Ever had one of those weeks you could just do over? This past week was one of those. A lot of unpleasantness. For starters, I’m feeling stabby. About everything. Pretty much every person, everywhere, is getting on my nerves. Some because they’re bossy. Some because they’re holier-than-thou, stupid, or mean. And some, I just don’t like their faces. I’m pretty sure this has something to do with my diet.
Me, consuming no sugar, bread, or pasta=me, wanting to throat punch people.
The week started out badly. My son, Mikey, is in band. He had a big spring concert that he’s been looking forward to for months. We had everything planned out. After school, we’d go to the Dairy Queen and the library to kill time before he had to be back at school. After the concert, we’d go out for a celebratory dinner. We were going to be on time for once. I even remembered to bring the camera. Everything was great, until we arrived at school and Mikey discovered he left his clarinet in his Nana’s car. I didn’t have time to get it and his Papa did bring it to him, but it was too late. He got to the gym just as the 6th grade band was finishing their second song. He tried to put his clarinet together before they started the third and final song, but he didn’t make it. He missed the concert.
He went ballistic. Screaming, crying, wailing, gnashing of teeth–the whole bit. And who could blame him? Everybody was staring. We went back to the car. He blamed his brother for not getting his clarinet out of the car. He blamed me for not going to get it in time. He blamed his dad for making him leave and miss the rest of the concert. He cried. I cried and felt guilty (though I wasn’t.) I didn’t know what to do.
In hindsight, I see that this was one of those “teachable moments.” If my husband and I were June and Ward Cleaver, we’d have sat Beaver, er, Mikey, down in out pristine living room, explained to him the importance of being responsible and how this experience would make him a better human being, blah, blah, blah. But I’m not June Cleaver. I don’t vacuüm in pearls. Heck, I don’t even vacuüm.
So I took a different approach. I took my dieting son to McDonald’s and got him a large Big Mac Extra Value Meal. Then I bought him a video game.
Later in the week, I was driving home and got stuck behind a police car that was blocking off the lane for the school car line. The officer was taking his sweet little old time securing traffic cones to a sign post. I, as I said before, was feeling stabby and tired and impatient, so I went around the car. No big deal, right? Other cars behind me did the same thing. I get stuck at a traffic light and suddenly another police car was behind me with his lights on. I didn’t know what was going on, but I pulled over.
The officer comes to my window, asking for license and registration, which I hand over as I ask, “Can I ask what this is about?”
He says, “You sure can,” in a pleasant enough voice, and then proceeds to give me the following speech in a not so nice, drill sergeant-esque, clipped voice, “Do you mind telling me what possessed you to endanger the life of my fellow officer and your fellow drivers by passing that police cruiser on the incorrect side, thereby encouraging other drivers to do the same…blah, blah, blah.” That’s not a direct quote, but it was close.
I, in my best dumb blonde voice (I’m brunette and have a terrible “best dumb blonde voice”), “Oh, I’m sorry sir. I didn’t realize..”
It was at this point he read my last name and recognized it. We established that I’m related to someone he knows and, apparently, likes. He handed me my license gave me a short and polite speech, in which he basically said I caused other people to break the law, not to do that again, and to “drive safe.”
He drove away and my son, Mikey, said, “I thought you were breaking the law when you drove around that cop. You got caught.”
I agreed it wasn’t smart and that was teachable moment #2. “Don’t do stupid things because you feel stabby and ticked off that other drivers on the ‘correct’ side to pass a police car won’t let you get in front of them, and drive by you, laughing in your face and pointing and saying, “Ha ha. You have to wait for that slow cop to secure traffic cones to a sign post while I drive right past you on my way to my nice and cool house where I will kick off my shoes, put my feet up, and have a cup of coffee and you’ll still be sitting there, fuming, and deciding how you’re going to get out of your car, throat punch a police officer, and drive away without anyone seeing you.”
So let’s recap. I had several teachable moments this week and this is what I taught my children.
1. When something disappointing happens, you do the following:
- Scream, cry, and throw a fit
- Blame everyone but yourself
- Eat your feelings
- Go shopping
2. When you break the law and a cop pulls you over to give you a ticket, you can totally get out of it if:
- you talk like a dumb blonde
- the cop happens to know one of your relatives or friends, even if you are a rebel rouser that “endangered” the lives of police officers and regular people in your lawlessness.
It’s only May and I have 7 months of teachable lessons to come, but I’m pretty sure I’m going to win the “Mother of the Year” award for 2012.