Come on, gather ’round. My apologies for not offering you this helpful information before today. Add it to the list of things I did not realize I needed to specifically coach you through and teach you. (This list includes classic parenting omissions such as “Don’t shut your little brother’s head in the door,” and “if you eat all of the marshmallows from the Lucky Charms, mommy will not buy Lucky Charms anymore, because mommy knows that she should not buy them in the first place but they are really good and we eat a lot of vegetables and we all know that justification is inherently weak.”)
If you need to tell someone that your brother hit you on the head with a lacrosse stick, or that your brother kicked the game pieces you’d been playing with, or you are bored and no one will play with you, please utilize the following decision structure in deciding which parent should be notified:
Assumptions: one parent, to whom we will refer in a gender-neutral manner as parent A, is downstairs playing computer games and drinking too much diet Dr. Pepper; the other parent, again referred to gender neutrally as parent B, is in the shower.
Decision factors: First, determine if your critical parent-telling issues involve blood, exposed bone fragments or other ER-worthy injuries. And please be clear, I do not mean just a little blood, a scratch, or a perceived wound of injustice.
Second, are there flames?
If the answer to either question is yes, then by all means feel free to interrupt either parent with as much urgency and passion as you can muster.
If, however, the answer to both questions is no, then I would strongly recommend that you limit your interactions to parent A. Because parent B has only been in the shower for a few minutes, she will only be in the shower for a few more minutes, and all she wants for the loveofPeteistotakeadingdangSHOWER!!!!!!
I hope you find these suggestions helpful, because I love you and I wish you the best in life, and I would like you to survive to get to go to middle school.
I do love “the list of things I did not realize I needed to specifically teach you” – I got to add to my list this weekend: “when (not if) you pee in the backyard, try to chose a corner of the yard where you are less visible to the neighbors.”