My family and I are moving.
This means visiting houses.
In our case, this frequently means visiting houses with 5 small boys in tow — our 6 year old, 5 year old, 4 year old, 2 year old and 6 month old sons. (Yes, I know what causes this.) Recently we were at a house and, like they always are, my three oldest boys were more than a little excited. I don’t begrudge them this. They’re young boys and going to a new place, particularly the kind of rural places we’re looking at with barns and stables must be like all-American-boy-catnip to them. I let them explore a little with the expectation they are to come to me immediately when I call and obey immediately.
At one home the boys were a little more excited than I wanted them to be and doing more exploring than I wanted.
I told them to come to me. Not sternly. Lovingly and confidently.
The realtor then looked at the boys and said, “Oh, kids, it’s all right. Just make sure you don’t touch anything.”
If you think it was OK for the realtor to say that, please keep reading.
#1. She doesn’t have knowledge about my kids. I do. She doesn’t know their weaknesses, predilections, abilities and the things that make them go cuckoo for CoCo Puffs. I do. What may have looked like a harmless room to her looked like a minefield to me. She spoke from ignorance.
#2. She doesn’t have responsibility. If my kids break something, who pays for it? I do.
#3. She doesn’t have authority. I wanted my boys to be by my side. She essentially said, “It’s OK to disobey Dad.” Who has a problem with that? You guessed it, loyal OSR reader. I do.
What should she have done?
Discretely address the Smokin’ Hot Wife or me. We are the ones with that knowledge, responsibility and authority stuff. A quickly whispered, “It’s OK with me if they go back there” would have been the thing to do. Frankly, my wife and I were annoyed that she, albeit unintentionally, was undermining our parenting.
Is this lady a “bad person” for doing this? No. I can understand someone being overwhelmed by the roguish cuteness of my sons. It’s only years of exposure that have enabled me to build up at least a partial immunity to their charm.
Her heart was in the right place.
Her judgment wasn’t.
Keep It Old School, My Friend
The Old Man