Things that Humble Parents

  • When your kid is really good and polite.
  • When your kid is really bad.
  • When your kid repeats things you didn’t know they have absorbed.
  • When your kid has absorbed the art of guilt, just in case the guilt you felt automatically was not sufficient enough.

Cases in point:

Prima recently participated in a play at her school. There were five, count ‘em, f-i-v-e performances. There was a month and a half of rehearsals, a week of 7 a.m. rehearsals and a week of evening rehearsals from 6 to 9 p.m. She’s seven and usually goes to bed tuckered out at 7:30.

By show No. 5, our darling Prima was exhausted, and, just for extra parent bonus points, Secondo had three-apple-juice-boxes-plus-a-box of-Sour-Patch-Kids-induced diarrhea, which is why we hustled everyone out after the last performance, (before the cast party could start).

Cast Party? What cast party? No idea.

Mothers are always innocent. Until proven guilty by their children.

But a friend of hers spilled the beans on us.

Said Friend: Prima, after you left the play, there was a party and everyone started signing their shirts. All the cast did and I got everyone’s signature.

Prima: Really? Oh.

(Ten minutes later after Said Friend had been dropped off. )

Prima: Mom, after we left, guess what? People started signing shirts…

Me: Yes.

Prima: But I didn’t get mine signed.

Me: I’m sorry. We had to leave because your sister had explosive diarrhea.

Secondo: Hey! I just had di-AH-rEEE-HA?


Prima: I guess that I’ll just have to sign my own.

I was flabbergasted. Age does not a guilt mistress limit. I laughed out loud in spite of myself.

Case No. 2

Secondo is at the age she wants to dress herself. Skirts have been conquered. She’s mastered shorts, socks and almost shoes. But dresses and shirts are remain troublesome.

I can understand her challenge. There are three similarly sized holes – right in a row. With two arms and a head to navigate through, basically blind, it can be a puzzle beyond the abilities of a 3 year old.

If I could help her, I would. But she flat out refuses any aid from me.

“Leave me AH-lone!” she screams at me as I reach for an arm hole.

Soap for Secondo? Or Mrs. Bailey?

“Fine,” I relent, standing, glancing at my watch. Seven minutes until preschool starts. I thank my lucky stars we live three minutes away.

I go to load the dishwasher before we bolt out the door.

I overhear sobs, slowly abating to sniffles.

She marches out, dress on, torso forced out in front of her, arms pumping away at her sides. In a sizzling Secondo state, she huffs over to the kitchen table and sits down.

“You did it!” I smile, encouragingly.

“Yeah, except I look like a nut job!”

Ummm, OK. I didn’t realize she actually overheard me the 10,000 times I have used that term for what I interpreted as an appropriately over-the-kids-head descriptor.


Apparently not.