I have come to expect my kids to do dumb things. Growing pains. Goofball behavior and the learning curve complement one another until one wins out. Of course, there is always hope that lessons learned from stupid mistakes eventually outscore brainless actions. There are no guarantees. I believe buried in the stack of paperwork I signed off on at the hospital before they would release my babies was a page asking me to swear to show them the ropes, educate them in life's important lessons, and hope for the best. Not sure where Coach was when some of life's lessons were shared in his house growing up. I'm banking on better results for our offspring, but at times it's clear that I need to take the lead role in this department.
I recently enjoyed a relaxing morning. My workout was complete before 7 am. Kids were out the door to school and my groceries for the week were not only purchased, but stored away neatly in cabinets that almost closed. I mention this because groceries can be a two day affair for me. Once I carefully select the $300 worth of provisions that I hope will last us the week, it sometimes takes me a few days to find a place to house all of it. Certain items require a bit of creative hiding on my part. If this tactic is successful, the good stuff doesn't all disappear in 24 hours. My day remained somewhat open. With nothing pressing on the schedule, I was afforded additional time to focus on the house. Boy, did it need it. I chose to enter 'clear' mode. I scurried around my kitchen like a squirrel looking for nuts as I leveled one heap of excess stuff after another. The good times included grabbing at dirty stray socks from the mud room, scooping up stinky soccer socks from the kitchen, eliminating grade school papers decorated with stickers, emptying forgotten draw string bags, and gathering week old newspapers for the recycling. Most discoveries were uninteresting. Until I unearthed Danny's recently worn, pricey suit.
was still home when I stumbled upon it. I moaned about how this lack of
care would force me to drop the wrinkled mess at the cleaners. What's one
more errand? Coach puzzled over this
thought. Why, he wondered aloud, would I not just toss the suit in my
very own washing machine? There it was. A comment I couldn't
believe came out of his mouth. I wrinkled my face up and asked him to
clarify. What adult man believes that a suit can be washed in a
standard machine? Without glancing at the tag, I pointed out that
the suit was wool. How did I know? Coach questioned. If we eliminate the
fact that the '70's are over and suits are no longer created exclusively from
polyester (thank God), then the remaining reason I know this is simple. It's because
I have a brain. Coach was offended that I felt this information should
have been so clear to him. Seriously? The man sports business
casual ware for work, so he is unaccustomed to caring for wool suits and
shopping for power ties, but still . . . isn't this pretty standard info for an adult male?
It reminded me that our children may at times find me annoying, bossy, and
demanding but at least I will impart the kind of knowledge they will require to
not ruin expensive clothing. Assuming they listen. Additionally, I hope by sharing my
knowledge they will avoid most forms of food poisoning.
The 'let's wash the suit' thought process reminded me of another near miss that
surfaced a few years back. I was taking three kids downtown to stay in a
hotel for the National Irish Dancing Championships. In order to try to
save some dough, I plotted out a frugal meal plan that included transporting
leftovers to the hotel in a crock pot. Once the crock pot was plugged in
and set on warm, I anticipated serving a warm meal a few hours later. Since organizing countless other tasks at an exhausting Irish dancing event leads to major brain drain, I welcomed sorting out one less necessary task. This genius idea would eliminate the cost and wait time that would no doubt
accompany a restaurant visit.
The only complication I could foresee was a delay in checking into our hotel
room. It was July. Crazy hot weather. Without access to an
electrical outlet, the food would not be kept warm. Lugging dresses and
dance shoes was complicated enough, so my plans didn't include hauling a huge
cooler downtown. Coach's answer left me speechless, but only for a
moment. He thought leaving our budget vitals in the car was a handy
solution. The food would be kept plenty warm in a roasting car. It
would be the same as plugging it in. No worries. Shock and
horror. I looked at him in disbelief as
I pointed out my safety concerns with his proposed plan. Different kind of warm. Different kind
of issue than the suit. Frightening.
My new biggest fear was whether or not I should be leaving the non dancing
children at home in Daddy's supervision for the remainder of the weekend.