreasonable baby/toddler stage. He wanted to get down and walk and the instant his feet hit the ground I had to chase him all over the store, through the giant line of exasperated customers, and eventually behind the counter where the employees were. Figuring it would be better for us to wait in the car, I picked him up, only to have him do that boneless/backflopping thing while a horrible, eardrum-rupturing sound spiraled from his mouth. I remember with grim, vivid detail every moment of that humiliating march across the store to the door, as my child thrashed in my arms like a rabid badger and shrieked so loud every single person turned to stare.

JB and I were driving by this same Blockbuster a couple weeks ago and I started to suggest that we stop and pick up a new release, then I considered the logistics. Riley would be no problem, but Dylan . . . well, we didn’t have the stroller and Dylan would want to walk and he’d probably do the exact same thing Riley did a few years ago: run all over the store, tear DVD boxes off shelves, and attempt to root through the employee garbage. Then there would be the red-faced exit, ferrying a tantruming child back out the car, and JB would be left to his own devices with regards to movie-choosing and we’d end up watching some shit like Bangkok Dangerous.

The Blockbuster Thing is one of the reasons I feel so conflicted about Dylan: how at the very same time I am nearly crazed by how fast he’s growing and wish I could preserve his chubby no-knuckled baby hands and no-kneecapped baby legs in amber before they suddenly become filled with bones like some sort of big kid, I am also eager to move past this stage of Strong Will + Mobility – Ability to Reason = TODDLER DEATHSTAR.

To be clear, it’s not specifically about Blockbuster, but rather the Blockbuster-at-large. I mean, I’m looking forward to the day we plan a family vacation to Hawaii, which involves air travel, something I would only do now if you paid me eleventy jillion dollars AND promised a bevy of Thorazine darts would be available to me during the flight.

In the meantime, I’ll invest our tropical vacation money in Netflix and try and savor Dylan’s ridiculous Pillsbury legs, because like everything else, they won’t last forever.



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