I’m not sure I trust folks with kids that don’t have photos or drawings on their refrigerator. It’s kind of like watching a cooking show where the chef is skinny. My brain can’t connect how those things go together. I can’t open my fridge door without something falling off the front or sides and lord forbid I take something off that isn’t a “sanctioned removal”. The kids will notice it’s gone in nanoseconds and we both RUN to the trash can. Of course when they get there and open the lid they find the photo of SpongeBob they drew 6 months earlier lying pitifully in the bin. I immediately know I’ve messed up when their little lip starts to quiver and they get that look in their eye that says “boy am I going to make her feel guilty today”.
“Mom, you don’t LIKE the SpongeBob picture I drew for you?” “Well of course I do honey but Mommy was hoping you’d draw me ANOTHER Sponge Bob picture, maybe one with eyes,” I say trying to find some sort of exit strategy from this confrontation.
“But Mom, this is the most special picture I ever drew” they say looking at the three yellow lines on the white paper that screams bad mommy. “Remember we sat at the table watching SpongeBob and you got the crayons and made hot chocolate”. Oh for Pete’s sake kid, you can’t remember to put the seat down but you remember six months ago when we drew this stupid picture.
“OF COURSE Mommy remembers honey,” “I was just, well; you know I think DADDY threw this away last night.” Why don’t we just take it out and hang it up again”.
Then I gently pull the browning paper from the trash can and start gingerly wiping off the eggshells and coffee grinds with a paper towel.
“Oh honey” I say tears now welling up in my own eyes as I’m transfixed, bent over the counter, “It’s like brand new…honey, honey?” Of course by now “honey” is down on the couch playing his DS and doesn’t even REMEMBER the paper while I’m there a trembling mass of guilt remembering the time my own mom took down the picture of the purple vase and flowers I drew for her in First Grade.
“Mommy”, I cried, “You don’t LIKE the picture I drew for you?” Upon seeing my face my mom looked at me with the same guilty face I’d just used on my son. “Oh honey, OF COURSE I like it. You know I think DADDY took that picture down.” “How about mommy makes you some hot chocolate and I’ll get it back up.”
I love the parenting tips I never even knew I was getting.