Posts Tagged ‘Lessons’

Here’s Something You Won’t Read In Any Parenting Books

May 23, 2018

“Careful, kiddo,” I admonished my son yesterday after he carelessly jostled me.  “The tea in my mug is still pretty hot, and I don’t want to spill it on me or you.”

“How badly would it hurt if you spilled it?” he asked.

Freshly sizing up the temperature of the mug in my hand, thus assuring myself that the tea wasn’t scalding, I stuck my finger in the tea.  “A little bit,” I answered after a moment.  “Not much, but it wouldn’t be comfortable.”

My son looked at me askance.  “Did you really just stick your finger in there?”

Appreciating his healthy skepticism, I demonstrated the trick again so he could see that I wasn’t trying to pull a fast one on him this time.

“Could I . . .?” he sort of asked, unsure of the words he wanted to use.

“Check the temperature of the side of the mug first to give you an idea of what you’d be getting into,” I advised him.  “Then . . . if you really want to . . . okay.”

After checking the mug, he carefully dunked his finger into my tea as well.  His eyes widened slightly, then he pulled his finger out and said, “That is hot.  I’ll be more careful next time!”

Lesson learned, for now, at least . . . and, yes, I still drank the rest of my tea.

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Can’t Say I Care For The Taste, But Such Is Life Sometimes

January 10, 2018

On Monday I said that I expected the lesson that time fussing about a problem gives no credit would be revisited again, and it turns out I was right.  Oh, my son is doing pretty good today, but after a night of no sleep for me, today I find myself doing my best to put my lesson where my mouth is.

If It Wouldn’t Be Too Much Trouble

March 9, 2017

Dear governments and politicians the world over,

Currently I’m in the process of teaching my son the lesson that “When we work together, life is better for all of us,” and I wanted to thank you all for providing so many fantastic examples of the importance of learning that lesson.

I’d appreciate it though if you could now provide me with a positive example . . .

Lala, I’m Looking At YOU!

January 12, 2017

This week my son’s class talked about the power of the word “yet” in the sense that it’s not that you “can’t” do something, it’s just that you can’t do it yet.

It’s an important lesson, and I say that as a parent who has all but banned his son from using the word “never” until he learns to use it properly and not just as part of a frustrated “I’ll never be able to do this!”  (Spoiler:  Once he calms down and stops fussing at whatever it is he’s fussing at, he usually can, and when he can’t, he generally just needs more practice before he can.)

Still . . .  there’s a time and a place for every lesson, and when you know that someone is feeling awful after a terrible night, and they’ve just snarled at you for greeting them with a cheery “Good morning!”, grinning at them and saying “You mean it’s not a good morning yet!” is just flat out poking the bear.

Another Lesson I Learned From Childhood (That Was NOT What They Were Trying To Teach Me At The Time)

June 7, 2016

If someone tells you in an overly cheery voice that something is “yummy,” be suspicious.  Be very, very suspicious!

So I Figure I’m Not ALWAYS The Boring Parent

April 7, 2016

I try to teach my son good life lessons, I really do.

This morning, for instance, when he asked me what I wanted to do, in a burst of early morning honesty I answered, “I’ll tell you what I don’t want to do.  I don’t want to clean the coffee pot, grind coffee, boil water, and then wait twenty minutes for the coffee to be ready, but that’s what I’m going to do.”

“Why would you do all those things that you don’t want to do?” he asked.

“Because I want coffee,” I replied.

This is a tricky concept for a five-year-old, which is why I spelled it out like that, but after doing so I had a moment of self-doubt where I devoutly hoped that not all my lessons come across as pedantic as this one did to me in retrospect.

Then I remembered my son’s lesson from yesterday, which was to be suspicious when playing in the sand and your dad calls you over saying, “Check it out!  I made a Sarlacc pit, come see!”  (My hand was, of course, hidden buried under the sand.)

Story Told By Request (Part Two)

March 8, 2016

Now I can already feel a couple of you out there who know me starting to brace themselves, so I want to say upfront that what happened next wasn’t that bad (or good, depending on your point of view).  They were just kids, after all.  In fact, right up until the point I stood up and started to walk by their table I had convinced myself that I wasn’t going to say anything at all.

Then I had what you might call a McLintock moment.

To Lala’s horrified amusement, I stopped and faced the table.  “‘I like your hat,'” I sighed.  “REALLY?”  I shook my head in disappointment, then added, “If you’re going to be the obnoxious table, you need to step your game up more than that!”

In the stunned silence that followed, as I walked out the door I heard “Shaggy” saying something like “He’s got a point,” so I have some hope that the lesson was received by at least one of them.  If you truly can’t be courteous, then you can at least be clever and/or entertaining about it.  That’s probably not the lesson that other people would have gone for, but I found it satisfying.

(And if you suspect this is in part because this was a lesson that I was paying forward, you are absolutely correct.)