Sunday, July 6, 2014

You kids get off my lawn!

I love the Smithsonian Folklife Festival. It's where I used to go to pretend I was traveling to countries I never thought I would go see. And then I joined the Foreign Service and saw lots of places I had never dreamed of going. But I still love the festival. So this year,  Husband and I made the children come with us because it is China and Kenya. And we thought it would be fun. Doesn't this look like fun?

"What is it like to see your work so big on the National Mall?""Is it big? It could be bigger! Hahaha!"Flower Plaque artist Danny Yung poses with the completed structure on opening day of the 2014 Smithsonian Folklife Festival. Photo by Sandy Wang.

Oh, were we so wrong. Apparently, if you have lived in China, it is not fun to go see things and people from China at the Smithsonian Folklife Festival. And apparently  you also need to say things to your parents like this is the lamest thing ever and why are we even here, and we lived this already so why do we need to see it again. And if your mother travels to Africa regularly and brings back souvenirs  you are also too cool to care about Kenya. Because apparently all African countries are the same. That is until your mother mentions that bidding season is coming and if you really don't want to live in Africa. . . .

Yes, I used the carrot of actually seeing things in real life to get them excited about seeing things in real life right in front of them. I know, it's confusing, but they are teenagers, so it is getting harder and harder to emotionally manipulate them into doing what I want without whining. So we looked at all the stuff from Kenya, and then they ate Chinese food. Because they lived in China and they love Chinese food. Really, someone needs to make charts about how to understand teenagers. And please make them not look like this.

The National Park Service also doesn't understand teenagers and that the Folklife Festival may be the only way to get some teenagers to the Smithsonian and the National Mall. They actually believe that the grass is more important than bringing people together so the Smithsonian has started a petition on I know you are thinking that "they" are the same organization and I did too, but we were wrong. And so is the National Park Service. So I signed this petition here: Because even though the children complained bitterly about me dragging them to the festival, they still ate every bite of the mango-tapioca-coconut dessert. There should always be a couple of weeks every year where you can get yummy desserts on the National Mall.

This Buzzfeed list about hide and seek is way better than a brownie. Child 2 was the worst ever at hide and seek when she was little. She would call out not to look in the bathroom because she was hiding in the shower.  And she was just as bad at seeking as she was at hiding. Husband once stood in the middle of the living room holding a lamp and she didn't find him. Granted, she was four, so she's improved since then. But back then, she was about as good as this kid.

I have never laughed so hard during a game in my life. We loved it. I hope someday she has a child who is just as terrible and just as trusting.

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