Guys, you know you’re in trouble when your wife locks you in a closet and says something similar to the following – “What kind of example are you setting for our boys?”
Yeah, that happened to me on Sunday which led to the following questions in my head as I tried to figure out why I still have those shirts and slacks from the 80’s hanging in my closet:
- Does my wife have the ability to teleport into the past? Does that explain how she’s always a step ahead?
- Does my wife have mental telepathy? If so, I’ve been screwed from day one!
- Are my kids special agents working for my wife?
- Why did I have so many kids? Now they’re all like her special agents!
- Is my wife a demigod? If so, refer to #2!
When my boys were little they could hardly criticize my parenting style because all they really knew were things like, “Dad, I’m hungry,” and “Dad I got poopy pants.” I could easily get away with doing absolutely nothing for hours as long as I had a kid over my shoulder drooling down my back while I ate Cheetos and watched Blues Clues, Sesame Street and Barney the Dinosaur or played a video game. Ah…those were the days.
“Are you hungry? Here, eat some more Cheeto’s.”
“You have poopy pants? Don’t worry, daddy does too.”
Years later and dozens of heart-to-heart’s about life, social etiquette and what is expected of them, my kids rat me out all the time. And I know when they do because their mom bypasses the torture phase and goes straight for the jugular when something is awry. Sometimes I walk into a room where they’ve been ‘in conference’ for several minutes and suddenly it goes deathly silent and the little ‘agents’ are avoiding eye contact with the soon-to-be prisoner.
I joke about it but in all honesty I need constant supervision. After all, I am what the scriptures refer to as a “Natural Man”. I have tendencies. I have bone-head moments. Even though I act like “I’m the man” let’s face it, where would “The Man” be if it weren’t for a good woman by his side (and several little infiltrators alongside her?)
My mom (bless her soul she would have been celebrating her 71st birthday today – I love you mom!) was the heart and the backbone of our family. My dad was generally the stomach – in need of constant nourishment and exercise. They were a good team but it was often my mom that we deferred to for advice, comfort, a good meal and love. And, she often kept my dad in check. Dad is a great guy but he readily accepted the fact that life would have been chaotic without my mom.
I get annoyed when my kids rat on me but the irritation is really with myself for doing or saying something that is contrary to the things that we teach them in our home. And wives have a pretty good grasp (and memory) of what it is that we and our children should be doing.
So every time I do things like say….shout obscenities at passing motorists; or pull someones hair in line for Tower of Terror; or have a cup of kava (these are all hypothetical by the way – smiles), you need a gentle reminder that you’re being stupid and you need to check the attitude before your chin get’s checked.
My friend Afi (name is not protected because he is not innocent) reminded me of something that I’ve always believed about women. He said, “Men are prone to mistakes so they need constant reminders from the women in our lives because they are much closer to the Spirit [of God]”. Afi has a very valid point there, particularly in my case because I tend to forget the things I should be doing. And I should be actively aware of what I’m doing. Not just because my sons are watching, but because I know better and I should have a desire to be better. Additionally, my wife and kids shouldn’t always have to remind me that I’m screwing up. After all, I’m being measured by my own yard stick.
So the next time I walk into a room and the wife and kids are all laughing at me or embarrassed to look at me, rather than taking offense or glancing down to make sure that my zipper is up, I should ask the question, “What kind of example am I setting for you?”
No, wives and moms don’t have super powers but sometimes I sure wonder.