The Problem with Parenting: Witnesses

My mild-mannered, long-suffering, tolerant husband told me last night that I’m a disappointment to parents everywhere.

OK, maybe Greg didn’t technically tell me, you know, with words, but he spoke volumes with his eyes. The red laser beams shooting from them were my first clue. When they burned “you and the boy are enmeshed to the point of being mutually parasitic” into the wall, I was on to him.

To be precise, I suppose Greg’s exact words were, “Seriously? Wrap yourself around his little finger much?” But he totally meant the rest, which is exactly why precision is a such a poor story-telling tool. You guys, there was sighing involved.

And all because he caught found me in the laundry room, huddled over a pair of clean boy undies, rubbing them vigorously between my hands to warm them with friction before my preschool child (who – hello! – understandably didn’t want to put cold undies on his boy bits) donned them.

The child might have returned the undies to me once or thrice because I hadn’t yet warmed them to his satisfaction.

You say pathetic. I say practical.

Potayto. Potahto.

It’s such a fine line.

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ABOUT BETH WOOLSEY I'm a writer. And a mess. And mouthy, brave, and strong. I believe we all belong to each other. I believe in the long way 'round. And I believe, always, in grace in the grime and wonder in the wild of a life lived off course from what was, once, a perfectly good plan.
8 comments
  1. Well, don’t tell the Parenting Police, but I believe I would rather enjoy the look of sheer “delight” on the face of a little boy donning icy undies.
    Hey, it’s not like it would hurt, or anything.
    I kid, I kid.
    Or do I?

  2. Parenting definitely runs a lot more smoothly when nobody is home to witness it…including the children.

    I do confess that I warm up wipes for the smallest bottom when their stink still doesn’t stink, but once they’re older and smelly, I don’t want them to be too comfortable…you know…in stink-mode. But the undie-warmin’ mama is an entirely new concept to me. I’m not letting my son read this. It might actually encourage him to change his undies more often than weekly, and that would generate way too much laundry.

  3. Silly, you were in the laundry room. Toss everyone’s undies in the dryer for 5 minutes. Toasty warm for the bottom bits. 🙂 After the feel of nice warm undies, Greg would totally get it.

    1. Devvi, I’ll write a post soon on all of the ways my house is trying to kill me. The dryer’s in on the madness. Although the dryer works (for now), it’ll be a convenient excuse. And I’m NEVER one to pass up a convenient excuse. 😉

      B

  4. Wow… what lengths you go to in order to spare his ‘bits’! What happened to you? I have never even entertained the thought of “pre-warming” undies for anyone… ‘Course, I live in Louisiana…. But my two older boys went through their whole pre-teen lives in colder climes without me even thinking of taking that step. I figure the less I handle male undies the better! (Cooties, you know)…

    1. Terri, it’s EVEN WORSE.

      This is the SAME CHILD who already proved that his bits are impervious to the cold. Remember this?

      “It’s December, and my son’s desire to kill my grass with hot urine has not waned. We’re smack dab in the middle of an unusual cold spell in northwest Oregon which, despite my assumption to the contrary, has absolutely no bearing on the fact that my preschool boys insist on using our backyard as a litter box.” Band-aid? What Band-aid?

      Just in case I hadn’t already solidified exactly how pathetic I am, I wanted to be sure to drive a nail in my coffin.

      1. lol! You’re right… pathetic logic failure there! But, you have already mathematically proven that parents are crazy…. so, no one should be surprised…

        (I have gotten to the point that even though I still fold laundry, I DO NOT turn underwear right side out for anyone over the age of ten… I figure if they can’t figure that out on their own, well… I don’t really want to know.)

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