Saturday, February 11, 2012

Parenting Advice from "Gunny" Highway

"Improvise, adapt, overcome" ~ Clint Eastwood as Marine Sgt. "Gunny" Highway in Heartbreak Ridge

As a parent, you learn to roll with the punches. To adapt.  It's a simple fact that you have to, or otherwise the pressure could break you into a million tiny pieces like the dried and brittle twig that you are. Then, waking to your surroundings, you would find your chin wet with drool and your attempts to speak resulting only in nonsensical mutterings as you stare at the unusually cushy walls to all sides of you.

And all because that last 'thin little wafer' that came in the form of yet another cup of milk flying off the table, was once again at odds with your EXPECTATIONS of how the meal would play itself out? Okay, maybe that's a wee bit over dramatic, but sadly, but I bet there are parents out there toeing that edge.

So yeah,  It's good to adapt.  To laugh it off.  To take stock of an unexpected situation and "Improvise" as needed. For your sanity.

The need to think quick was what I was faced with a few months ago.  We were at a restaurant.  Had just ordered our food when Lukas raced off to the restroom.   I followed, like the concerned parent that I am, wanting to make sure all was okay.  Unfortunately, it was not.  He's was usually very good, but he was still a little guy.  Plus, I don't think he was feeling very well. 

The problem was exacerbated because I wasn't carrying any spare clothes for him.  Worse yet, friends had just arrived unexpectedly and were chatting with Mrs. LIAYF at the table. So, she wasn't about to come to our rescue.   What to do?

"Improvise!" I muttered to myself, channeling Gunny Highway, as I tossed the affected garment in the trash. Then, to be sure, I carefully washed the mostly clean over-garment before ringing it out and drying it under the hand dryer for several moments.  It seemed like I was in there for hours, but maybe it was only 10 minutes.  I then helped him dress, had him wash his hands, and told him it was time to go back to our table.

"But dad...." he complained, before I told him it was okay.  That there was a name for it.  In retrospect I probably shouldn't have placed a label on our wardrobe necessity. That's because, as he exited the washroom and saw Mrs. LIAYF and our friends across the room at the table he proclaimed, in his 4-year-old outside yelling voice.....


I just looked around at all the other patrons and laughed a bit nervously, hoping that people would still find that cute coming from a little guy.  After all, like I said, sometimes you just have to roll with the punches when you're a parent.

He probably wouldn't show it on his hardened face, but had he witnessed me in action, I'm sure "Gunny" would have been proud.


danielpelfrey said...

If your friends can't chuckle at the 4 year old "going commando" then you need different friends.

James (SeattleDad) said...

@Daniel - The friends thought it was hilarious. It was all the other strangers in the place I was wondering about. said...

I think it would have been great if when he announced he was going commando, you yelled out "ME TOO!"

Jack said...

Gunny would be proud( Heartbreak Ridge is one of my favorite movies) of your actions.

Sometimes all you can do is just roll with it.

Bruce Sallan said...

So nice that you'll have a record of these moments...otherwise, trust me, you'll forget! This one is worth remembering!

Mrs. M said...

That was great - kids have no filter and I love it (mostly!). :)

Diplo_Daddy said...

That’s hilarious! As a former Marine, I'm proud of your boy!

I seriously doubt he’ll do it again, however. So yeah, just roll with it and laugh it off.