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Stacks Of Parenting

, , , , , | Right | October 8, 2021

A mother with a four-ish-year-old boy is at the register and wants to check out. While I start to scan the items, the boy starts wandering around.

Customer: “Hey, [Boy], I told you to stay at my side.”

The boy does not listen and finds a stack of shopping baskets.

Customer: “[Boy], come back here! Now!”  

Still, the kid does not listen and starts to climb the baskets. Not surprisingly, the stack tumbles and comes crashing down, burying the boy beneath it. I jump up to look after the kid.

Customer: “No, please don’t.”

I stop and wait to see what the customer is doing.

Customer: *To the boy* “[Boy], did you hurt yourself?”

Boy: “Yes, it hurts.”

Customer: “Does anything hurt badly?”

Boy: “No.”

Customer: “So, pick yourself up and start to stack those baskets again!”

Me: “Oh, there’s no need. I can clean that up once we’re finished. There is no one else in line at the moment.”

Customer: “Thank you, but he has to learn to clean up his own mess and stick up for his mistakes, or else he’ll become spoiled and weak.”

While the boy reluctantly started stacking the baskets, she finished the transaction. Afterward, the customer went to her son, examined him to make sure he really didn’t hurt himself, and helped him to stack the remaining baskets. He was laughing again as they left the store.

Both Involve Opening The Hatch And Tossing In Some Liquid

, , , , | Related | October 7, 2021

When I am away at college, smartphones are just becoming a thing, but I don’t have one to look things up spur-of-the-moment. One afternoon, right after I turned twenty-one, I decide I want to try making my dad’s family-famous margarita recipe, so I text him.

Me: “Hey, Dad, can you send me your margarita recipe?”

I quickly move on to chores while I wait for his response. I have never before had occasion to open my new car’s hood myself, but I need to refill the wiper fluid. I spend a few minutes trying and failing to open the car’s hood — failing to know or look up that there is a latch — so I text my dad again shortly after my first text.

Me: “Do you know how the hood of my car opens?”

I get a reply pretty quickly.

Dad: “The length of time between those texts concerns me.”

It was just his dry humor; he knows I don’t drink and drive. He did send me the recipe, and ten years later, I at least know how to do simple things like open a car hood.

Needs To Be Treated For Their Screaming Disease

, , , , , | Right | October 7, 2021

I am working at the front desk of a hospital during flu season, so kids are not allowed. A mother and two kids walk in. After I explain the policies, the mother is visibly angry and tries to explain that the kids want to visit the patient.

She begins screaming in the kids’ faces and turns to me. She tries to claim that I made her children cry despite them not caring about visiting and the fact that she literally screamed and tried to make them cry on purpose.

Mother: “Look at this! You made my children cry. They want to see their [family member]!”

Me: “I just saw you scream in their face; that doesn’t make any sense.”

She turns to the kids and speaks in a tone that implies I somehow ruined their evening.

Mother: “C’mon, kids, let’s go.”

Part One Of The Dad Starter Pack

, , , , , , | Related | October 5, 2021

My dad had to throw away his favorite pair of sneakers after they were ruined and asked me to order him a new pair as it was during the health crisis and stores were closed. The problem was that he didn’t know the brand name; he would always just get the same pair and would look for them in the store. However, my dad had the stereotypical “dad shoes,” so on a hunch, I Googled “dad shoes” to see if it was the correct pair.

Me: “Dad, is this the pair that you want?”

Dad: “That’s it exactly! How did you find them so quickly?!”

I scrolled up so he could see my search bar.

Dad: “Well, at least it’s nice to know I’m part of the official club.”

Oh, Sheet! The Secret’s Out!

, , , , , , | Related | October 4, 2021

Several years ago, when I was in elementary school — nine or ten years old — my parents surprised my brothers and me with a trip to Disneyland over the summer. The way they had it planned out, we knew we were going to be taking a road trip to California but didn’t know our end destination. We also had been told that we would be getting a budget to buy various souvenirs while we were on said vacation.

I was — and kind of still am — a bit of a Disney nut and I knew that California was where Disneyland was, so to me, that meant we’d see more Disney stores. The park never entered my mind; don’t ask me why. I had a set of sheets that had Jasmine and Rajah from “Aladdin” on them. I’d worn them to pieces and I’d been hoping to get more. So, one day, my mom and I were home and I went to my mom who was folding laundry in the laundry room.

Me: “Hey, Mom, what’s our budget going to be for the souvenirs while we’re in California?”

Mom: “Your dad and I haven’t decided on an exact amount yet, but we’ll let you know.”

Me: “Well, it’s just, do you think the budget would be enough for me to get another set of Jasmine sheets if I find some?”

Mom: “That might be a bit expensive. But we can also look into ordering a set for you, maybe. Plus, you don’t need to go buying sheets at Disneyland.”

I didn’t pick up on the slip immediately and walked out. Then it clicked and I ran back into the room.

Me: “Wait, did you say Disneyland?”

Mom: *Pauses* “Maybe?”

Me: “Really?”

Mom: “Yes.”

Me: “Seriously? Yay!”

I ran in and gave her a hug.

Mom: “Okay, so I spilled the secret, but I need you to keep it from your brothers until we get there. Do you think you can keep the secret?”

Me: “Yeah! Yay!”

I ran off, very excited. I did manage to keep it a secret from my brothers, although I remember getting more and more excited the further into California we got. We had a lot of fun at the park and while I did get souvenirs, I didn’t get a sheet set.