Jun 19, 2017

Dub Travails Part 2

#DubTravails Part II
Continued from HERE

Which brings us to today.
(Two days later)

Today we took a train to London. 
At the train station, with a 90 minute wait ahead of us, I made them put away their phones. 
"Let's talk! Or play Uno! Or you can read your books...!"

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At this point, if you are an anti-smart phone parent, you are thinking what bad parents we are for letting our kids have a phone at all. You're thinking, "It's their own fault the kids are brats! They shouldn't have given them phones in the first place! My little Johnny read War and Peace on our trip to Russia and didn't utter a peep!"

If you are a pro-smart-phones-for-kids parent, you are thinking what bad parents we are for being control freaks and limiting our kids free-will and hampering their ability to make their own choices. You're probably thinking we could make things a lot more pleasant for everyone, including all of the residents of Europe, if we just give the teenagers their stinkin' phones back. You're thinking  "When our son (also coincidentally called little Johnny) went to Six Flags, he was Snap-Chatting the whole time and didn't make a peep! So what if he left with a date he found on Tinder!? He was QUIET!!"

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You'll be pleased to know, you're both right. 
We are literally the worst fence-sitters, 

and parents, 

ever.
In the history of the world. 
We know it, 
     our kids definitely know it. 
Just ask 'em.

---------------

So at long last, we board the train (did I mention we missed our train  cause we all slept in and this is the two-hours-later train? Yes. That happened.)

At this point, I've already taken away Sam's phone. He got bored and started playing a game during no game time. 
Now, I confiscate Max's phone. 
"Mom, no! 
Mom, why?! 
Mom, please!!!!
Mom, PLEASE! 
MOM, PLEASE!!!!!!!!"

I was an impenetrable beacon of strength and resolve.
"NO! You WILL look around and notice something on this trip! Even if it kills you!!!"

So they tried to break Doug. He was noticeably weakening and therefore had to abdicate all parenting decisions to me. 
(Insert visual of a tired old Antelope being singled out of the herd by a pair of adolescent lions uncharacteristically cooperating and hunting together with a single Eat-the-Antelope goal...the antelope was so tired from migrating with his kids he probably welcomed the lions...)

The phones were confiscated and the boys given two card games, and their books, and sent to sit down. 

They refused to actually play the games as a form of passive resistance and were forced to read and look out the windows and explore the train. 

I took plenty of pictures of them on my phone so they can later have a record that this painful chapter in their lives was a reality and not some hellish nightmare.  
"This is a hellish nightmare!"
Amazingly, somehow, they managed to survive.

And they may have seen a few glimpses of the Paris countryside.

I say they'll thank me later. 
Doug says they never will.
Either way, I'm calling it a win. 

The "Compass/Level" App can be used in place of a game when in a pinch.

I guess everything in the world doesn't suck.

What do they expect from me? Mr. Bean is my real father.

So the question is: was this entire trip a terrible mistake? Should we have left the little boogers home and brought friends instead?!?! 
Another train ride without cell phone games. They seem to have weathered the storm.

Yes, absolutely. 

Wait, 
     I mean no! A resounding NO!

These kids may not have transformed into perfect angels. And Doug and I haven't (yet) turned into paragons of perfectly patient parents. 
But we are still having fun, and making memories.  

And hopefully, one day, the painful parts will fade, and only the fun stuff will remain...for Doug and I. 

And, ya know...for the kids too.
;)

That's all for now. Cheers and Bonjour!
--

Farewell dinner with our friend Ugo.

Two weeks later:
P.S. We really did have a great trip...and I'm pretty sure Max lets me hug him for 3 seconds now as opposed to the former 1.5 seconds, soooooooo...worth it!!

P.P.S. My mom HATED the word "turd". It was as bad as any swear word--possible worse--in our house growing up. But to me it's the little poop emoji with the smiley face. Totally innocuous and endearing. Who doesn't love the smiley poop emoji??

P.P.P.S. Sorry Mom. Yes, I AM ashamed of myself. Yes, I know I should be more lady-like. Uggghhhhhhaaahhhh!

P.P.P.P.S Would you like the positive version of the trip? Here ya go!!

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