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Saturday, December 26, 2009

Chevy Chase Vacation Syndrome

So we're not really on vacation, yet days off work are almost like a vacation. And when a dad like me tries to do fun things with his kids, and his kids continue to think only about what they want -- and fight, this is what we call Chevy Chase Vacation Syndrome.

Santa brought the older kid a Wii, and the boy who received it wants to spend all his time in the basement playing alone. The dad, on the other hand, insists he bring it upstairs so the whole family can play. The boy is unhappy.

Meanwhile the girl wants to play too, and decided it's not fair that older brother is the one who got the Wii. She wants to play. So, finally dad gets his wish and the game is set up upstairs, and as the game ensues, the kids fight like cat and mice. The older brother is mean to the daughter because he hopes she will quit, and the younger is just being herself.

The dad, meanwhile, just shrugs off the little cat scratches hoping the kids will eventually just get along. The boy continues gloating he's so good, and when he starts going bad he fusses. Then the girl starts doing good and she gloats, and the boy gets mad at her for gloating. Then daughter playfully hits brother, and brother takes it personally and yells, "Stop it! Right now!"

So then the girls mocks brother, and dad has to intervene. Then girl throws fit, and dad has to drag her to her room where she can calm down. So now brother is playing game alone like he wanted all along, and girl is moved to another room where she can watch TV. So, so much for dad's fun evening with the kids. Now both kids are happy apart, and dad's sitting at the computer typing this blog post. He'd rather be playing a game with the kids, but what's a Chevy Chase dad to do?

We'll tackle this again tomorrow. This dad would like to go to bed now, but the 1-year-old is not ready. She is, in fact, standing with her juicy cup, chanting, "This... This...!" I suppose, for now, happiness is each of us doing our own things. Happiness is not always getting what we want, and sometimes happiness is compromise.

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