Recently, I made a parenting mistake. I went to the bathroom alone. For like one minute. Just a routine visit—enough time to do my business and wash my hands.
Am I the only one who has made this mistake? Has anyone else, in a moment of vulnerability, used the restroom while her kids were awake?
No Big Deal, Right?
In retrospect, I recognize my error: I wasn’t skeptical when no one followed me into the bathroom to “help” me.
When I came out of the bathroom, the shiny computer that I had been working on at the table was no longer on the table. Instead, it was closed and over on the sofa. Odd, but I didn’t think much of it at the time.
I made a quick comment about how my kids shouldn’t move things that weren’t theirs. Then, I moved on with my day.
Fast forward a day or two. When I went to power up my prized possession—that beautiful rectangle that holds all my favorite memories and digital things—nothing happened. I repeat, nothing happened. Not even the little dead battery sign that shows up when I’ve been too lazy to go plug it in.
Just a black screen, and panic in my heart.
Attempting to revive it, I began messing with how the charger cord was sitting in it. I even consulted my IT guy, my husband who happened to be traveling that week.
Between the dread and the trying to figure things out, it dawned on me what had happened a few days ago when my precious little children moved my computer.
Turns out that my computer had “liquid damage” according to the bad-news-bears at our local Apple Store. In other words, I had kids and kids have accidents and now my computer is r-u-i-n-e-d. Plain and simple. I don’t know how it happened. I don’t know who did it and I never will.
Accidents Happen, Right?
This isn’t the first time that I went to the bathroom and returned to chaos unfolding.
One time, the cream colored bench at our kitchen island received a makeover: Blue crayon all over the fabric. And another time, my son opened and spilled an entire bottle of bubbles all over the hardwood floor. He was sliding around in it, and looked like Bambi, trying to walk for the first time. Okay, that one was funny. I may have recorded it before I pulled him out of there and cleaned it all up.
My point is that kids and accidents go hand-in-hand, am I right?
If it hasn’t happened to you yet—if your innocent child has not ruined something that you love or something expensive—I hate to tell you, but the time is coming. It will inevitably happen. Whether they are two and fry your computer or 16 and wreck your car, it will happen.
And while the phrase “things can be replaced” is true, it sure doesn’t help when you’re standing in front of your expensive computer that might as well be a paper weight.
So what do we do as parents?
Just never buy anything worth something? Bubble wrap our possessions? Tell our kids not to touch anything?
No. That’s insane.
Instead we realize that they are kids. We invest in good cleaners and things like insurance.
They don’t know that these things are valuable, and let’s face it… most of the time, they don’t walk into a room looking for things to destroy just to spite their parents. Even though sometimes it really feels like it.
We lick our proverbial wounds and figure it out. I mean this is what we signed up for when kids joined our lives. We signed up for the inevitable. We signed up for a life of face-palms and “how-in-the-world-did-this-happen?”