During our newscast on News 3 This Morning, we had a discussion about parenting fails. It brought up memories of the times I’ve been less-than-perfect in the rearing of my children. There are countless moments within our household. My wife and I cuss in front of our children. We’ve all had Halloween candy, birthday cake and doughnuts for dinner. We even allow all three kids to have their own smartphone. But here are three specific screwups, one for each of my children.
When our oldest son was just over a year old (he’s 17 now) he would break out in a rash after eating. He never had trouble breathing or had serious issues, but we knew it caused him discomfort. After visiting the pediatrician, we finally narrowed it down to a milk allergy. The doctor assured us he’d likely outgrow the allergy, but keep him away from dairy. We were set to switch to soy milk and find alternatives for ice cream and cheese. On the way home from the appointment, we stopped at Applebee’s for dinner. We asked Ethan if he wanted mac and cheese and he eagerly nodded his head. The boy was half way through his meal when it dawned on me he shouldn’t be eating the cheese. Sure enough he broke out in the rash later that night. By the way, he did eventually outgrow the allergy.
Our middle son is 18 months younger than our oldest, but they’re just a year apart in school. Just like we did with Ethan, when Mason went off to kindergarten we snapped a bunch of pictures here at home, during the walk to school and once we were in the classroom. Later that night when I looked for the camera to upload the pictures to the computer, I couldn’t find it. This was before smartphones and in this case smart dads. We tore the house apart. I searched the van even though we’d walked to school that day. I even went up to the school and checked the classroom and the lost and found. More than a decade later that camera nor its memory card ever turned up. I still feel awful there are no first day of school pics of Mason. It’s like the stereotypes about the middle child smacked me right in the face.
We listen to a variety of music in the car. I prefer classic rock and 80s pop, but my wife and I both have “today’s hits” programmed on our respective radios. When our daughter Brooke was seven or eight years old she wanted to a do a solo performance at her dance studio’s upcoming recital. The kids got to pick the song and the instructors would choreograph something accordingly. Brooke didn’t tell me what song she wanted to dance to and as we were standing there talking to her teacher Brooke asked, “Miss Kim, can I do my solo to Whistle Baby?” For those who don’t know, “Whistle” is the actual name of the song and it’s by Flo Rida. It’s a catchy tune, but it’s about oral sex. I knew that and judging by the look of horror on Miss Kim’s face, she knew it too. She was silent as I quickly told Brooke we’d have to come up with a different song.
Parenting isn’t an easy job, so you might as well have fun along the way. I figure we’re just generating stories for the kids when they grow up and decide to write blogs too.