Parenting is hard.
On top of keeping the little monsters alive you are forced to do “hard things” like teach them about the scary and uncomfortable things in life. And let me tell you, a 4 year-old is an entirely different kind of beast. I’m often left speechless by the line of questioning that my son throws at me on a daily basis. I have learned to be quick on my feet and lie like a mother f*cker when I don’t know the answer. Please refer to Sweet Little Lies to grasp the extent of my lying.
Just today my son found my falsies or what I like to call my “chicken cutlets” and was running around with them on his head. Technically, it’s called a “strapless backless adhesive silicone bra.” Feel free to google if you need a mental image.
Yes, sometimes I give my taa taa’s a boost. I have even been known to wear my falsies under another padded bra for extra oomph. Full disclosure here. I was blessed with a lot of bass but God skipped me in the treble department. I’m not afraid to admit it; I’m 36 and stuff my bra, on occasion. He asked what they were and I said, “They’re an eye mask that I sleep with sometimes so I wake up beautiful (ok, this was a stretch).” He smiled and said, “Great, I’m going to sleep with them every night so I wake up beautiful.” Awesome. My husband was so proud. I’m just praying that he doesn’t sneak them in his backpack for show and tell like he did with my cork-screw.
While most of his questions are funny and light hearted, sometimes they are serious and hard as hell to answer. Thursday morning on the way to school he asked one of his “hard” questions and I was left scrambling.
“What if I get lost today and someone tries to take me Mommy?”
I immediately stopped scrolling through my phone at the stoplight and started to process what he was asking and how the hell I was going to respond.
Why didn’t I read a damn book or attend some sort of seminar on how to teach your kids about stranger danger. Surely there’s a YouTube video or Pinterest activity that involves some sort of re-enactment.
I’ve really got to step up my game.
How did I fail so miserably at parenting by not addressing such an important subject matter that could in fact, save his life?
I was starting to feel like even more of an underachieving mom than I usually do.
I started to dig deep as to why I hadn’t broached the subject of Stranger Danger.
It dawned on me that I think I hadn’t spoken to him about it because I was in denial. The sheer terror that I feel when I think of anyone trying to take my child shakes me to my core. I watch the news. I see these horrible stories of parents ripped to shreds because they will probably never see their children again.
I just cant.
But here he was, asking me what to do if he gets lost and I was forced to face the subject and parent, before coffee, on the 2-mile drive to vacation bible school.
I know that every parent thinks their kid is the smartest kid in the room but I swear mine is a certified genius.
Or a serial killer. I can’t decide.
The scenarios that he was building up in his head were beyond what I thought he was capable of. It was almost frightening. 4-year olds can be so creepy sometimes.
Him: What if someone pulls me over the fence at school?
Me: You kick them and scream HELP!
Him: What if I can’t speak because my throat hurts and I can’t kick because I hurt my knee?
Well F, he had me stumped there.
Me: You still scream HELP. Poke them in the eyes. Scratch them. Do what you have to do to get away.
I maybe shouldn’t have been so violent with my description but he had me convinced that he was, in fact, going to get kidnapped today. My anxiety was sky high.
Him: But Mommy, I don’t like to poke people in the eyes, that’s bad. Then they can’t see.
Precisely my point.
Me: Yes its bad but this person is trying to take you from your family you have to fight.
Him: What if someone tries to take me and says that they are your friend and you sent them?
How does he even know this is possible? He’s 4.
4 year olds can be so dark.
At this point I’m starting to think that he has been taught some sort of lesson on stranger danger at school. As much as I like to think my child is a genius, there is no way this stuff is coming from his little brain.
Me: If you have never met them, they are not my friends. Do not go with them. I will never send a stranger to get you. End of story.
Him: Ok. But if I see a policeman they can help right?
FINALLY, some logic.
ME: Yes, they can help, go to them.
We pull up to the school and my son jumps out and waves goodbye like it’s a regular day. I was in complete shock from our convo and decide to yell from the car in the carpool line in front of about 10 teachers and 20 students.
“REMEMBER TO POKE THEM IN THEIR EYES. “
And another proud parenting moment…Follow