Once you are a parent, you hope that you will no longer be on the receiving end of lectures. And unless you have meddlesome in-laws, this is a reasonable hope.
Recently, I was reminded that I am not afforded this luxury, when I heard one of our day care providers say, "Oh good, you're here. You can see what Finn did on the porch on Friday." Here I was, hoping he had accomplished some feat of pre-school engineering through the use of wooden blocks, and M- was astonished at his dexterity and ingenuity.
Alas, vain hope, you are a flighty and tempestuous harlot of day dreams. My child is not going to be a brilliant engineer who figures out how build sustainable urban centers that are both attractive and imaginative.
"Finn, come here. I want you to show your Mommy what you did on Friday. [to me] Finn and B- were playing so nicely on the porch that Other M- decided to leave them unsupervised, and here is what they did. Either B- or D- or Finn are responsible for doing this." And he showed me a series of wooden-framed blocks that all had cracked plexi-glass panes and the sad remnants of colored sand rattling around inside their shattered hulls.
I may have stopped listening at the word "unsupervised."
I wanted to say, "Well, they are a 3-year-old, a 4-year-old, and a 5-year-old, all boys, and you left them alone with something breakable and many breakers. Too bad, you lose, take responsibility for your inaction and deal with it."
Sure, they should not have done it, and one of the boys should have known better, and someone should have told M- or Other M-, but perhaps a grown-up should have been there. I held my tongue, though, knowing that a larger discussion would ensue, and I would never win.
Instead, I plodded and fumed to my office, thinking that it's not even nine-o'clock in the morning, and I want a do-over. Last week sucked, and I don't need a repeat, one that makes me want to quit it all, throw my own tantrum, and shirk all responsibility in favor of beer and comfy pants.
I don't have any blocks to break.