Saturday, June 8, 2013

Being A Role Model Is Hard

Being a good role model is so hard.  No yelling.  No cursing.

“Damnit, Cooper!” I yelled at the dog who had just knocked my coffee cup spilling hot coffee all over my lap.  I did this in front of my son who I am constantly reminding that yelling is not how we solve problems.  The cursing was just an added bonus.

I did catch myself.   I took a deep breath and said, “It’s no big deal.  I’ll just get a towel and wipe it up.”  I took my scalded lap to the laundry room and got a towel. As I was wiping up coffee from the floor where my son was sitting at the computer, I tried to use this as a teaching moment about human nature and admitting mistakes.  “Hudson, I’m sorry I yelled.  I shouldn’t have done that.  It’s not a big deal and I should have just got a towel.  See, everyone messes up sometimes.”

Crisis everted.  Parenting credentials left in tact.  Until my daughter cursed in the middle of Barnes & Noble later that day.  Well, shit.

We had just come from the children’s section.  They had each picked out one book. Hudson had wanted a journal like Morris Lessmore in “The Fantastic Flying Books of Morris Lessmore” and we got that too.  We had just wandered into the learning section and were picking out some Kumon books for them both.  So far I’m sounding pretty good, right?  Wait for it…

“Damnit!” yelled Kenzie in her high pitched voice as she dropped the book she was carrying.
“Kenzie, that is not a nice word!  Do not use that word!”
“Ok, Momma.”

We walked to the next aisle.

“Damnit!” as she dropped her book again.  This time there were two ladies in the aisle with us and I felt the blood rush to my face.
“Kenzie, stop saying that word.”
“What word is she saying?” asked Hudson.
“It’s just not a nice word.”
“It’s not a nice word?  What word is she saying?”
“Hudson, I’m not going to repeat it.  It’s just not nice.”
“DAMNIT!” said Kenzie dropping her book for the third time.
“Damnit, Kenzie!” So no, I didn’t really say that.  I thought it.  In my head, I thought it, but I didn’t say it.  I conjured up some zen and said through clenched teeth, “Stop. Saying. That. Word.”  Then we quickly proceeded to the check-out and got the hell out of there.

I try to be good role model.  I really do try.  But sometimes it’s so hard, damnit.

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