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!
Wife, Mother, Mother, Mother, Mother, Mother, Mother, Mother, Nurse, Grandmother, Friend...that's me in a nutshell!