Remember the story about Goldilocks, who theoretically trespassed on the private property of those three bears, unmaking all their beds and eating all their porridge? And remember how that Mama Bear came home and knew instinctively that there had been some unauthorized crap going on in her house while she was gone?
The longer I’m a mother, the less plausible it seems. Do we really think some Random-Little-Blonde-Girl wreaked all that havoc on her own? Isn’t it more likely that those idiot bears left their Teenaged-Son-Bear home unsupervised?
I’m betting that, just like me, Mrs. Bear arrived home after a lovely weekend and bearly had time to set down her purse and overnight bag before she noticed the tell-tale signs that something was amiss.
A more believable story: Once upon a time there was family. A Mom, A Dad and three little Girls.
Were these girls DRAMA? Of course they were! Did they cry over spilt milk? Every stinkin’ day! But they were clean little darlings, who always prissed about wearing coordinated outfits and following rules. But, they didn’t like football and they didn’t watch Zombie shows on Netflix and they couldn’t carry on the family name, so the father told the mother, “We are missing some people–our family is incomplete.” And so, they added some boys.
At first, the boys were no problem at all. And then they learned to walk, talk. But, their sisters were bossy little tattle-tales by nature, and, as such, helped the mother keep the bros in line throughout the early years. All went smoothly, until the girls grew up and moved out of the house and the parents found that, if they wanted to go absolutely anywhere together, there would be no one home to supervise the boys… also known as “holding the fort down”.
And that is when the Goldilocks story started to unravel for me.
We took a risk, this past weekend, when we decided to go to visit our freshman daughter at The University of Arkansas for “Dad’s Day.”
Obviously, it’s no problem to prevail upon a friend or two to keep our pre-teen. And, actually, it’s not really a problem to have our teenager bunk over at a friend’s house either. The problem arises, when ANY high school boy finds out that ANYONE ELSE’S parents are out of town–they immediately think, “Let The Good Times Roll!!”
We farmed the youngest out and made arrangements for our older son, but in my gut I knew this was not sufficient damage control. We’d no sooner crossed the Arkansas-Oklahoma state line when I received a text from the mother of a high-school girl, asking if I was home, as her daughter and several friends were looking forward to a lovely evening at my house.
Needless to say, those young ladies never made it over here this weekend.
Friday night passed without incident, as we proactively asked a neighbor to patrol the premises. A quick “drive by” was all that was required. The following night was a different story, however. Like an errant stone rolling down a hill, by Saturday night, this one had gathered some moss. Word had spread, through the Teenager-Underground-Railroad, that the Blanchard Parents were out of town!! By the time our friend made his rounds, The Good Times were definitely rolling. As we heard it, our friend walked right in and without so much as a “last call” had the place cleared out in no time.
Thus the only issues I actually had to deal with when we got home were some minor messes. The first thing I noticed as I walked in the door was a knocked-over plant .
Me: “Why is my plant knocked over?”
Boy: “I think that was already like that before you left.”
Me: “That’s right son, I went out of town and disregarded a plant the size of a small tree, tipped over on its side, because that’s how I roll. I’m literally that CHILL.”
He then changes the subject by complimenting me on my RENT-A-DAD program and adds, “Hey–thanks for trusting me by the way! ”
If I were a Farmer, I’d know Farmer-type stuff. I’d seek out the experiences, wisdom and advice of other farmers on when to plant and when to harvest. Were I a Hairstylist, I’d know all the new products with which to color your hair. I’d spend my spare time hanging out with other hairstylists discussing the latest trends.
I’m in the Mom-business, Son, and when I spend time with other mothers, we talk shop, and its widely agreed upon by me and my Colleagues that, as a general rule, we don’t trust anyone whose age ends in the word ‘teen.’
I think I’ve seen everything that there is to see downstairs, and I’m about to head upstairs…. I’m going to give you a five-minute head start. I strongly suggest you get up there and make sure there isn’t any porridge mess.
Or God Forbid, a Random-Little-Blonde-Girl.
Leslie Blanchard is a mother of five married to her high school sweetheart of 30 years. She writes the blog A Ginger Snapped–Facing the Music of Marriage and Motherhood. Her essay titles are often song lyrics because when she and her husband are puzzling through a child rearing or marital issue, they sing the song it reminds them of.
Photo: Louis Beche