Tuesday, June 04, 2013

Parent of the Year...

A friend told me recently, "I love your blog.... the pictures... not so much." It would be easy to dismiss except I know him to be a man of schooled artistic tastes. I began to wonder if there are other readers "out there" who feel the same way. 
I have always heard that a picture is worth a thousand words. I assumed one of my drawings would be worth at least half that. I also assumed that one of my drawings could substitute for a blog post from time to time.  According to my artistic friend... I could be wrong. However, I will not be deterred from publishing my art.  So... here is +/- 0.5k words fo today, the picture is entitled  "Fascism Wears Ears". It has nothing to to do  with the rest of this blog.
If you are a parent of grown children, like me, you probably continue to evaluate your parenting skills based upon the child rearing one observes being done in public.  
Take today for example at the CBTL.  Ahead of me in line is a mother and her 2 and a half year old little girl.  The mother is trying to figure out what pastry the little girl wanted.  She had limited vocabulary skills, the little girl had even less. (Rim Shot)
The little girl was pointing to something in the display case.
"The Chocolate one?" Said the mother. 
"Chokocolat, " the child replied because she couldn't spell yet.  
"The chocolate cake or the chocolate chip cookie?" 
"Chokocolat ches Chokocolat" said the toddler.
"Chocolate Chip?"
"Chess Chockolat"
"Chocolate chip?" By now both the child and the people in line are becoming frustrated.  The child has less control over her emotions and screams "Chokocolate! Chess."  The child was trying to say "Yes, I just want chocolate", but her "yes" sounded like Chess or Chips. A quick decision is made for the chocolate cake with the creamy chocolate frosting. They sit down at a table, Mother with her, Half caf, soy latte with two sugars, and the little girl with Chess Chockolat.
I could not see the mother but as I waited for my drink I could see the child. In seconds little girl had smeared her face completely with the chocolate filling in what looked like a modern attempt to do a black face minstrel show.  The chocolate was in her curly blond hair and all over the front of her cute dress. 
I flashed back to when I was in a similar parenting situation.  I detested cleaning up a chocolate mess, especially a mess in a public place.  I thought to myself.  "There went the mother's nice relaxing half-caf, soy latte with two sugar break."  I still cannot see the mother,  but she is doing nothing to stem the spread of chocolate.  Then I hear her.  In a playful and somewhat giddy tone she let out a comic gasp then burst out laughing. 
Instead of being horrified at the child's mess she was laughing?  Here I thought she would be upset but instead she was in full belly laugh. I thought... "Why couldn't I have been like her as a parent?  Find the joy and laughter in the moment.  Life is too short to be worried about a chocolate disaster."  
I needed to get a better look at this modern day parent.  I was humbled by this super-Mom who had some uncanny ability to remain joyful. I turned to admire this amazing woman who could laugh in the face  of chocolate adversity. 
It took a moment to realize what was happening.  There was the little girl who  had covered herself, her clothes, the chair, the table top and her diaper bag in thick chocolate frosting.  There was the Mother still laughing... NOT at the chocolate fiasco but at the text conversation she was having on her iPhone 5. "The Mother of the year" was looking down at her  screen totally unaware of the disaster looming in front of her. 
As I walked out of  CBTL the Mother finally stopped texting, and saw the mess, I think.  I didn't see it happen but I heard the Mother yell in a loud tone, more familiar to my parenting experience, "Oh My God, Kindra!"
Smugly I walked to the car. I am suddenly very glad that we did not have smart phones when my boys were 3 years old. 
As you were,


Margaret A. Flanagan said...

Yes, you can't take your eyes off them for a second when they are that age, especially.
I love the idea that she burst out laughing at the chocolate disaster, that is my ideal parent!
Thanks for sharing and blogging, love it all!

P. Grecian said...

I tried to laugh at my kids when they did those things...and succeeded sometimes...sometimes not. Always tried to remember Porky Pine's words from Pogo: Don't take life too serious, it ain't nohow permanent. And, of course, childhood is fleeting and I do so miss those days and those kids at that point in their days.

On the other topic: Art is art. I can't quite understand how Mondrian became such a deal, but his stuff is still art. Your stuff is often charming, sometimes disturbing, makes me laugh, makes me weep. It's perfect. And it's art.

Tom Crowl said...

Absolutely love this post Jay! And the art...