Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Stupid Things I do

Here are some of the risky behaviors I regularly engage in:

  • I wash my Pampered Chef Stoneware with soap and water.
  • I put my good knives in the dishwasher.
  • I put my workout clothes and my swimming suits in the dryer.
  • I keep my hot water heater temperature set really high.
  • I use bleach in my laundry.
  • I wear my running shoes till they wear out.
  • I let my children watch Spongebob Squarepants.
  • I don't get gas until the gas indicator light comes on.

And on and on it goes. You can see that I don't really live on the edge if those are my risky behaviors, as most of these things are fairly low on the risk scale in terms of actually harming someone. I've never tasted soap when I make brownies. I used to work in a restaurant and the good knives went in the dishwasher with no ill effects. I've had most of my running clothes and my swimming suits for years and years and they seem just fine. I survived hours and hours of Bugs Bunny and Gilligan's Island as a child with no noticeable effects. I've only run out of gas twice in my whole life.

But, as Dr. Phil always says, if you continue to engage in risky behavior, something bad will happen to you. So in general, I'm a rule follower. But in some ways, I reflect the generation I came from, when there were less rules and safety habits than there are today. Today something bad did happen, and I can't sweep it under the rug or lie about it, so I'm just going to get it out there and be done with it. This one is serious. I wish it were funny, but it's not.

I sometimes let Evan (and all the kids) practice starting the car. I did it when I was a kid. My youngest has done it many times with absolute success and no problems whatsoever. Until today. This morning, he finally had trouble with the process and ran the car into the garage door. Smash. Full on. Fortunately, the only casualties are the garage door and a very upset kid. No injuries, no damage to the car aside from a little paint. And, oh yeah, my confidence as a mother. I feel like such a stupid, stupid person for creating the conditions for him to have this bad experience. I'm ashamed. But it will be worse if I try to yammer and stammer some other story when it comes up in conversation that we're getting a new garage door or why there is paint all over my bumper. So here it is. The stupidest thing I do came around and put me in my place. I put my child at risk. I went against my prime directive. Now I have to try and be grateful that everything is really okay and move on. We actually needed a new garage door. Someday this will be part of the family lore, and his brothers are going to laugh as soon as they hear about it. But first I'm going to go cry under my covers.


  1. oh kellie. i'm glad everyone is ok and the damage is minimal (at least physical. your emotional damage sounds deep right now).

    yes, this will definitely be one of those funny family lore stories.

    don't beat yourself up too much. you are a wonderful mom.

  2. Oh Kellie I'm so sorry. You are an awesome mother! And I bet you'll be laughing about this someday. BTW I just might start putting my good knives in the dishwasher and my kids have watched Buffy the Vampire Slayer with me since they were toddlers.:)(Did I just admit to that??)

  3. Wow. That WILL go down in infamy, I am QUITE sure. Glad Evan and the car are just fine :)

  4. Oh my gosh!! I was totally going to lecture you for washing your Pampered Chef stone with soap and water. I've nearly ripped Chris' head off for even holding dish soap close to my stoneware. Then I was going to tell you how I envy you for turning up the heat on your water heater (Chris won't let me) Then I was going to tell you how I let my kids watch Spongebob, because I love it. He and Patrick make me laugh. Then I was going to ask you how come I can't put bleach in my laundry. I didn't know that was bad. We are totally opposites on the car gas light though, I get freaked out when it gets below half a tank.
    Then you throw in the whole letting your kids start the car. I've let Alec do it and Chris has told me not to. I say why not -- he says he's going to ruin the engine. I guess I never thought about your scenario. So sorry! So glad everyone is okay. I'll learn from you!

  5. OK, so no more soap on the stoneware. Ha - seriously, that's a great idea for a post! Thanks for the sweet comment recently on mine - I was thinking about Steph quite a bit lately actually. I should call her. HUGS - how is the missionary? Gotta post about him soon!

  6. Oh Kellie, I'm so sorry that you guys have experienced this. I also was allowed to start the car as a kid, although it was me (the worrier, even from a young age) who was nervous about it, not my parents! I'm glad you're all okay, but no need to feel like an awful parent-- you're not the first to have this experience, I'm sure, and your heart is always in the right place. Every time I read anything you write here about your children, the love you feel is always so apparent!

  7. That's rough. I'm so sorry. My mother once let me practice backing out of our parking space at church and I zoomed backwards at full speed. I am SO LUCKY that no one was behind me. I still feel sick thinking about it. (Honestly, what was my mother thinking?! Church had just ended!) I don't think that hitting the garage door will be nearly as traumatic -- just a way to develop a healthy respect for the power of the gas pedal!

  8. Oh no! Sorry to hear about that, but I really did love reading your list of risky behavior...made me smile since I do some of the same things and hey there are much riskier things you could be doing! Hope the garage repair isn't too much and hopefully this will be one of those family stories that brings laughter in a few months. Glad no one was hurt.

  9. Yeah, I'll tell you what, things like that happen. My sister (7) drove the car out of the garage, down the hill, and into a tree. My sister let me drive a stick shift when I was 13 while she got out of the car, and I ran over a mailbox. No matter how careful our parents are, things just happen.

    Oh, but I'm appalled at your soap on the stoneware business! That's crazy talk.


Thank you for sharing your insights!