How many times have you said "I told you so!" Now compare that to how many times you have WANTED to say "I told you so!" to your kids, or even your spouse/significant other. It's like one in a million times when you WANT to say it you actually do! Be honest, when you were a kid, how many times did your parents tell you not to do something and you did it your way anyway? And how many times did that actually work out for you? I am willing to bet (based on some personal experience) that more often then not you regretted not listening. No, wait! I take that back! A child would never admit regretting not listening! A child would simply cry, look pathetic in an attempt for sympathy or simply suffer in silence!
I was reminded of all this just yesterday. My adorable, sweet, loving grandson "Stitch" got a drone for his birthday. Personally, I don't see the point (and may I add that I am relieved that this is not one with a camera - phone cameras are bad enough!) but he was thrilled. The Admiral helped him get started learning how to fly it. Needless to say, within the first 15 minutes the drone was AWOL. The next morning, while his dad was getting ready for work, (and against direct orders from dad) "Stitch" decided to take the drone outside to fly it. You guessed it! "I told you so!"
Now, I can always tell how the morning has been when the kids come through the door. At least one is grumpy, (no outright angry) that morning requires him to get out of bed. One is usually pretty quiet. One is always crying. This time it was "Stitch". The story I got went something like this: "Dad told me I could play with my drone, but not to fly it in the house." (Which, by the way, I saw them flying it in the house the night before - I guarantee something will get broken!) Anyway, Stitch continued: "So, I took it outside to fly it and it got run over by a car." Now, first of all, their house is at least 1/4 of a mile away from the street and keep in mind this is not a drone with military long distance capability! Of course, I sent the Litigator with him to look for it. The Litigator must have used his cross examination skills on his nephew, because when they came back we were told that he never actually saw where the drone went and he never saw a car run over it. Do you know how many acres need to be searched now? And that is assuming that the dog hasn't absconded with it. . . ( she already steals all their shoes!) By the way, his dad actually told him not to play with the drone at all. A perfect time to say "I told you so!"
I remember well, traveling with the kids in the car by myself. (Traveling with six kids behind me in the car has given me total respect for school bus drivers!) I believe we were actually in Indiana on a four lane divided highway. Beanie Babies were very popular at that time and during the course of our trip each child got to pick one out. "Pook" chose a blue shark Beanie Baby. With all those kids, the temperature in the car never pleased anyone. It was my opportunity to do what I actually wanted to do and this time we were driving with the windows down. Each time I looked in the mirror, I saw a blue shark floating outside the car. After multiple warnings that he was going to drop it, you guessed it, he did! Right on the highway. Immediate sobbing ensued. I know I threw out several "I told you so's" in addition to a few things I probably shouldn't put in print. However, I am not totally without compassion. We turned back around to the location to see if we could get eyes on the shark. It was in a good spot! We slowed down . . . we stopped . . . and I made his older brother get out and grab it!
I guess my question is, why are we so surprised as adults that there are so many opportunities to say "I told you so" and yet we let them go by. The problem is that when your child is sobbing over his mistake, it is hard not to fold. Besides that, if we didn't listen as kids, what makes us think our little darlings will be dutifully obedient? Do we really believe that we have miraculous parenting skills or that human nature in kids has suddenly changed? My kids (especially "Pook") often ask what has happened to me. The "I told you so" mom has softened into me. As Nana, I get to love them, hug them, feed them, and send them home. God really did design the world beautifully!
Well, so far I have managed to stick pretty close to my goal of posting a blog once a week. But I feel it slipping away. . . I started out thinking Monday is perfect! We will start the week with works of humor and wisdom and call it Mom~Sense Monday. And then Monday and all its chaos showed up. Maybe Monday isn't as good as it sounds. So, how about Together Tuesdays? Well, Tuesday is generally spent picking up the pieces from Monday. Okay, Let's go with Whiskey Wednesdays, because who doesn't need a quick one to get you over the midweek hump?! Thursday? Well, that one is out simply because I couldn't think of something clever to call it. And here we are, FINALLY FRIDAY. It fits for now, but keep in mind that I am only two days away from missing my mark!
Anyway, back when my kids were much younger we had regular outtings otherwise known as a trip to the Pediatrician for physicals. I would have loved to take all six at once (which I did), but they would only examine a maximum of four per trip. Now I often wondered if that was because, like me, they would get them mixed up or if they simply couldn't handle/take more that four at a time. "Mommy" had just turned nine or ten I believe. Her exam was finished and the Pediatrician looked me dead in the eye and said "Congratulations, you are about to become the stupidest person in the world." I was shocked! I immediately demanded an explanation! Is this because he thought I was an idiot for having all these youngsters?!
His answer was quite simple. "At this age, your child begins to believe that he/she knows everything and you know nothing. You will always be wrong and there will be battles over everything you suggest. And . . . with all of these children and their age range, you can expect to be stupid for at least 15 to 20 years."
How could this be?!? These little darlings who have spent their formative years hanging on my every word, hug and direction!!?!! (Please note the sarcasm dripping here) I had already sort of had a taste of this years ago. At age 4 "Mommy" knew how to dress herself in her own style and would refuse to wear what I bought. We struck a very mature deal when she was 4 however. She could pick her own clothes, but I had veto power and there was a clause saying that she had to wear everything she picked out.
Well, needless to say the Pediatrician was dead right. I left his office that day stupider than I had ever been. I watched my intelligence spiral the drain for years. And then, right on schedule I slowly got smarter and smarter! By the time the Litigator hit 24 ( a mere two years ago) I became a near genius.
And then . . . it happened. My Legal Eagle started fighting my recommendations and thoughts. Pook threatens nursing homes if I follow through on some of my thoughts. Add to all this, my two oldest daughters are now stupid too. Their ten year olds and seven year olds should be nominated for a Nobel Prize for their intelligence by comparison! (again, please note that we are now POURING sarcasm). These four little darlings even dare to challenge me! How do they not see my wisdom?! What a cruel turn of events - it's my turn to be smarter!!!! The Littles (which is how I refer to our granddaughters who are two and younger) are smarter too! And don't believe for a moment that they aren't challenging everything! The General (at age 2) cannot seem to fathom that I am in charge and not her.
It is comforting to know that I am not in this boat alone this time. I have company on this voyage. My daughters are helping to row this boat! Now, every time we get challenged and corrected by a child, we simply look at each other and say, "Why are you so stupid?!" In spite of it all, I love my gang and am blessed every day to have more time with them. May God grant you many years and blessings!
Wife, Mother, Mother, Mother, Mother, Mother, Mother, Mother, Nurse, Grandmother, Friend...that's me in a nutshell!