This could be a record-breaking length for a blog, to be sure…there are probably thousands of things I regret saying, but for the purposes of brevity, I’ll limit myself to just a couple that fall in the categories of the really odd…or just plain stupid. But, on second thought, those particularly dumb remarks probably number in the hundreds. Maybe this will just be a “highlights” blog.
I will start with a couple of the things I am sorry to have said to my children.
I had my three kids in less than four years. The ex traveled quite a bit and there were times that I’d be so tired I would lose patience. Lots of times. They have all turned out far better than I could ever have hoped and I really give them the credit for getting where they are as good, caring, kind individuals, devoted to their spouses and families and always taking time to help a friend in need. Especially when I think of some of the things I’ve told them when I was having one of my “fits.”
I will skip the number of times through out the year, starting in early January, that I called Santa on the phone to give him a report on my children’s misbehavior or failure to follow orders. Or rang up the Easter Bunny or the Tooth Fairy. (Yes, sadly, I even called her.)
The following story ranks high in our family’s folklore for being among the utmost ridiculous utterances.
When my son and two daughters were around 7, 6 and 4 years old respectively, during a run of horrible winter weather which kept them confined indoors for extended periods, I would find an “over-the-top” mess in their playroom on a daily basis. The condition of it could have been categorized as a health hazard since virtually every toy they owned, especially those that came in hundreds of parts, was out and in pieces. I mean, the room was ankle-deep in Legos, Barbie paraphernalia (I grew to hate those teeny tiny shoes!), Lincoln Logs and puzzle parts. For some reason, my asking them nicely (several times!) to clean up on the first day hadn’t worked, so I said if they didn’t clean up, there would be no TV. They followed orders, but repeated the mess the next day. That day it was no dessert if it wasn’t put back together. That also worked. On the third day, it was worse than the other two days combined and so was I. For lack of any other viable punishment, I threatened them with not being able to go to their Senior Proms. My middle one burst into tears, turned to her big brother and said “We can’t go to our Senior Prom!” She sobbed, caught her breath and then wailed “What is a ‘Senior Prom?’”
I understand from their therapists that they will eventually recover from those episodes, but only time will tell.
Then there are the innumerable times I have just not “gotten” something and instead of keeping my mouth shut, have offered my sometimes skewed opinion. Sadly, this has not changed with time.
The most recent episode was actually last Sunday when MOTNSO (“More Often Than Not Significant Other”) and I were reading the Sunday paper. I saw a little article in the events column that said that an Orange County town was offering a “Paws to Read” program every fourth Wednesday of the month. Children would be able to read to a Basset Hound Therapy Dog. I looked up and said to MOTNSO “Isn’t that the most ridiculous thing you ever heard? Why would this dog need someone to read to it? What is its problem?”
MOTNSO, who has more patience than Ghandi, quietly put his section of the paper down and looked at me. Sighing, he said “Dear, some small children are afraid to read in public. Reading to the dog who can’t criticize them or make fun of them makes it easier.” In the words of the inimitable Rosanna Rosannadanna, I looked back at him and said “Never mind.”
Probably the thing I regret most saying is “Oh…” which I say far too often when something is explained to me…only equalled by the number of times I utter “Duh!”
Help me here, People! Please share some of the things you’ve said that you regret. I can’t be the only one who has athlete’s foot of the mouth!