Every now and then, I think it’s important to be put in one’s place. I’d prefer it be gently, of course, but I don’t get to choose. Last week, I learned a lesson: Don’t forget to practice what you preach. Sometimes I just need to shut up and follow all that advice that I’m always dishing out to my kids. It’s tough when you open your eyes and realize you’re just as guilty and annoying and senseless as they are.
Example one: I ran a red light. Thankfully, I realized it as soon as I was about to sail through it, but screeching, skidding tires was a worse option than slowing down and maneuvering through safely. There were two stoplights yards apart from each other, and I was focused on the farther one. Neither my kids nor the lady entering the intersection even noticed.
Example two: My daughter dressed herself in a pink-and-white-striped shirt and a skirt with diagonal stripes of blues and purples.
“Honey, the shorts that match that shirt are right here. They’ve just been washed,” I offered, wanting her to wear the outfit that I liked. “Do you want to wear those instead?” Man, I tried, I really did.
“No thanks,” my daughter said.
“What your mother is saying is that doesn’t match,” my husband blurted out.
“I don’t care,” my daughter said. And she didn’t. She wore it all day, out in public, in places where I saw people I knew, even after I had asked once more if she wanted to change before we left. It was tough. Cute to mismatch at 4, not so cute at 6.
Example three: At the pool, just as I was about to sit down, I noticed what I thought was a yellow and black worm on my towel, on the part where my rear was about to go. I gently plucked it from the towel only to feel excruciating, piercing pain in my finger. “OW, OW, OW!” I yelled as I tried to fling it off. It stuck to me like a burr and left a nasty sting. Fool that I am, it was no worm but the rearend of a yellow jacket.
“Don’t pick up strange creatures,” my husband scolded as he handed me an ice pack. I should have known better.
As I pouted, trying to numb my burning finger, I thought about my week and what I did. I thought about what I am always telling my kids, and I did learn some things:
1) Pay attention! How many times do I have to say it?
2) Mind your own business. Worry about how you are dressed.
3) Think before you act. Don’t pick up something if you don’t know what it is.