This was painful. I’ve been telling my kids for a long time that “accidents don’t happen when you pay attention to what you’re doing”. I started this when they were toddlers and would knock cups off the table, resulting in a mess that I had to clean up. I still tell them this. When one of them falls off a chair because he wasn’t sitting in it right, I again remind them that “accidents don’t happen when you pay attention to what you’re doing”.
We threw out a couch yesterday. The kids broke it, and it was no good to us. We needed to replace it. We went to a consignment shop today and found a chair that would make a good temporary replacement. We went with a chair because it would fit in my minivan. To buy a couch, we’d have to drop the kids off, take the seats out, etc. Mostly, we just buy cheap stuff, or try to find something free on Craig’s List. Couches in our house don’t seem to last longer than 6 months or a year. We’ll stick to cheap stuff until the kids leave for college. Then we’ll have something nice until we have grandchildren, then we’ll just go back to cheap stuff again.
I carried the chair in from the car by myself. I wrestled it through the door by myself. I went to put it against the wall, but the kids and Christina (my wife) were blocking me for various reasons. As soon as there was an opening, I started pushing the chair across the floor. Unfortunately, it left a big scratch in the hardwood floor. Ugh. Christina was NOT happy about that.
We went to dinner with Christina’s parents later, and Caleb (our 4 year old) was babbling away like he usually does. Then he started in on the story of how “Daddy brought the chair in, and pushed it across the floor and scratched the floor, and it was an accident, but accidents don’t happen when you pay attention to what you’re doing.” Then he looked at me and repeated “Accidents don’t happen when you pay attention to what you’re doing.”
It was all I could do not to bounce my forehead off the table. Christina and her parents (and Caleb) were laughing at me.
At least I know Caleb listened to me. I guess, as a dad, there’s no better indicator that your children heard you than when they repeat your lessons back to you when YOU screwed up.