Getting into trouble…

At some point in your life as a mom, you stop caring about the little things. Sometimes that means you watch your son/daughter wipe their snotty nose on their sleeve and you don’t say anything. Other times, it means letting your child open something at the store just to keep them entertained. And, last night, it meant letting my children play in the backyard of a friend’s house… with the broken pieces of what used to be a baby gate. My friend and I just stared out the window at our four children, who, with pure delight in their eyes, were smashing to pieces shards of wood. It’s not that we didn’t recognize the inherent dangers of playing with what could amount to endless splinters or, even worse, a sharp stick to the eye. The point is, we were tired. Tired of chasing. Tired of saying no. Tired of playing referee. So, for a few minutes, we just watched. And, you know what? It was nice. The key to successful, lazy parenting is careful observation. We learned this one the hard way. The last time we let them have at it without intently watching, we had a much different outcome. The youngest boy, who was about two and a half at the time, came into the house to tell us something. When he walked by, a very potent smell came rushing past. Nope, wasn’t poop. It was the undeniable stench of GASOLINE! My friend and I looked at each other in disbelief. It couldn’t be gasoline we smelled, could it? That’s when the three-year old walked in. He smelled like it too. And so the investigation began. We began the inquisition of the three-year old:

“Why do you smell like gasoline?”

“Because we were playing with it.”

“Where?”

“In the hole.”

“What hole?”

“The one we dug.”

Sure enough, when we walked out there to investigate, we discovered they had dug a hole and filled it with gasoline, from the gas can they’d found near the lawn mower.

You know, when people baby-proof and child-proof their homes, they do things like cover the outlets and put the breakables up high. They don’t think of hiding the lawn tools. Now we do.

In comparison to digging a hole and pouring it full of gasoline, whipping chunks of baby gate at each other seemed like small potatoes. And, on a Friday night, when your status has slipped to “lazy parent,” it’s just okay with me. Unless that means a trip to the emergency room….

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