We’ve been spending a lot of weekend time at a local park area which has a ton of secluded hiking trails that are easy for the kids to navigate. There’s one spot that’s particularly nice for picnicking, so when it became apparent the sun was going to make an appearance on Saturday (hallefuckinglujah) we packed up some snacks and a Frisbee and settled in for a long morning of lolling around in the grass and letting the kids run wild.

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It was great fun for approximately fifteen minutes, when all of a sudden we heard this enormous rumbling coming from the maintenance area at the trailhead. It got louder and louder and we were all standing on our toes like meerkats trying to see what was out there when JB whipped around, caught my gaze, and silently twirled his index finger in that instantly-recognized gesture we’ve all seen in a thousand movies featuring dramatic military or police activity and if there’s an official name for it I don’t know what it is but I know it as ROUND UP THE TROOPS AND LET’S GET THE FUCK OUT OF DODGE.

Seconds later, it burst into view and sat there idling for a moment like Christine and as I frantically stuffed the last of our gear into the backpack I caught sight of Dylan’s mouth, which had dropped open into a perfect little O of horror.

A riding mower. Goddamn if it wasn’t a Parks & Rec riding mower, roaring into life and busily trundling through our previously bucolic picnic field in order to maintain the trail or use up the weekend budget or, you know, send a mower-fearing 2-year-old’s brain exploding right out his ear-holes and precede every single one of our future picnics with a worried discussion of “Dere’s no lawnmower Mommy? Dere’s no lawnmower Daddy? Dere’s no lawnmower?”

It’s always nice when you can end a festive family outing with the shocking appearance of a childhood fear come to life, you know? Maybe next time we can arrange for some vaccination needles to drop out of the sky.

:::

In totally unrelated news that will be of interest to almost none of you, I decided to stop running BlogHer ads and host my own instead. The BlogHer folks have been great to work with, but I’ve been wanting to do something different for a while. Instead of pimping giant conglomerates who often provide—let’s be honest—questionable products, I’d like to offer that space to cool independent businesses, moonlighters, artists, and other people who have stuff worth talking about.

If you have something to promote, email me! Let’s make ads not suck.

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Gleemonex
12 years ago

Oh my god, fucking DYING over here … “It’s always nice when you can end a festive family outing with the shocking appearance of a childhood fear come to life, you know?”

Poor Dylan … poor you! But also — so horribly, horribly funny — for my kid, it would’ve been a smoke detector, and I FEEL YOUR PAIN.

Kristin
Kristin
12 years ago

Ha! I’m with the first commenter! The last two sentences of the story are hilarious!

Amanda
12 years ago

Oh Dylan. This will be funny some day!

Niki
Niki
12 years ago

Dude? Where’s dog? Lolling around is for dogs too!

Ashleas
Ashleas
12 years ago

Oh my god. I feel for you. I really do. I absolutely HATE unqualified or unjustified fears. I would have dragged him and sat him right ontop of the thing until he learned to like it but I’m a horrible person and I know this.

You are a better woman than me. :D

Zephyr
12 years ago

You had me on the edge of my seat… What is it?! What’s going to happen?! Have aliens landed? Did we discover that unicorns actually exist? Oh, is a lawnmower? Cool. Wait, it’s a RIDING LAWNMOWER? Sign me up!

Cara
12 years ago

I love the ad idea. I don’t have anything cool or indy (or anything, actually) to pimp, but if I ever do I’m coming here and buying ad space.

Wendy
12 years ago

My kid’s daycare took an outing to the park last week. 15 minutes in the parks and rec riding lawnmower crested a hill and headed their general direction. According to my wonderful daycare provider, 4 of the kids (including my son) promptly burst into tears and started to run away from the mower and toward the parking lot. She managed to catch them all and stood with arms around 4 sobbing kids as the lawnmower jockey did a leisurely lap around the playground equipment. Not the best day at the park.

Lisa
Lisa
12 years ago

My kid wasn’t afraid of mowers UNTIL last weekend when she wanted to go visit daddy out in the yard while he was mowing. I told her she couldn’t because an accident could happen and the mower might cut her toes. Now we have issues, or maybe I have issues, I don’t know.

Gotta go polish my “Mom of the Year Award”…

Heather
Heather
12 years ago

Well I just laughed my a$$ off.

Mimi
12 years ago

Why in the world can’t they mow the damn grass on a weekday, for heaven’t sake. Poor Dylan. At least you have a good story for his later life.

Julie
Julie
12 years ago

Wasn’t Riley afraid of airplanes, or fireworks (or both)? Oh Dylan…hang in there buddy!

Miche
Miche
12 years ago

Do ya think Dylan would be willing to sport a pair of protective ear muffs, to lessen the terror? http://earplugstore.stores.yahoo.net/ear-muffs-for-children.html My son has these… They’re pretty cool.

karion
karion
12 years ago

Christ, that was really funny.

H
H
12 years ago

You silly meerkats! Man, that was funny.

Victoria
12 years ago

Oh geez that must have sucked!

Molly
Molly
12 years ago

I had to read this to my husband – he wanted to know what I was laughing at. Too funny.

Shanna
12 years ago

LOL about the lawnmower – poor kid! Good for you for putting lesser known folks out there with better advertisements!

Sara
12 years ago

Poor Dylan. Dere’s no lawnmower buddy.

Hmmm, something interesting to pimp…myself? Wait. Can you be the pimp and the product at the same time? I may need a Venn diagram to figure this one out.

6512 and growing
12 years ago

Congrats on stepping out and standing up for good advertising!

Shawna
Shawna
12 years ago

“Seconds later, it burst into view and sat there idling for a moment like Christine and as I frantically stuffed the last of our gear into the backpack I caught sight of Dylan’s mouth, which had dropped open into a perfect little O of horror.”

Bwahahaha! I know this was traumatic for Dylan and I feel for him, but damn it’s a funny read!

telegirl
telegirl
12 years ago

That was hilarious! Thanks for the laugh. Sorry for Dylan, though. Poor baby!

Steph
12 years ago

My kid would have run and asked for a ride! She hates bugs with a passion but if it moves she wants on it! Sorry your picnic was ruined!!

amanda
12 years ago

“It’s always nice when you can end a festive family outing with the shocking appearance of a childhood fear come to life, you know? Maybe next time we can arrange for some vaccination needles to drop out of the sky.”

Best paragraph I’ve read all week.

Kate
Kate
12 years ago

Good grief you are so f*ing funny. I know I know, you hear it all the time but really,
REALLY…you make me about pee my pants with your all too familiar realities of daily child-rearing. You put into words what I deal with everyday but I’m too brain dead to formulate it into something other than a senseless adult charlie brown rant that my husband could care less about hearing.

And who WOULDN’T want to be your friend? (re: BlogHer post). It’s always easier to have webfriendships I suppose…

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