A couple weeks ago I was summoned home due to an emergency. Beth was freaked out by a frog that gained entrance to our house via commode.
Being a thoughtful, sensitive parent, I went straight home, tracked down the frog, and laughed. Mind you, this was no mere chuckle. This kind of laughing involved tears. At first Beth didn’t share my feelings… not even a little bit. I could tell because she said, “that’s not funny dad!”
I’m quick that way.
One thing I’ve learned on my journey through parenthood though: your kids occasionally take their cue from you when they react to something. For example, if Adam tripped and fell and someone reacted… “OH ADAM, ARE YOU O.K.?” That would be his cue to cry. However, if I was in the room I’d chuckle and say, “whoa Adam, you took a big tumble there little guy!” He’d pop-up with a smile on his face and say, “that WAS a big tumble dad!” And off he’d go. It’s not perfect of course. It seems no amount of good cheer can overcome blood – not in this house anyway.
On the ten minute drive home I was hoping a similar strategy would work with Beth. I figured my work would be cut out for me since she was already freaked out – no thanks to my wife, who has a Biblical/Old Testament plague view of frogs. However, by the time I took a picture, did a quick catch and release, and posted the picture on the web, we were all able look at the frog on the screen and laugh. Adam still asks me to pull up the picture of the frog at least once a day.
But here’s the thing: I can’t go to the bathroom anymore without checking under the rim first for intruders.
Who do I have to make me feel better? Maybe I’d feel a little better if I knew you were sitting there laughing at me.