There are books, magazines, and an abundance of other helpful resources available for parenting advice. While these may be useful, they certainly are no match for first-hand experience. I’m still learning, in fact, I’m still a mom in training even after my third child. One under appreciated tip is that there exists the X factor, the sudden inexplicable twist of fate that descriptive words on a page could not have prepared me for. I’m going to share with you 3 lessons I’ve learned the hard way as I journey through parenthood. Be warned, these real life stories may cause uncontrollable laughing. This is accepted and encouraged. You cannot survive parenthood without a sense of humor. Today, I will share with you Lesson 1 of 3.
Lesson 1 – Some People Just Won’t Get It
This life lesson takes place while on a recent road trip our family took to Missouri. After a long day of driving, we pulled over to get dinner. Keep in mind it was late and we were very tired after having reached our destination. Our family of five, and some friends, were seated at a big table in a well known restaurant (which shall remain nameless to spare you the same connection I now have to this establishment).
We scanned the menu, our mouths watered as we visualized taking a bite of everything that was listed. We placed our order and impatiently waited on the arrival of our meal. I was holding our youngest daughter who is three, she seemed sleepy and was laying back in my arms. My husband asked her, “Do you want daddy to hold you?” She eagerly walked right to him. He scooped her up and laid her back in his arms. This was the moment EVERYTHING changed.
Within seconds my little girl started projectile vomiting like an erupting volcano! Before I could make a sound or reach to help, my husband jumped up and rushed them both to the bathroom, the two of them completely soaked. I got on my hands and knees and desperately attempted to clean the mess. Now with three kids you might be saying, “surely this is not your first experience with a kid getting sick out in public,” and you would be right. In fact, with three children under the age of eight, I’ve lost count on how many times we’ve been in this situation. However, there is much more to this story, so if you haven’t started feeling queasy yet, just continue reading.
It Goes From Bad To Worst
My husband was doing everything he could to clean up himself and our daughter. You can appreciate that it’s not an easy task for a dad to wash his little girls long blonde hair in the sink of a men’s restroom! During this awkward moment a man walked in and made eye contact with my exasperated husband. It was apparent by the look on the other mans face that he was completely confused by what was happening. Sure, my husband could have explained the situation, but the mans body language and exit speed made it apparent that he didn’t want an explanation. Some people just won’t get it.
Meanwhile, back at our table, a very nice looking young couple was seated near us. I will never forget how innocent and unaware they appeared. They hadn’t become victims to the hardships of parenthood yet. There perfectly relaxed demeanor showed no expectation of an immediate threat that could possibly separate them and the eagerly anticipated dinner they were about to enjoy.
The only hiccup in their plans that evening was my very honest four-year-old. As soon as the young couple was seated and given their menus, my daughter proceeded to tell them, very loudly I might add, that she was sorry her sister had just thrown up. Shortly after my daughters BOLD and TRUTHFUL speech, the couple asked to be seated elsewhere. I can’t blame them and I should have been as considerate as my child and warned them that they would not want to be seated next to our crazy, unpredictable, and sometimes unintentionally disgusting family. You see some people just won’t get it.
The Chaos Continues
My husband and daughter returned to the table. My little girl looked like a sad puppy soaked to the bone with freshly cleaned hair. They left us stranded at the restaurant to go locate clean clothes. At the time you couldn’t convince my husband to let us get our meals to go and just head back to the hotel. No, the smell he was wearing motivated the rest of his decisions that night whether they made sense or not. The arrival of our food seemed almost like a joke. The tasty feast before us had lost it’s appeal. I watched my 7 and 4 year-old eat and happily carry on. The previous events had not, for one moment, robbed them of joy. They were perplexed at why I wasn’t devouring my meal and sharing in their excitement. Some people just won’t get it, even your own children!
Finally, my husband called and we could leave. I got our bill and headed to the cash register. My two little girls following behind me. Of course, as I try to pay for our meal their credit card machine freezes, leaving me and my little ones standing their waiting to escape this never-ending nightmare. As I’m attempting our check out for the second time, my daughter spills her to-go drink all over the floor.
Keep in mind, I’m totally unaware of what chaos has just taken place inches behind me. You know who did take notice? Two older women who were completely miffed by the accidental spill. They were quick to let me know when I turned around how disgusted they were, apparently they had perfect children who never had accidents. I bet they would have really enjoyed witnessing the earlier events of the night. It might have made the spilled drink seem like a minor mishap. With an angry tone they asked an employee to mop up the mess. I could have responded in so many ways, but I just looked at them and then quietly exited the building, because some people just won’t get it.
This ends my story to explain Lesson 1 . My daughter did get to feeling better, in fact, we all did after the stomach flu ran it’s course through our entire family! Life happens, unexpected situations occur, and we realize how little control we have in some situations. Sadly, as parents, when these moments take place, you will ALWAYS have an audience. Just remember, don’t feel obligated to overly apologize or explain in detail why things are falling apart. No matter how hard you try, the truth remains the same, some people just won’t get it.
If you made it this far, stay tuned. Soon I will be sharing with you lesson 2 of 3!
In the meantime you might also enjoy reading Wrinkly Pants Didn’t End The World