So, the other night, we took the kids to Friendly’s for dinner to celebrate Monkey Girl’s stellar report card.
It had absolutely nothing to do with the fact that I was exhausted and just didn’t want to cook.
Baby Monkey decided he didn’t feel well and didn’t want dessert (which is how I knew he meant it) so, since Real Man had met us there after work with his Jeep, I took Baby and Tiny home while RM stayed with the two big kids and stuffed them silly with ice cream.
As Baby and I were walking out into the parking lot, he missed the step off of the curb and fell flat on his face on the gravel.
I stopped, turned and said, “You okay?”
He lay there for a second and said, “I think I might be broken.”
I said, “If you were broken, you wouldn’t have to wonder. I think you’re okay buddy. Let’s get up and keep going.”
He stood up, brushed himself off, took my hand and kept walking.
All of this was witnessed by a family of five who were also leaving the restaurant at the same time.
The mother of this tribe looked at me as if I was the worst mother in the world.
She was honestly shooting daggers out of her eyes at me for not dropping Tiny, racing to Baby’s side and cooing to him.
I just looked at her and smiled.
And, as I did, her daughter, who was trying to climb into their van missed a step and fell on her knees.
Softly. Gracefully. Quietly.
The mother screamed “Oh my goodness! Hannah! Are you okay? Did you hurt yourself? Oh, honey, come here! Hannah fell!”
As she yelled, she kept looking at me, as if to say “This is how you take care of a child, lady.”
Hannah was quiet for a second or two and then scrunched up her face and began to yell.
The kid was not hurt.
I promise you.
Yet, because her Mom made a major case out of it, Hannah made a major case out of it.
Trust me, when my kids are actually hurt, I’m the first one to cuddle, soothe, kiss away the boo-boo.
But kids fall and trip and slip and slide and 9 times out of 10…they are just fine.
So, teaching them the difference between a real emergency and a non-emergency is something that I’ve always thought was important.
If everything is treated like a big deal, how do you ever really know when something happens that IS a big deal?
So, as Hannah is wailing and her parents are both, now, trying to clip her into her car seat, Mom and I met eyes once again.
It took everything I had not to glance down at my non-crying child who fell WAY harder than her child did and then glance at her with the look, but I don’t play that way, so imagine my surprise when I realized she was giving ME the look.
I guess she does play that way.
Then I figured, she can give me the look all she wants. Her hysterics mean that she’s gotta drive home with a screaming kid in the back seat. My calm means I got to drive home with a delightful boy who asked a million questions about nothing at all.
Not that it’s a competition or anything.