Christina M. Currie: Verdict still out on moms
There’s a long story that accompanies my attempt to move a 30-inch wide upright freezer through two 29-inch doors. It entails me prying frames off doors, being trapped when it got lodged in the doorway and the disconcerting realization that though 30-inches wide, the freezer was only 26-inches deep.
I’ve been told I should write about that experience. But, in addition to the fact that I don’t come across as very intelligent in that story, the only part my girls played in the process was when they grabbed my legs in an attempt to break my fall when I had to slither over the top to get to the other side.
Not long after that, I was engaged in the very rigorous activity of walking across the street when I slipped out of the side of the very cute clogs I was wearing and broke my foot.
I’ve also been told I should write about that. But, again, I don’t come across very well in that story. And, again, the only part my girls played in that was Katie’s appointment as the boot Nazi. She takes her responsibility (handed down from Nana) that I wear that infernal brace very seriously.
In fact, she uses the same tone when I’m not wearing the boot that I use when I’m telling her to fasten her seat belt.
I shouldn’t be surprised, it is a tone she hears often.
We’ve been putting a lot of focus on seat belts lately — to varying degrees of success.
Asking nicely didn’t work well. Yelling had similar results.
So I switched tactics.
We talked about police officers and what their job is. Try to put that in 4- and 5-year-old terms — simple is best.
So, I told them that if they didn’t wear their seat belts, mommy would go to jail.
Yeah, that really didn’t have the impact that I’d hoped for.
Finally, I resorted to telling them that if they didn’t fasten their seat belts, they would go to jail.
That worked. Both girls were securely buckled in less than a minute.
And right after than, Katie asked “What’s jail?”
You know that silence of confusion? Yeah, that was me. I had to think it through for a minute — not explaining what jail is, but why in the world that threat worked when it had no meaning.
I might as well have said buckle your seat belts or I’ll send you to Blepogle.
We’ve since met a real police officer, who Katie proudly told “I always wear my seat belt.” She got the pat on the back that she went into the conversation expecting.
Did I get a pat on the back for teaching my children the value of safety? No-oooo, I got yelled at for making police officers out as the bad guys.
So-ooo now I’ve been working on explaining — better than I did the first time — what police officers do. Yes, they’re nice people. No, they don’t put little girls in jail.
Moms on the otherhand … well, the verdict is still out on that.
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