Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Stupid Parent Moments

Of all the shocking things that I have seen people do around there children or with them, I find myself amazed that there are still things out there that make me stop and ask myself, “Did I just see that?”

For instance, on our way back from the little man’s doctor’s appointment yesterday we drove past a woman lighting a cigarette while extinguishing the other cigarette in the cup holder of her child’s stroller.  Just in case you missed that, SHE EXTINGUISHED A CIGARETTE IN THE CUP HOLDER OF A STROLLER!  To me that is just craziness!  It wouldn’t have been so bad if there wasn’t a baby in the stroller, but there was, and to make it worse the poor thing was hacking up a storm too. 

Hmm…I wonder why.

Like I said, I have seen a lot of crazy things, and to be honest with you, I am not even sure why this would surprise me.  I mean I have seen someone leave a young infant just sitting all alone at the park unattended, I have watched a guy let his toddler drive and crash his car into a light pole, I watched people let their kids play on a busy road seemingly uncaring,  I have seen parents sharing cigarettes or beer with their kids, I can’t tell you how many times I have seen little kids riding around in a car without being in a car seat or even buckled in, and, now, I have seen a mother extinguishing her cigarette next to her baby’s bottle in the stroller’s cup holder.   I have seen a lot of other crazy stuff too, but I am stopping here.  I think my point has been made.

People do crazy and stupid things with their kids!

Anyway, after seeing all these stupid, crazy things that people do with their children I am actually kind of glad.  Don’t get me wrong.  I hate that these things are going on, but I am glad that I am not so used to seeing it that I have become apathetic.  It outrages me absolutely every time!  And, what really bothers me is the fact that there is absolutely nothing that I can do about it. 

Sure, I could confront these people who are possibly endangering their children, but that would do no good.  So, I do my best not to get too emotionally invested, and I try to not say anything because I am afraid I will make it worse.  But, I do get emotionally invested, and I sometimes get involved even when I know I shouldn't.  

The only thing that seems to work at all for me is trying to believe that these people are just having a stupid moment.  We all have them right?  These people can’t actually be this bad with their kids all the time.  

Can they? 

Sure they can, but, like I said, there is usually nothing we can do about it but call child protective services when we see something truly wrong going on.  

You know what helps me steer clear of a confrontation?  I think back on all the stupid things that I have done with my baby boy. 

Trust me.  I have had a lot of stupid parent moments.  

Now, I have never smoked around my kid or shared a beer with him or let him ride around out of a car seat and unbuckled, but I have done other stupid things with him.  Probably the stupidest thing was letting him get bitten by our little dog, which we no longer have.  I have never forgiven myself for this because I know better then to be lackadaisical around dogs when kids are around.  it doesn't matter how well you think you know the dog.  Anything can happen, so you best keep an eye out.  

My problem was I was having a stupid parent moment.  I got too lax around our three dogs and one day the little man got attacked by our Pekingese because I wasn’t watching closely enough.  Not only was I punished for my stupidity, but my son and our dog was too.  This could have been totally avoided, but I was having a stupid moment.   Like I said, we all have them.  Most of the time they don't end up with injuries, but they could easily enough. I like to think that I learn from each act of my utter stupidity, but I am not sure because I have had so many that I don’t think it is fair.  Why am I such a bad dad?

I’ll share some more my stupid parent moments.

Let’s see…

I have vacuumed the pants right off the little man once. 

He is infatuated with our vacuum cleaner, and before he could walk I would let him crawl around and follow me while I vacuumed.  Well, one day he was wearing some extra long pants and he got too close to the vacuum.  His little pant leg got caught by the vacuum brush and there went the pants.  They got sucked right off of him.  One minute he was wearing them and not even 3 seconds later they were whipped off of him and jammed up into the vacuum cleaner before I could say "Bob's your uncle."  It took me an hour to get them out.   At least my little guy didn’t get sucked up with them, and for some reason since then he likes the vacuum even more.  What a weird kid!

I have also watched as my son dumped 3 pounds of flour on his head. 

Not too long ago as we were making pizza dough, he managed to grab our flour container and dump it all on his head.  How does he move so fast? I think I was more shocked than he was.  

He thought it was great.  

I didn't.  I was worried that he was going to suffocate.  He had flour all over his face and down his shirt and everything. 

Truthfully, I don’t even know how he managed to do it because I can't fathom how a 14 month old can lift three pounds up over his head and turn a container upside down.  If I was paying attention, like I should have been, I would know how he did it, but no.  I was busy kneading the dough.

How stupid is that?!  

If you are going to cook with a toddler you really have to be on your toes.  But, I wasn't paying any attention at all because I was busy having a stupid parent moment!

I “let” the little man ride the dog like a horse.

Oh yes, here’s another stupid moment.  About a week ago the little dobber rode my dog around the house like a horse.

Again, I wasn’t paying attention and wasn’t thinking properly.  

Before I knew what was really going on I heard squealing laughter and the poor dog was walking around with my son on his back.  Man, that scared the pooh out of me!  To make things worse, every time I made a move to get the little guy off of the poor dog the dog would move away from me because the dog thought that he was in trouble because my baby boy was on top of him kicking and screaming and laughing.  That little episode lasted quite awhile, and I am sure I wrote about it in a previous post.

Yes, I did.  This is in May 11th's post entitled "What is Wrong With You!"

Couch Diving!

Another scary stupid parent moment I had just happened this morning.  

Before naptime I decided to straighten up our couch and the living room a little.  To do this, I have to take off all the couch pillows and blankets.  Well, when I took them off I piled them up on the floor at the end of the couch.  Again, being stupid I stopped paying attention to my toddler.  I was busy setting up the vacuum cleaner.  

Anyway, when I turned around to start vacuuming and see where he was, I was just in time to watch him dive off of the armrest of the couch onto the pile of pillows and blankets that I had made on the floor. 

Talk about having a heart attack!  Whew!  My son thought it was great, while I had to fight myself from passing out.  Man, I need to get my act together!


So, there you have it, by thinking back on these stupid parent moments, and the many more that I have had, really helps me to not be too judgmental of the stupid moments I have witnessed other parents having.  Most of the time, remembering my own stupid parent moments gives me a sense of camaraderie with these strangers.  I tell myself, “Hey now!  You have done some pretty stupid things yourself man,” and that’s usually enough to allow me to move along unbothered by what I am seeing. 

But, there are always those times where I have to ask myself, “What is going on here, and am I really witnessing this?”  


So, are there any times where you ask yourself this same question?

Do ever catch yourself in a stupid parent moment?     

Feel free to share.  We’re all friends here, and it is always nice for me to know that I am not the only one that has these stupid parent moments.   

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