Monday, April 28, 2014

Parenting 101

I think it goes without saying that I have never said, nor will I ever say that I am a perfect parent.  I am far from it.  I consider it a successful day when my kids are clean, fed and safe.  It can go either way on the clean and/or the fed, but I have been accused, more than once, of being overprotective.  It is a true case of "if keeping my kids safe is wrong, I don't ever want to be right."

Currently Ryan is mad at me because I won't let him play flag football.  To me, it is the gateway sport to tackle football.  There is no doubt in my mind that he would make an excellent player, and that is part of the problem.  He will really like playing, and catch the attention of some coach that will want him to go to the next level.  He is big, and kind of fast, and very enthusiastic.  How do I say no then?  It is hard enough for me to watch him playing baseball after the unfortunate incident last year.  Can we just take a moment to imagine how bad it would be for all of us if he got hurt playing football?

Enough about that.  Here is where I was really going with this post.  Over the weekend I was working a trade show booth in a very popular, open-to-the-public area attraction.  I was in a conference room that held five or six booths.  I had been working about 45 minutes when this small child walked into the conference room.  There had been a lot of kids with parents walking through all day, so I didn't think too much about it.  After a few minutes all the other visitors walked out and this child was still there as more people came in.  I kept my eye on him until he wandered over my way.  I asked him where his parents were and he said that his mom was out in the hallway, leading me to believe that he walked ahead of her and she would be coming in a few moments.  I told him to hang out with me until she got there, and I gave him my phone to play with until we found her.  Fifteen minutes later there was still no sign of her, so the lady from the booth next to mine went to find her.  Meanwhile this child had built something on Minecraft and had mastered Ham on the Run.  (Go on, I dare you not to sing "Band on the Run.  I know, it is impossible.)

It turns out that his mother was out in the hallway where there were other vendors.  I understand how hard it is to get a babysitter, not to mention how expensive it can be, but this child had been with me for TWENTY MINUTES and she had not missed him.  How could she have possibly expected this baby to stay with her for hours on end unsupervised.  There were over 3000 people attending this Expo, not to mention the regular people that would have been there for the actual attraction.  This kid was very willing to talk to me and also very willing to play with my phone and eat the candy that was on my table.  The only thing I was missing was the puppy and I could have had the kidnapper's hat trick of cliches.  It was a disaster waiting to happen. Over the course of the next few hours he wandered in four or five more times.

I really try to mind my own business and not to judge other people's parenting styles because, as Robin Robert's mother says, Everybody's Got Something.  Lord knows I have no right to cast the first stone.   I don't know this family's story, and frankly it is none of my business. I am sure this child is rambunctious and ornery and pushes his mom to her very limit, much like Ryan does to me.   I am just sending up some thanks to this child's guardian angel and hoping she sticks close, because that family is going to need it.

Now if mine can help me with this flag football problem and convince Dave and Ryan to pursue a less dangerous hobby, I would really appreciate it.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Top 10 Things I Thought About While Driving 32 Hours Round Trip on Vacation

1.  Upon leaving, I thought it would have been nice if I didn't see my life flash before my eyes as we barely missed a 10 car pile-up caused by a freak white-out snow storm less than 20 minutes from my house.  Uncle Joe deserves a shout out for keeping us safe guardian angel style.

2.  I wished that said accident was not a metaphor for what this whole vacation would be, and that we would not have to face an hour long traffic jam less than 20 minutes from my house, making this a 17 hour car ride before we made our first pit stop.

3.  Thank you Sweet Baby Jesus for the invention of 3DS's, iPod's, iPads, and headphones.  This managed to keep the boys from fighting and me from losing my ever loving mind.

4.  It is really nice to see licence plates from other states, states you are aiming to drive through, indicating that you have made progress on this literal journey, not the metaphorical journey seen on various reality shows.

5.  Turning the page in an atlas is a very satisfying task.

6.  Dave is never allowed to make hotel reservations for us again.  Can you explain to me why someone would make said reservation at a hotel 45 minutes out of the way to save $50?  Have I mentioned that in a straight line, it is a 16 hour drive?   I consider this to be a shenanigan of epic proportions that I am sure will not be repeated.  

7.  Cracker Barrels have pretty descent food when you are really hungry, and the store is a pleasant distraction from the thought of having to get in the car again for another five hours.

8.  Dave should know that it is a good idea to fill up the car with gas when we stop at a gas station for a pit stop/food break.  The no-man's-land between Cincinnati and Columbus is not the best place to see how far we can make it with the gas light on.  Another shenanigan that I don't think we will be repeating.

9.  The beach refreshes my soul and I should not let three years go by without seeing it.  The drive was totally worth it.

10.  I really love my boring little life in Ohio and there is absolutely no place like home.  Thanks Dave for making my life so rewarding and fun.  We have created an amazing little family that I do not take for granted I will take you for my husband every day of the week and twice on Sunday even with your shenanigans.