Vindication's Day
Children Are Useful

A Major Award

Our local Gymboree started doing weekly raffles for toys or something. I don't know. They told me to write Noah's name on a piece of paper and I obeyed. And then they called and said we'd won.

We won! A prize! I am the best name-on-paper-writer EVER.

My choices were a giant Gymbo doll or a mini-parachute. And since I do not allow clowns or clown-related accessories into my house, I opted for the parachute. I figured: mini! We could toss it over some chairs and make a fort! Or a cape for Gay Pride Man! Or we could stage an elaborate production of Noah and the Amazing Technicolor Parachute, except that Mama will play all the parts while Noah is napping!



The "mini-parachute" is gigantic. I don't have a frakking clue what the hell I'm supposed to do with this thing. In Gymboree they make the adults stand around and hold the edges for a variety of activities, all guaranteed to terrify about 75% of our toddlers, but what's the damn point of this thing at home?



Option One: Makes a lovely slipcover! Relive the magic of a Gymboree parachute ride every time you sit on your couch!


Option Two: A whimsical tablecloth! Your dinner guests will feel like they're dining under the Big Top, or possibly on mushrooms.


Option Three: Did you move at some point in the past year? The mini-parachute is perfect for hiding up to forty-five broken-down cardboard boxes. Also for seriously freaking you the fuck out when you catch a glimpse of this out of the corner of your eye when you get up to pee in the middle of the night because OH MY GOD, THE PSYCHEDELIC ELEPHANTS ARE BACK.


Option Four: Start your own cult. 

(Seriously. Where the hell does Jason get the idea that I have so much time on my hands during the day? Where?)

I think we're actually going to go with Option Five, which is leaving the mini-parachute in a wadded-up heap in the basement closet until spring, when I can cover our entire backyard with it whenever I don't feel like mowing the lawn.

Or maybe that Amazing Technicolor Parachute musical idea. Maybe that one.



(Oh, and I'm getting closer and closer to re-creating my banner image for the new generation.)


(Also every gooberiffic photo of me in which I spontaneously erupt in multiple chins.)


Amy H

I can't believe that Noah looks like such a big boy. When did that happen? Who authorized that?


the TIRE. it should cover the tire!


OMG. Haha. The cult. Forget choking on cough drops, I just choked on my Chang's Spicy Chicken and OMG too funny.


We have a "mini" parachute too that has been collecting dust for a few years now. Those are all excellent ideas for use but I tend to forget about it all together. I think it has made an appearance in our house once or twice, I had thought we too would use it to make a fort or something but it is much too big and it looks so much better waded up in the bag and shoved in the back of a closet!


Wow this one really made me laugh.

On a totally unrelated note, are you coming to Austin for South by Southwest?


What a great prize! I personally like the table cloth, or the couch cover... though, the cult is interesting.


Laughing my butt off... So glad it is the end of the day or the kids would think I had cracked up... Totally off topic but it looks like your house is coming together well. We have lived in our home for over 3 years and there are still pictures to be hung, boxes to be put away, and other moving related stuff to do...



you really are the bestest ever name writer, arent you?


How funny! Gosh, you sure have a lot of time on your hands (giggle, giggle).


this is funny.

i love that shirt. where did u get it?


Actually, parachutes make great picnic blankets if you can bear to wait for warmer weather!


Absolutely hilarious and I agree---the tire! the tire!


That's a mini? WOW.

This actually makes me feel better about my own double chin pictures. Sometimes you can audibly hear me say "chin out" to myself when someone picks up a camera.


I always loved when we got to play with the parachute in PE. It was soooo much fun!


i just laughed so hard that i woke up the baby.

cult, indeed.

anne nahm


I think your parachute is dilated to 10 and is ready to drop a clown. Time to boil some water.



The shirt - where you get that????


I think I just had a stroke.

That cult photo made me laugh so hard and since I'm work I was trying to laugh without making any actual noise...


HIlarious. I have mini parachute envy and I don't have a kid. I'd use it as a car cover and really show the neighbors who moved into town.


Okay. That was hilarious.

Thank you.


I, too, would like to know where you got that adorable shirt Noah's wearing. And does it come in adult people sizes?

hello insomnia

I love the mini-parachute burqa! It would totally hide my muffin top!


I would use it as a sort of canopy over a bed - a retro-window covering in my boy's room, or make a great teepee (sp?). Anything fort-like guarantees me a child-free pee session or even some free time to gaze at magazines or stare at the wall.


I must get one of those shirts for Ben - particularly after his spectacular tumble down the stairs yesterday.

Love the creative parachute ideas. If you go through with the amazing technicolor parachute play you MUST capture it on video.


I'd go for the slipcover. It might not be in... the best of... high taste, let's say, or a great representation of sophisticated elegance, but hey, it's festive.

Also, totally with you on the giant Gymbo doll. Would be 100% more useless and 500% more terrifying, in all likelyhood.


C'mon everybody, it's Parachute TIME! Parachute Tiiiiiiime, PARACHUTE TIME! Here at GYMBOREE!!"

What they never tell you is that, as a Gymboree teacher, it is YOUR responsibility to take the GIGANTIC fucking parachutes home and wash them. Every week. On your own damn dime. And you can't put them in the dryer. So they live in your apartment, slowly drying, as you trip over them fourteen gazillion times a goddamn day. Good times.


I love that shirt too!! so much, that my own darling son has one of his very very own!! (Target folks)

I love the parachute!! So cute!! A good way to cover up a mess if company drops by unexpectedly!!


I love that shirt too!! so much, that my own darling son has one of his very very own!! (Target folks)

I love the parachute!! So cute!! A good way to cover up a mess if company drops by unexpectedly!!


clowns. super horrible & scary. my boy is 8 now, and was terrified of this parachute.. now because of me.. he hates clowns & gymboree parachutes. i'm awesome.


Those photos of Noah are great. My son has that shirt also and it always cracks me up.

Have fun with the parachute!!


Just when I think you couldn't possibly post a cuter picture of Noah, you do.

Personally, I love the tablecloth idea. Though I guess you could also use it as a party tent for Noah's next birthday party.


The cult picture had me rolling. All of them did, really. I do the parachute thing at baby gym class with my 3 year old WHEN he chooses to participate. Something about other small children "en masse" freaks his freak out.

Your blog makes me laugh out loud! Thanks!!


Erin already revealed the answer but just in case some question-askers missed it: Noah's shirt is from Target.

It is also a SIZE 2T, but I cut the tag out so I wouldn't have to think about that ever again.


OMG I am so jealous! I LIVED for Parachute Day when I was a kid! I can't believe you have your very own parachute. Noah is so stinkin' lucky!


Michael has the same shirt, love it.

Will it make you sad if I tell you he is almost 2, and is still in 18-24 month size? 2Ts are enormous on him.

Maxine Dangerous

I already think you're hysterical, but OMG Until your next, of course. :)

"Start your own cult" brought tears to my eyes -- too freakin' funny. :)


you are THE best writer... ever.

I laughed sooo hard!

Thank you!


Oh yes I agree that you should used the "mini-chute" with the tire!!! You can wrap it up and give it away! HAHA So glad Noah's name isn't Joseph! LOL


send it to me. we use one of those at the Y all the time. my kid sits on it and i drag her around. look. don't knock it until you try it. she loves it. loves. seriously. anyone has a spare parachute, just send it to me. and i'll take all your coconut filled chocolates too.


Ok, so I am a day late, but you Americans seriously need a version of this TV Show:

Crash Test Mommy

"Crash Test Mommy is back and continues to take under-appreciated, often criticized moms out of the house for a weekend away, replacing them with a know-it-all family member or friend, who thinks they can do a better job with the children and the household. While host Nicole Oliver whisks mom away to enjoy a two-day luxury retreat, the substitute mom is left to cope with the meals, meltdowns and daily challenges that are part of raising children.
Meanwhile, Mom watches her family from afar via Web cam, providing insights and giving the substitute mom instructions when she sees her rules being carelessly ignored."

Believe me, after being a Crash Test Mommy, they get a new appreciation of just what it is you do all day, and as a bonus you get some necessary pampering. =)

ps. no, I am not a shill for this TV show/cable station, hehehe


OMG! I totally just spit out my coffee I was laughing so hard! The various photos were hilarious! You are a hard working mom, damnit! Good job! :)

Fairly Odd Mother

Thank you for making me spit all over my monitor. Could you please take a picture of the parachute with the tire? Somehow I feel like they belong together.


LOL!!!! This cracked me up~~~thanks for the laugh!!! :)


Eeek! He is so cute! What a big boy he is becoming.


How big is that kid?! I know I'm the 10 millionth person to say it, but he has definitely moved into full on toddalah.


We have that shirt! My husband saw it and said - YES. WE MUST HAVE THIS SHIRT. And so we do.

Sadly, it is extremely appropriate for our little stuntman.


I was wondering if you were going to cover the spare tire! Ohoho.


Okay, I have two questions

1) if the parachute is "mini" and the gymbo doll is "giant" how f*ing big must that doll be?! MY GOD MAN!

2) is the "living for parachute day" an East Coast thing? I don't remember ever seeing one here in California. I'm feeling like someone's holding out on me here.

Side note: Noah totally is a "real boy" That means I've spent way too much time checking blogs since I "knew" him before he was born. ::sigh::


Bossy thinks you should use it as... a parachute. Maybe glue together a few sterno cans, wait for the wind, take a small vacation?


Can I borrow your parachute? Friday night is our school's fun fair; the theme is "Under the Big Top". Your mini-parachute could be our Big Top!


He's such a little boy now!!! Where did babyhood go :(


Damnit Aly, I was totally gonna say the tire.


Thanks to #3 I just spit 7up all over my desk. Thanks Amy! Oh and I love that shirt! I my hubby has it and I just got it for the kiddo too. You have to love stick figure humor.


OK, internet. Is this woman not THE funniest poster out there?? Who is more entertaining than this? Who?

The picture of you peeking out of that thing with the caption about time on your hands??? We all owe this woman a drink. And a day at the spa.


rid yourself of the clutter... donate it to a local preschool


I just laughed out loud so hard I made my baby laugh, and then we both suffered from giggles for the rest of the afternoon. Thank you, Amalah!


Join a moms group and bring the parachute to the next playdate! You'll get invited back every single time as long as you bring the parachute! Ha!Ha!


Oh. The laughter. The pee.
The remourse. The shame.

The funny.
Thank you.


I dunno if this is where Amy got it, but I googled the phrase and found this place for the T-shirts: (I must own one as well.)

shy me

cult! cult! cult!

; )


Target! Shirt from Target!


Oh Amy.. you have no intention of getting back to me for my article on mom-bloggers, do you? Is it because I'm a student? Hehe.


The title of this post killed me. I laughed before I even started reading.


I just have to say, that once again, you have made me laugh out loud at my computer. Thank you! (of course, I still laugh every time I recall the rattan furniture emergency, too...)


ah yes, the ever-popular parachute cult, where the credo is "look before you leap."

he is growing up SO FAST, amalah. the round cheeks and open mouth of glee are deliciously adorable.

hope to see you in the ATX (aka austin) soon. it's your chance to mess with texas! bwa ha ha. fyi that today was 80 degrees! get excited! you know that the 202/301 area codes aren't going to be able to give you those kinds of temps anytime soon...


The "cult" photo is absolutely burkariffic.


As soon as you started listing ideas, I thought, "If she doesn't mention the tire, I totally get to leave a comment suggesting it. I will be original and witty!" Except I didn't read this until there were already 60+ comments, and yeah, maybe I'm not so much for being original. Apparently we're all obsessed with the tire.


WHO is that little boy hijacking Noah's sweet little baby smile? Has an Amber Alert been issued?

I kid of dig the tablecloth, it's quite festive in a 2001 Moroccan themed sort of way. You know, until an unfortunate incident involving a bottle of red wine or maybe a bowl of mashed potatoes skidding from one end of the table to the other. These things happen when parachute material is involved. I may or may not remember a similar skid performed on hardwood floors when I was in about 3rd grade that involved a pair of red parachute pants.

So perhaps no to the tablecloth... Stick that bitch up on some poles and have a party under it. Should be fun for all ages.


Hilarious!!! And Noah looks like a total KID in those pictures. 100% non-baby. He doesn't even have his original hair anymore. *lol* But he is still adorable.


Have to say that this post w/ accompanying photos/captions made me laugh harder than any other thing of yours that I have read. And I've laughed hard at many of them. Freakin' classic!


holy shit. when did that baby turn into a little boy!?

great post! very funny!

... i too have parachute envy. screw school! let's go to a park and play with the parachute! the best is putting a ball in the middle and launching it high into the air!


.. I'm just saying.


Huh. Noah and my son Harry obviously share the same personal shopper. I think that is, like, the fourth shirt I have seen in one of your pics that Harry owns.


i agree with Alaina, you should donate the thing to a less well-financed preschool. i mean, there are less fortunate kids somewhere out there NOT being scared shitless by a giant flapping neon-hued cloth, can you imagine! >=)

and why are you changing your banner?! i love your current one!


I think the parachute is awsome! We used one in gym, and it was by far the coolest day of the year. Now, clearly he is a little young for it...but still a cool free gift!


Someone stole my cover the tire with it idea!!

Oh well.


Man, I never win ANYTHING. I'm so jealous.

Oh wait, yesterday I did win the lovely opportunity to serve on jury duty. Oh yay.


Thank you, Amy, for giving me a real LOL moment in my otherwise boring Computer class. Especially when the boytoy looked over and said, "What IS that??" and read your entry and busted out in a fit of giggles and I'm sure we had the entire class staring at us.

I was waiting to see the tire covered up, too. ~.^

Noah's so precious! He's so big!


it would be totally awesome if had won, say, a mini kit-kat and it turned out to be the size of my living room. but a parachute? not so much.


I vote for the slipcover. Or the musical. . .

My son has that shirt, too, but in a fall-winter version where it's got long white sleeves sewn in under the short sleeves for that layered look. We bought him this shirt when we started getting lots of questions from daycare about the occasional bruises & cuts he sports when a stunt's gone wrong. (he is a boy--isn't he supposed to be bruised most of the time?)

Wacky Mommy

You are going to love that thing at birthday parties for years to come. My daughter is in second grade now, and her class still goes crazy when their P.E. teacher breaks out the parachute.


That would be the most awesomest TIRE cover EV-AR!


That's it!

The Cult of The Tire!

With Parachutes!


Love the title.....

My husband is dying for his own "major award" leg lamp....I'm thinking of getting one for his big 4-0 birthday coming up.


Dude. I'd hate to see a maxi parachute.

Personally, I'd use it to cover up that old tire.


This is my first trip to your site, and I really enjoyed your blog. I am sitting at work trying so hard not to laugh out loud! Do you know how hard it is to hold in that amount of laughter, it's very difficult. When I was a kid I LOVED the parachute. Except when people would trap you underneath it and not let you out!


First the Valentine's spa day, now this... You have an in with the Big Guy, no?

You can start your own Gymboree classes now. (Amalaoree?) Charge admission. Kids play with the parachute! It's genius.

So... you have clownophobia?


No idea what to do with the parachute. But I would like to say I LOVE Noah's shirt. It's too cute!

Amy M

Love the giant "mini" parachute! I vote the musical because I am a big dork.

Just think how much more terrifying it would be to wake up to pee in the middle of the night & see a CLOWN on the 45 broken-down boxes! *shudder*


That was very funny.. Love the photos.

Have you considered donating it to a local school or playgroup?


Thanks to everybody who suggested the donating thing -- that's a very good idea.

For now I'm going to keep it until the weather is nicer since I think we could have a lot of fun with it outside. But if I find that it's one of those things we honestly only use once or twice I'll find a preschool or women-and-children's shelter to donate it to.


Cutest child EVER.


We bought one of those when our twins were babies. I thought it would be good for collecting all the spit up and then I could toss the whole thing in the wash since our carpet was getting destroyed. It worked, and now that my kids are bigger, they use it to wrap each other up. It has gotten used quite a bit, although all 4 of my kids make gaggin noises when I told them why I bought it in the first place!


Noah isn't quite old enough yet, but in about a year that chute will make a killer fort on rainy days. Get the dining room chairs out and drape the chute over them. Give Noah a flashlight, and he'll be quite happy. I used blankets for our forts, but a parachute would have been even more fun.


Gymboree rocks on this site of the pond too! I won an equally-technicolored tunnel... a freakin' tunnel! Mind you, it does collapse down so I can't complain. Pics on my boy's site.



You lucky buggers! How cool is THAT? I remember having a mini parachute in primary school, but for toddlers? Crazy people.

LOVE it as a couch cover.
LOVE Noah's t-shirt.
LOVE the spiffy haircut!

creative-type dad

Wow! That's huge.

I vote for the cult option. We don't have nearly enough these days.


Target owes you commission, because when i showed that picture of Noah to my husband he said I had to go to Target and get that shirt for our 2 year old, who just perfected the art of somersaulting off the couch and landing on his head.

We also got one that said "I tried to be good but i got bored."


Too funny. I rather enjoyed the "possible uses" What came to mind was the "airplane" movie, "you could make a broach, or a Pterodactyl ..."

So what would be the name of your new cult?


*GASP*!! i have that T-shirt!! (actually, it's not as cool, it doesn't have the little flying man on it. it just has the words.)

HA! that's awesome.


Du-HUDE! I am so jealous. Little 4th grade-me wanted one of those SO BAD. In retrospect, I don't know what I would done with it since my only friends that lived close by were farm animals. Just know that having it is the coolest thing ever for little No-ski. I'm sure of it.

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