Sunday, September 09, 2007

Parenting Challenges

Sure, I could talk about discipline, boundaries, conflict, or any number of serious parenting issues. But, this isn't really so much of a mommy blog. (see previous post if you need to clarify that)

Last Friday I encountered one of my most common challenges as a parent: Not laughing out loud at my children. Let me clarify, I just said AT my children, not with.

See, on Friday my 13 year old daughter had her first mall adventure with her peers. Meaning, I let her go to the local mall with a few other girls for about two hours after school. I made her call me as soon as she got to the mall. I lectured her about the proper protocol for distancing herself from her friends in case one of them was a shoplifting juvenile delinquent. About an hour later, I get this call and my daughter is in mid-conversation with an adult saying, "I don't know ma'am do you want to ask my mom, she probably knows"

At this point my phone goes dead. I am imagining all the hijinks that may have occured. I can hear panic in my child's voice as I picture her sitting in the security office at the mall being quizzed by a mall nazi. I immediately call her back. Apparently, my daughter had an accident on the escalator and was filling out a report for the store. She assured me that she was okay, just a little shaken up. Now, here is where the parenting challenge begins.

If I have an accident on the escalator, I will attempt to minimize any possible attention that may be paid to me. I would even deny needed medical attention to try to get the attention off of myself.

STORE EMPLOYEE: "What do you mean you don't need an ambulance?
Your arm has been severed!"

ME: "I'm fine, really. It's my left arm and I am right
handed. I"ll just put some ice on it when I get home"

STORE EMPLOYEE: "It is spurting out blood!"

ME: "I'll just grab some papertowels from the ladies room" (said while frantically dashing away from the scene)

Now I give you my daughter's response as soon as she falls:

"OH HELP ME, OH GOD, SOMEONE SAVE ME"
(notice how it is in all caps? That is because she did yell it, at the top of her lungs no less)

She was just fine, of course, except for a wicked escalator rash on her back. So, I hang up the phone and am repeating the story in my office and we are all dying laughing. I mean tears streaming, imagining her screaming like someone was holding a gun to her head and I am trying to get it out of my system before I have to see her and attend to her like a mom is supposed to. Which I did, effectively and with a compassion that would have made June Cleaver envious. But then my older daughter calls. (okay, I sent her a picture of her sister's back) I assure her that her baby sister is fine and then relay the incident with tact and caring. (the victim is only a few feet away from me on the computer at the time) Big sis is the picture of compassion until she asks, "Oh my, what did she do?"

I whisper, "she screamed, OH HELP ME, OH GOD, SOMEONE SAVE ME" and suddenly on the other end of the phone is the same hysterical laughter I experienced earlier. Only this time, I. must. not. laugh! All I can do is casually say, "I know, that is exactly what I thought and other conversationally appropriate remarks so that the victim doesn't know.

Parenting is so hard y'all!

11 Comments:

At 11:12 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

That kid is on the escalator again!

 
At 11:44 AM, Blogger fear.of.landing said...

Anon- That is the exact movie scene that came to my mind when my daugher told me! Just goes to show you that Brodie knew what he was talking about

 
At 1:55 PM, Blogger mindy said...

SAVE ME! Hahaha. I love it.

I didn't know escalators were so dangerous!

 
At 6:49 AM, Blogger fear.of.landing said...

According to an online CBS news story 10,000 people go to the emergency room every year from escalator injuries. I am figuring that it must be about 3500 from actual injuries and 6500 from internal injuries caused by laughing at people with non-serious escalator related injuries.

 
At 12:44 PM, Anonymous silent no more said...

normally I just bite my tongue as I read people's blogs. But, after reading a story like this, I had to say something. You are a terrible person and your sense of humor makes me lose all faith in humanity. I honestly wish I could have these last couple of minutes back of my life. I have lived a life of few regrets...but this now tops the list. I regret that I took a friend's advice and checked this out, I regret that I wasted my time reading your garbage, and I mostly regret that I had to "step outside myself" in order to voice my opinion. All of your readers are now dumber, having read your blog...and may God have mercy on your soul


sincerely,
your oldest son

 
At 2:10 PM, Blogger kelsi said...

i totally know this pain. i don't have kids, but i have nieces and nephews and holy god, sometimes it's hard to contain the laughter. fortunately, one of them has a highly refined sense of humor. otherwise? "what? what? what did i do?"
best of luck to you.

 
At 12:22 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

so... I am terribly tired.. but I am working on your birthday present and it is almost finished!!! In 12 hours i will be at your house givin you a giant birthday hug and you will meet my boyfriend!!! I love you mom! SAVE ME SAVE ME ha ha poor kid.... I can't wait to see y'all!

-G.I. Wonder

 
At 9:35 PM, Blogger Steph said...

lol, as a fellow dramaqueen, I appreciate her hysterics ;)

 
At 12:37 PM, Blogger kelsi said...

you should post something. i'm just sayin'.

 
At 7:58 PM, Anonymous melissa said...

I find it hard to contain my laughter at strangers who get injured and flail about unnecessarily. Perhaps this is mean. I see in the longrun, when I do have children, I will be facing the same challenge. hehehehe... I'm glad you older daughter was laughing with you :) My mom and I often snicker over my sister.

 
At 10:34 AM, OpenID emmietamar said...

OH MY GOSH!!! I am in tears! I do pray God has mercy on my soul as well!! LOL

 

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