Sunday, May 15, 2011
(Father) Open Door Policy
When you see a child doing this what do you do? Do you:
(A) Look around for the parents.
(B) Give the child candy.
(C) Open the door and set them free on what ever adventure they choose.
I know what you would do. You would look for the parents. Why? Because you are a responsible person. Most people? They chose C.
Picture the scene with me. I get out of the car, get the bags, get the children out of the car, order them to stay near the car, take their hands, and walk across the street/parking lot. So far so good. Then the children release my hands and begin running like little crazy monkeys on a mission from Satan. So here I am yelling to, "Get back here!" and "You will not get treat today. OR EVER!!" After stumbling over the bag that was once on my shoulder and now hanging from my wrist I might have yelled a little something like, "Hell will freeze ov...........Fire and Beast.......I'm serious, Hell will freeze over before you get another treat!!!" Just to let you know, those are called empty threats. Yes, parents like myself, yell threats they really don't mean in order to make the child think the parent has power. Ironically, the harder and more ridiculous the threat, the less power the parent feels they have. That was me.
You might think, "OK Goose, let me get this straight. You are a grown man and they are little people. You are telling me you could not catch them?" To that I say no. One, they got a jump on me. Two, kids are a lot faster than we give them credit for. They have piston legs that fire on all cylinders and with reckless abandon. Three, when you do catch up with them you have to bend down half your height while continuing to run. Fourth, they are small and able to run places I am not. Like through crowd of people like a hot knife through butter. Five, This is not tackle football. You must capture them with few sustainable injuries. Grab them by the back of the shirt and suddenly their head throws itself forward and then snaps back and hitting your knee in the process. Sixth, once caught it becomes a matter of containing them. You don't have to have been part of a greased pig contest to know what I'm talking about. Finally, and most important, there are two of them. And they have different ideas as to where they are going. They act on impulse but their tactical moves are as if they have had it planned for weeks.
So I am gaining ground and have a sliver of hope. Not only because I am gaining ground but because the door we are approaching is closed, and now they are trapped. But wait, what is this? Oh yes, a kindly gentleman who opens the door so they can go through it. Then he follows, and then the door closes before I can get in. I look through the glass and there they are. Fire down one hallway and Beast down the other. Does this make sense!?! Well I suppose if it were an isolated incident. But we are talking about hundreds of times.
Take the gym's child care. We are talking about parents who know better than to hold the door open for a child leaving the room. I'm commenting on Beast's coloring project and Fire is heading for the water aerobics where the 70 year old women are beckoning him toward the pools with smiles and coos. For goodness sake, the lifeguard probably held the door open for him.
If it sounds like I'm complaining then forgive me. It is not out of annoyance as it is out of pure fear that my children could get seriously hurt. And Daisy would not buy the, "But the kindly old gentleman is at fault. Let's sue him!" It would be my fault. And we would get divorced and I would get depressed and eventually end up eating out of a trash can. Help a hopelessly disorganized father and choose option A. Oh wait, I'm already preaching to the choir. Thanks.