Their Parenting Is A Sinking Kayak

, , , , , , | Related | August 21, 2018

A couple weeks ago a coworker of mine sold two kayaks and paged me from the loading dock to ask if I could help him load them for the customer. “Sure,” I replied, and made my way back to find the customer, his wife, and three screaming young children swarming around a minivan. The van did not have a kayak rack, only the roof rack it came with from the factory.

While my coworker and I manhandled the kayaks onto the roof, the customer assumed the role of “event coordinator.” He wanted them arranged a certain way — the most difficult possible, of course — and was never quite happy with the way we tipped, angled, and flipped the kayaks. Needless to say, my fellow worker and I spent a good 25 minutes with our arms over our heads, trying to steady the kayaks while the customer stood back, pondering his “vision.”

Not long into this ill-fated venture, one of the younger screaming children got out of the van, came over to where we were standing, and started poking at me. It began with a poke in the side. I’m not ticklish or anything, but it just wasn’t a comfortable feeling. I looked down at him and shook my head no. The fact that he was getting to me was intensely gratifying to him, because he escalated to punching me lightly in the side, back, and legs. With each hit, he became more bold and the blows began to pack on more force.

Inside the van, Mom made herself useful by being absorbed in her phone. Dad was too busy trying to craft a kayak Mona Lisa and paid the child no attention, either. After telling the kid, “No,” “Please stop,” and, “Don’t do that,” a half dozen times, I was getting pretty pissed.

Finally, while my attention was fixed upon yet another rearrangement of the kayaks, the kid tried to take my wallet and pocket knife out of the back of my pants. In a lightning-fast move, he then reached around front and gave me a hard sock right in the groin. That was it. I turned, gritted my teeth into the meanest scowl I could imagine and growled, “QUIT IT!”

Naturally, the kid started bawling and ran for the solace of his mother, who snapped out of la-la land and glared at me. Dad also gave me the stink eye, saying, “Thanks, but we’ve got it from here.” I forced myself to say, “Thanks, and you have a nice day,” before walking back inside.

You’ve got to love involved parents.

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