At what point do you, as a parent, realize that you’ve (ahem, how can I say this nicely) totally flubbed up? You usually don’t need a card in the mail to let you know, plus I’m not sure Hallmark makes a card that says like “Despite you stupid parent that you are, I plan to go very far. Signed, your scarred-for-life child.”
Has that ever happened to you? You know, where you kids do something and you realize, (as David Beirne would say) How did I get HERE?!!
I had that experience just last week.
I was sitting in a high school press box before I began broadcasting a game, and my son was with me. And as it is with every home game, we were enjoying a meal. This time it was a southern favorite of fried catfish and several sides, like hush puppies, cole slaw, and beans. And there was a criminally-rich cake of some sort that I won’t EVEN get into here, although I did get into it there . . .
Anyway, it was during the meal that I realized I had not just fallen short as a parent, but that I would probably struggle to raise a plant.
While we’re sitting there eating, my son says, very matter-of-factly, “This is the only kind of fish I like.”
I was stunned. I didn’t realize he liked fish at all, much less catfish.
Woohoooo!!!! Time to CEL-A-BRATE!!!
But just as I stood up and started to climb on the table and start gyrating to what was sure to become a You Tube sensation, I made the terrible mistake of asking a follow-up question – That’s great. I didn’t know you liked catfish?
And that’s when I was smacked in the face with this:
“No, not catfish. Hush puppies. That’s my favorite kind of fish.”
The room became instantly silent.
As quietly and discreetly as I could, I climbed down from the table, crawled UNDER the table, and looked in vain for any lethal gas that I could quickly inhale.
Ohhhhhhh boy. Has it really come to this?
I guess it’s time that I faced up to a few other (ahem, how can I put this nicely) “enhancements” that I MIGHT have passed along to my son in hopes of getting him to eat or . . . heck, I don’t know. Do something.
First of all, broccoli isn’t made of chocolate. Neither are carrots.
President Obama isn’t actually the voice of Sponge Bob Square Pants.
You’re not, in fact, put in jail if you miss a question on a math test.
Babies don’t come from Amazon.com.
The health of my heart isn’t ACTUALLY determined by how many hours of football I watch.
Or how many cheeseburgers I eat.
The Shake the Weight device doesn’t actually work.
Oh wait! That’s not one I made up. Whew.
As you can see, I have fallen short as a parent. BUT, I plan to do better. From here on out, I won’t sugarcoat anything. Or make up anything just to get him to manipulate him.
Of course, I can’t start until tomorrow. Afterall, it IS a federal law that kids have to be in bed by 7 p.m. . . .