Monday, September 20, 2010

In my case, just do as I DO, not as I SAY....

About a week ago, I was driving Garrett and Landon to school and became distracted by all the noise in the car. As I was attempting to pull alongside the curb to park, I underestimated how much space I would need and ended up hitting a parked Jeep.


No one saw me do it....well, except for the kids. At first, they were convinced I had hit a garbage can, which was nowhere to be seen and left me wondering what Tim had mixed into their milk that morning, besides raspberry Quik.

As calmly as possible, I explained to them, "Mommy hit that car right there so I need to leave the owner of the car a note with my contact information".

Right as they were about to enter the classroom, I gently yanked them back and said, "Alright, guys...there's no need to repeat anything I said to your teacher or your friends, okay? Especially those....uh, colorful words I used back there when I hit the car".

Garrett asked, "You mean when you said 'oh shit'?"

"Yes, exactly...just pretend I didn't say that word," I pleaded with my 3-year old, who apparently is wise beyond his years.

He argued, "But you DID say it."

So, wait...let me get this straight. The kids thought I had hit an imaginary garbage can but they were absolutely positive they had heard me say the word shit.

Of course they did. They'll just store it in their little brains to be used at an inopportune at Thanksgiving dinner when we're going around the table reciting what we're each thankful for or when someone tosses a candy bar they don't like into their bag on Halloween.

I sighed.  "Okay, remember how I'm always telling you guys to do as I say, not as I do?"

The spawn nodded their small heads.

"Well," I continued. "Now, I'm asking you to do as I DO,NOT as I say. Remember that even though I hit that car out there, I'm doing the right thing by taking responsibility for it. Got it?"

Continuing to nod their heads, they spoke up in unison, "Yep".

As they both walked into the classroom, I feared the worst.

"Good morning, boys.  How are you today?" I imagined their teacher asking.

"Our mom said shit!" Garrett would announce proudly.

"Yeah, she said it THREE times too," Landon would add, gleefully.

I held my breath as their teacher strolled towards us, with a smile on her face.

She greeted them, "Good morning, boys!  Make sure to go wash your hands before you start an activity!"

Oh thank God!  She didn't ask how they were...for as luck would have it, if she had, they surely would've thrown me under the bus.

Trust me, I don't refer to them as "spawn" just because I'm entirely evil. 

After kissing them both goodbye and pleading with them one last time to forget all about Mommy's wildly expressive language and to recall how Mommy is doing the right thing, I walked out to where my mini-van was parked, still in front of the side-swiped Jeep, and surveyed the damage.

There was more damage to the Jeep than there was to ours, which I was thankful for.   Our mini-van is covered in scratches and minor dings, while this Jeep was in perfect shape....well, until I hit it.

I jotted down my profuse apologies on a piece of paper along with my contact information and left it under the windshield.

Upon returning home and telling Tim what had happened, he said, "But no one saw why did you leave a note?"

I stammered, "Because it was the right thing to do. Plus, I had the kids with me so it was good for them to see me take responsibility".

He shook his head and said, "Well, I wouldn't have left a note".

Becoming upset, I responded, "You know, every time you see a ding on one of our cars, you become outraged. Wouldn't it have been nice any of those times for someone to leave us a note with an apology? Just because someone does something shitty to you, doesn't mean you have to continue the cycle. Do the right thing for's karma.  It'll either be good to you or it'll bite you in the ass."

You think he sat there, nodding his head in complete agreement with me?

Well, you'd be wrong.  He had already put his earphones back in his ears and was intently staring at the computer screen in front of him, having tuned me out probably a good 4.7 seconds prior.

It's all good, though.  Next time he whines to me about how rude other people are, I'll gently remind him that karma's a bitch.

There's that and the fact that a few minutes later, I asked him if he was in the mood for a quickie.  The sly grin on his face, as well as the horny gleam in his eyes, spoke volumes. 

He turned his chair towards me and asked, "Here or in the bedroom?"

"I was just simply ASKING if you were in the mood.  I wasn't offering.  Sorry for the confusion," I teased. 


A few hours later, a woman called my cell phone and explained that she was the owner of the Jeep. She's a librarian at Garrett and Landon's school and she had parked on the street that day in a hurry when the staff parking lot was full.

"I'm so have no idea. And then you come out of school after a long day with the kids and see what I've done to your car...I'm just so sorry", I whined.

Then this sweet lady, whose car I hit, thanked me. Yes, she thanked me...for leaving a note.

She said, "Not many people would have done that. I really appreciate that you took the time to do that. So thank you..."

I gave her my insurance information, all the while imagining Tim lecturing me about how much more our insurance is going to cost us.   I'll get back at him by reminding him that I'm not the one who gets speeding tickets.

Later that day, Garrett and Landon were all too eager to fill Cole and Bella in on all the excitement which had happened earlier in the day.

Bella asked, "Really, Mommy?  You hit a car?!"

Cole added, "Oh man.  That totally bites!"

I declared, "Yes, it's true...but what I want you all to take away from this is that as hard as it is to admit when you've done something wrong, it takes a bigger person to stand up and take responsibility for her actions.  If there's anything I want you to learn from this experience, it would be THAT".

In a perfect world, this would be the end of the story.  But, alas, we all know the world is an imperfect place....or, at the very least, my home is.

Garrett said, "We're not supposed to tell anyone that Mommy said shit."

Not to be outdone, Landon pointed out, "And she said it more than once!"

With his arms crossed over his chest, Cole asked, "Are you going to take responsiblity for THAT?"

Geez, who died and made him Phil McGraw? Registered & Protected


Merri Ann said...

Unfortunately, "oh shit" is a common phrase used by me also. And, I'm really guilty of calling people stupid ... and now that I'm back in California ... I've put the idiot back behind the stupid ... right where it belongs.

Driving in California is always fun ... you get to yell "stupid idiot" AND use "tall man" indiscriminately.

Is there a 12 step program for us?

Jenn said...

that's going to be me... except my favorite word is much worse then shit... I bettter start working on that NOW! :)

Mighty M said...

You did the right thing! :)

The Mother said...

Ah, don't worry. When they're driving they'll suddenly remember that you hit a car, not that you swore. It's all good.

The Girl Next Door Grows Up said...

I happen to say, "Emily don't piss off your sister!" a lot.

One day we were in the car and Emily was ticking Sarah when all of a sudden Sarah said, "Emily! Quit pissing me off!


I tell them that those are adult words and when they are my age they can use them too. Emily has never said one thing, but Sarah? She is a little drunken sailor. I have to really watch myself.

Nobodys Nothings said...

good for you for leaving a note! i definitely believe in karma, and would have left a note too, just based on fear of getting what i give. i'm guilty of the language thing too... walking out of the Y one day, my son shouted "that was fun! now where's the DAMN CAR?!" *sigh*

Omotee! said...

I dont use lots of "shitty" words, just a few, lol. Hope i discard them b4 i have kids.

And that was really nice of u, thumbs up!

Omotee! said...

I dont use lots of "shitty" words, just a few, lol. Hope i discard them b4 i have kids.

And that was really nice of u, thumbs up!

The Boob Nazi said...

I'd have a lot of difficulty leaving a note. That was responsible of you.

Stuff could always be worse said...

Oh how do I get misunderstood by my kids always! You did the right thing

Charlene said...

My family says things worse than shit and I worry about Nathan saying something in school and getting in major trouble over it LMAO!

Crossed Fingers said...

hahaha - you DID take responsibility for it! You reminded them it shouldn't be said and showed them that even moms make mistakes.

Good for you to owning up to it - always the right thing to do!

Buckeroomama said...

Kids are such smart alecks! I get called out by J and Z when I mutter 'Stupid!' under my breath while driving and when I try to deny that I said it, they' repeat the entire sentence back at me!

Good on you for leaving a note. I totally buy into the karma thing.

Tylaine said...

You're kids are just too smart for their own good!!
You were being a good example for them in leaving the note but is that what they remember??? :)

Just Another Mom of 2 said...

Haha, I love it! First, I would have left a note too or I would have felt really badly. Second, your kids are hysterical! My four year old is the same way, they do not let you forget A THING!

Anonymous said...

LOL!! I love your blog girl! You are so amazing.
You did the right thing. And yes, you were being a good example for your kids. Well, except the shit part but c'mon, we've all done that. LOL

MiMi said...

Oh, girl, you are awesome. You did the right thing for sure!!
And, yeah, if my kids repeat every naughty word I say? I'm prolly headed to jail.
Now. Where do you get this Raspberry Quik you speak of? My spawn would heart that.

singedwingangel said...

I am glad you left a note and as for the bad words I feel ya.. for the longest time I had a bad habit of saying 'hell o pete" never thinking a thing about until one day my son said Whose pete?? Umm yeah..

Erin said...

OMG that is so funny...not that you hit that car but that sounds exactly like my 3 year old....the more I told him not to say anything the more he would rat me out!

Anonymous said...

Yesterday my son told me, "I learned how to say 'Damn' from Daddy!" Awesome.

Nancy C said...

Priceless. Believe me, you are teaching your kids integrity. That is worth the insurance costs.

Good for you. Beautifully written.

Alicia said...

Well, I'm glad you did leave a note! Good example, Helene!! And there have been times when I have said things in front of my kids that I shouldn't have said. They hear and see EVERYTHING! They definitely keep me accountable!

Rhiannon said...

this story made my monday! thanks for sharing and I hate to admit it, Oh Shit was my son's 3rd word... before daddy even :-(

Nezzy said...

First of all ya had to leave a note 'cause you just that kinda of chick who wants her kiddos to do the right thing.

Good for you sweetie. Most people would of just driven away.

Have a very blessed day sweetie!!!

shortmama said...

You did the right thing by leaving a note! Good job!

Eva Gallant said...

Your kids are such fun! Smart little buggers! lol

Donna said...

Man - they're a tough crowd!!! Around here, my Momma is the one spewing out all sorts of cuss words! They teach ME stuff!

Good for you for doing the right thing, I'm a huge fan and believer of Karma!

Jenny said...

Your kids are too funny! I think it's great you left a note. I've opened the car door into others before, but there's never been a mark worth leaving a note over.

I hate parallel parking though! I remember when I had my brand new Camry and had to parallel park it. The hubcaps still have those scratches on them, 9 years later :(

Yellow said...

Clearly my vocabulary when driving is not as good as yours. My children have started to tell me words I can say rather than cursing at all the drivers. Lilly has told me to stop yelling cause they can't hear me. . I think she has a point, but fliping people off just does not seem to be a good idea.

Rebecca said...

Most children are apologies.

I love that you "offered" him a quickie. Maybe he won't be so quick to tune you out next time!

I think you did the right thing one has to mention the cursing though!!!

Mama Dub said...

So proud of you... not for the bad word, but for leaving the note. More people need to be like that.

Dancer4_1 said...

Oh Helene I can always count on you to make me laugh! Thanks again..and my 3 yr old is worse..he will say them when ever where ever if he hears them "OH Mommy someone said F***..yep nice and loud and proud for all to arnt 3yrs the greatest!!!

Creative Junkie said...

I cringe when I think what my kids might have told their teachers. But the teachers always told the parents the same thing every year: They'd believe 50% of everything the kids told them about us, if we'd believe 50% of everything the kids told us about them.

Creative Junkie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
MandyE (Twin Trials and Triumphs) said...

Our girls are not quite 21 months old, but I'm realizing I may have to start being more careful around them. We all went to Target and Sam's on Saturday, and for the rest of the day, they would randomly say, "Target!...Sam's!" (I have no idea why it made such an impression on them...)

It makes me think that I'd better not take them somewhere I don't want Hubby to know about. Can you imagine them saying, "Manicure!" Hahaha!!! said...

Oh darn! Sorry you hit the car!!!!

But, as always, you find a way to make me crack up even during your misfortune.

You karma will be good ;)

Such a sweet comment you wrote. You are a big part of the reason I come back to blogging even when life gets in the way.



Karen Peterson said...

Your kids are too funny.

I'm glad you did the right thing and left the note. Not enough people do that these days and karma is, indeed, a bitch.

Sara @ Domestically Challenged said...

Good for you...should I tell you that, as a teacher, I've found that it doesn't matter WHEN the incident happened, SOMETHING will trigger it and they will fill us may not be for weeks!

Sandra said...

What? You mean you're human?...kidding! It's very admirable that you tried and tried to keep that under wraps! :)

Megan said...

Well, crap, that's not fun to hit a car! I'm sorry. But that's awesome the lady was so nice to you about it!

I'm just waiting for the day that my kids let loose with all the designer words I've taught them. Oy.

"Cottage By The Sea" said...

You did do the right thing. Also, it's good your kids know the exact time to say and what emphasis to put on word shit. They'll need it for the future believe me. How many times have you needed to say it and if you hadn't you'd probably be completely compacted by now. Also, you are going to have some good karma. You're a good person to boot. I'm having a friend with twin 9 year old boys come stay with me for 4 days. Any advise? Blessings.

I figure that if the children are alive when my husband gets home at the end of the day, I've done my job.

----Roseanne Barr

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