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That’s not very smart

June 26, 2012
Image

Some kid riding a bike

I was out for a walk in the neighborhood with my 9 month old the other day, and we passed a little boy and his dad in their driveway. The dad was sitting on his bike; he was ready to go. The boy was standing there, in his bike helmet, looking at his bike that was stuck in the shrubbery aside the house.

Now, I’m a terrible judge of age in random children. I always think they are older than they are. I don’t know – are kids taller these days? Maybe I’m shrinking. Perhaps he was 4 or 5. He had a young voice.

Anyway, this cute towhead said something to the effect of, “Daddy, I rode my bike into the bushes.” Dad replied: “Why did you do that? That wasn’t very smart.”

Ouch.

I didn’t judge. I empathized. Because jeez louise, how HARD it must be to say the right thing to your child EVERY TIME they do something wrong or misguided or just make a silly mistake. How IMPOSSIBLE it must be to have endless patience and all the right things to say.

Maybe I misjudged. The dad could be a total douche and that is just one of the many douchy, negative things he says to his son every day. Maybe. But I’m giving him the benefit of the doubt. I mean, he was taking his son out for a bike ride on a beautiful day. Maybe he just screwed up.

Point is, I know for sure that I will be constantly fighting my mouth to not say demeaning, unsupportive things like that. Fingers crossed, I will do OK. And my kid won’t need too much therapy to deal with his wacky childhood.

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