Parents want nothing more than to be proud and encouraging of their beloved little children, but it can be tough to hand out words of wisdom when your kid gets their head stuck in the banister—for the third time. In these moments, parents can do nothing more than just sit back and say to themselves, “I raised an idiot".
To be fair, a lot of dumb decisions at a young age can be chalked up to kids trying to navigate this world and as they get older some incidents are just brain farts. But then there are moments that occur that are harder to defend and make the parent question whether they failed as a parent or their kid was just born without a brain.
From toddlers to teenagers, the kids in these stories not only had their parents thinking they raised an idiot but will also now have those blunders live on in infamy because their parents decided to share those moments with the world.
1. What Time Is It?
I was the dumb kid in this case. One time I woke up late for school because my alarm didn't go off. I am incredibly blind without my contacts and just glanced at the clock and was very late. In a furious panic to try somehow make it to the bus I put my contacts in, dunked my hair in water and grabbed my backpack and jacket as I sprinted to the bus stop.
It was the time of year where it's dark outside well into the morning, so it was still pitch black. No one was at the bus stop, so I figured I missed. I still waited for quite some time in case it showed up. When I realized I was so late it wasn't coming I walked back to my house, knowing I would have to wake my mom up to take me to school.
Fortunately, when I walked through the front door, she was already up waiting for me! She greeted me with, "WHERE THE HECK HAVE YOU BEEN?!?!" I responded that I was sorry, but late for the bus and needed her to take me to school. She glared at me and told me it was something like four in the morning.
I had somehow misread my alarm clock in my state of panic and tried to explain that I really did think I was late and was really at the bus stop. She just assumed I had snuck out with friends the night before and was just coming home, something I had been doing off and on for a while at that time. So, I was grounded for sneaking out, when in reality I just woke up too early to go to school.
2. Look in the Trunk
My dad had one of these moments courtesy of me. I made him drive around with me because my car had been making a “thunk” noise every time I made a turn. After 15 minutes, he announced it was the baseball bat in my trunk rolling around.
3. One at a Time
Our oldest wanted cash to go to a movie with his friends. We told him he could return the three bags of cans in the garage. He goes out to the garage, gets in his car and drives off. He comes back 15 minutes later, goes in the garage, then drives off again. 15 minutes he's back and we ask why he came back earlier.
He says, “I only grabbed one bag of cans because I thought that would be enough for a ticket. But it wasn't, so I came home and grabbed another bag. But that wasn't enough so I'm just not going to go to the movies". I said, “What about the last bag of cans?” He said, “What, and look like an idiot, going to the can place three times?”
4. Crossed Over to the Dark Side
When the Peter Pan Peanut Butter recall happened 10 to 12 years ago or so—due to salmonella—my then 15-year-old daughter came in from school and as she was walking past the living room—TV was on—she stopped and watched the news report about the salmonella outbreak. She got this “ah-ha” light bulb moment and said, “Oh, now I get it! It’s about peanut butter! All day at school I kept hearing Peter Pan was killing people around the country and I thought he had turned bad or something and was now a villain".
I just stared at her, waiting for her to say she was joking and didn’t really think Peter Pan was real, but no, she just went upstairs to her room like we just had a normal conversation about mundane, everyday events.
My wife and I try to keep a consistent bedtime for our boys. We have a process that follows these steps—dinner, baths, play/wrestling, reading, and lights out. When the lights go out, you can get out of bed to use the potty, get a drink, or anything else that is bodily function related. You cannot get out of bed to play.
Bedtime is bedtime—meaning mom and dad time without kid’s time. So I hear noises coming from the boys' room. Vroom-vrooms and beep-beeps. I open the door, and my 2-year-old-at-that-time boy is out of his bed and has all the little cars—Matchbox & Hot Wheels—on his brother's bed. 2-year-old is driving them on the bed, all around and on his sleeping older brother.
I said, “You know you're not supposed to be out of bed? What do you think you're doing?” He looks at me and smoothly answers, “Uh, older brother is playing with cars". He was trying to get out of being in trouble for being out of bed by blaming his older brother, but older brother was in the land of dreams, snoozing while little brother drove cars on him.
6. He’s—Kind of—Got a Point
When my son was 11 years old, he confidently informed me he was pretty sure he knew everything there was to know, because he tried to think of something that he didn't know, and couldn't think of anything.
7. Feeding the Meter
I was making dinner one night when I hear a loud pop from my 10-year-old’s room, and the power goes out. This kid was shoving dimes into an electrical outlet. Didn't get hurt, but the force from the electricity was enough to blow half of the last dime apart. When asked why he was doing this, he could provide no explanation.
8. One in the Same
My oldest son—maybe 7 years old at the time—dropped a small rock in his ear. It was stuck and so deep that the ER doctor had to put him to sleep to get it out. It really turned into a "thing" real fast. Fast forward a month or so and we're right back in the ER with the younger boy—4 or 5 at the time—with a rock in his ear.
He was making fun of his older brother for being stupid enough to get the rock in his ear. He was showing our neighbors' kids how it happened and ended up doing it himself. And to top it off, the same ER doctor. He says, “I can see this behavior may be hereditary". Good times. Kids!
9. They Won’t Suspect a Thing
My kid jumped through a glass coffee table in the living room while trying to jump over said table from the couch. This was as dinner was being served in the other room. So, my kid walks in, blood pouring out his legs—nothing major—and sits down. I ask him what the noise was. “The cushion jumped through the table". He then proceeded to eat his dinner as if nothing happened. I’m raising a psychopath.
10. Listen Carefully
My mother called me in tears from laughing and told me that my sister—five years younger than me, probably 16 at this time—had just asked her, “I know this might be a silly question, but what's 'brah-tood'?” My mom is like, “What?” My sister thought that the “brought to you by” message when watching TV was "brah-tood," one word, and she had wondered about it for her whole life pretty much.
11. Last Place You Look
My 14-year-old son went into a dressing room to try on five pairs of pants. After waiting 15 minutes and yelling twice into the men’s dressing room to see if he was ok, he admitted he couldn’t find the shorts he had worn in. He gave me three pairs of pants and still couldn’t find them. I finally had to go into the stall to look.
They were balled up in the leg of one of the pair of pants. It was extremely noticeable. He swore he took his shorts off before trying on any of the pants so he didn’t think to look in them. I was speechless. He’s in the gifted and talented program in our school district.
12. Maybe Try an Air Freshener Next Time
My 13-year-old son was sniffing really hard and moving his head all around the area he was standing in. Slightly concerned he had lost his mind, I asked him what he was doing. He told me, “I farted. I'm trying to smell it all up, so you don’t have to smell it". He's a thoughtful idiot.
13. Need to Be More Specific
Definitely not an idiot, but I love this story about my kid. I used to pay the guy who took care of the yard for me by writing a cheque, putting it in a plastic baggie, and sticking it under the doormat. One weekend I was on the phone while writing the check, so I asked my son to put the check in the baggie under the mat for me.
I went on with the conversation and forgot about it. A few days later, the guy who takes care of the lawn calls me up and says he looked everywhere but couldn’t find the check. While we were talking, I opened the door and lifted up the mat—no check. He says, you are really great customers, so I was surprised that the check wasn’t there.
I was surprised too! I look around, behind bushes, under a decoration, no check. THEN, I try to think like my son. I look under the mat INSIDE the front door, and there’s the check! We still laugh about it.
14. More Than One Way to Clean a Dish
I told my then 13-year-old stepdaughter to do the dishes while her mother and I went grocery shopping. We came back 40 minutes later to find her spraying the glasses with Windex and wiping them off with paper towels. We asked her, “What the heck are you doing?” As she puts a freshly Windexed glass into the cabinet she says, “The dishes like you said". She is now 23, and has gotten slightly smarter.
15. Some People Need Horse Blinders
We needed to leave so I sent him to put on socks. I waited more than enough time, so I go find him. He's in his room, wearing only underwear, and playing with LEGOs. He can't remember what I sent him after. I think he was about eight at the time. I can definitely imagine him repeatedly getting distracted by toys, then guessing what he was supposed to do.
“Oh yeah, change shirt. Take that off, oh hey LEGOs". It's not anything that I'd have medicated, and he has improved. He still couldn't find his butt with a bell on it, but I suppose he'll grow out of that too.
16. In the Bird Family
At age 15, at the market, she was asked to get a large chicken, and she came back with a turkey. When I asked her to return the turkey and get a large chicken, she revealed that she thought that turkeys were literally adult chickens, and that chickens were young turkeys. As parents, we try to teach our kids everything they need to know. But it's hard to see the gaps sometimes.
17. Like Father, Like Son
I don’t think he’s an idiot but I think he lacks common sense because he’ll take a bite of food and it will be scalding hot. He’ll cry and act like he’s dying, but won’t spit it out. He’ll say, “Mommy it’s hot!!” And I’ll say, “Well I told you to wait for it to cool down,” or “Then blow on it” or something to that effect. He will say no, and then continue taking scalding hot bites and crying that it’s too hot. In his defense, his father’s the same way.
18. Clearly Not a Cat Person
My son came to our house to visit—he didn't live with us—we weren't home but we were on our way home so he let himself in. We walk in and he's freaking out about breaking our newly adopted cat or something to that effect. I asked him what was she doing as she looked fine to me. He said she was "vibrating" when she sat on his lap. This is where he learned about cats purring. He hadn't been around a lot of cats, so I don’t know.
19. Millennial Problems
My 19-year-old son bought a cassette to aux converter for a car that had a cassette player but no aux jack. A few weeks go by and I notice he's not using it, so I ask and he says, “It was the wrong size". I responded, “I think those are all a standard size". He showed me that it doesn't fit. I took the cassette, rotated it 90 degrees and put it in the slot. This was five years back. He's a mechanical engineer now, designing medical devices.
20. Too Many Times to Count
We went to a wedding reception. Upon arrival, my son said to me, “Dad, I need to go to the toilet and sort my pants out". I said, “What do you mean son?” He replied, “I’ve put them on backward". He had, as well, buttoned and zipped at the back. For Halloween, he was at his mum's. Some trick-or-treaters knocked on the door.
His mum sends him, as she was busy doing his sister’s hair. When he comes back she asks him what he gave. He gave them two digestive biscuits each. Not any of the sweets in the bowl by the door. No, two biscuits instead. I’ve also heard him arguing with his sister in the kitchen. He shouts “I’m not English!” For the record, he was born and lives in England.
I ask him what is he then? He tells me he’s African. No son, you’re not, your granddad on your mum’s side is. Your mum is mixed race but she is still English as she was born here. You are sort of a one-quarter mixed race but still bloody English. He had stood in the rain and he turns round to his sister and asks if she’s noticed it’s raining. There’s more, I love my son he has a heart of gold but he is as dumb as a box of rocks. He definitely takes after his mum.
21. Just Doing What He Was Told
My 3-year-old is preparing for his bath. His underwear looks strange but I'm distracted by his brother. Kid takes off one pair of underwear, then a second pair, then a third. I ask why he is wearing three pairs of underwear. Kid looks at me like I'm an idiot, “Mom told me to put on a clean pair every day". That kid grew up to place the highest in math in our large Midwestern city. But even in his 20s you have to make sure you give clear instructions, as he will follow rules to the letter.
22. Accidently Made An Explosive
My daughter was a messy teenager who had to be told to clean her room. She had a habit of letting dishes pile up on her nightstand. We were on her constantly about not letting dishes—especially sports bottles of juice—sit around because they ferment. Well, one day the husband and I were in our bedroom and heard an explosion and our daughter scream.
We ran to her room to find one of her bottles of juice had finally given in to the pressure of the fermented juice and literally blew to pieces. The explosion was so powerful the top left a hole in her ceiling and there were tiny pieces of sports bottle shrapnel everywhere. She's my smart one!
23. Can’t Have One Without the Other
My son yelled at me from outside to come get his toy from the grass—he was standing in the driveway. When I asked why he couldn't get it himself he explained he was only wearing one shoe. When I asked why he was only wearing one shoe he replied that he could only find one sock.
24. Everything Is a Lie
When my oldest was 11, I was letting him stay up with my roommate and me. He's from my first marriage, I hadn't met my second wife yet, and I was still a messy bachelor with a kid. So, he's 11, right. Need to be clear about this. He's 11. We're watching Colbert Report and Stephen says something happening in Congress politics whatever is “as likely as writing legislation with Santa Claus, the Tooth Fairy, or the Easter Bunny".
I chuckle at the dumb joke, only half paying attention. My kid sits up and says, “Wait. Dad. What did he just say? What was—can you explain that?" I'm thinking maybe he's confused about the politics so I say these two powerful politicians aren't getting along. He says, “yeah, no, right, okay—so—what else did he say again?”
By this point, my roommate, who had been pretty much staring at his laptop, ignoring the TV and the two of us, starts watching us closely. So I say, “yeah, so that's as unlikely as meeting Santa Claus". “Yeah??” “Yeah, or the Tooth Fairy". “Yeah??” “Right, or The Easter Bunny". “WWWHHHAAAATT!!!!!????!!?!!??!?!???!!!”
My roommate lets out one small chuckle. I'm staring at him, a bit dumbfounded. Finally, I ask, “Buddy, did you still, um, think there was a, uh, a rabbit, who snuck into the house, and hid eggs?” My roommate starts snickering. I'm just staring with a bewildered look. Kiddo is slumping down, down, down into the couch, angry teardrops welling up in his eyes.
I don't know if he was embarrassed, mad at my roommate for laughing, or ticked off because he learned the Easter Bunny wasn't real in such a crappy way. He already informed me that he knew Santa Claus was “just the parents” about, oh I don’t know, four years earlier? So I thought we were cool. As I tucked him in that night, he explained, “I just figured he stopped coming because I'm too old".
25. If There’s No Seat Don’t Sit
First time taking my oldest son into a public men’s room because he had to go. I asked if he needed assistance. He stated he was a big boy and didn't need help. I see him walk to the child urinal, so I take the opportunity to use the men's urinal. I'm finishing up my business, and look toward him. I see sneakers pointing away from the wall and toward the middle of the room.
I quickly finished, flushed and rushed over. He was very proud that he did it all by himself. That was the day that I realized you must teach your boys that even though it looks like you can back into them, the urinal is only for pee.
26. Making Life Easier
Let me preface this by saying my son is actually brilliant—especially when it comes to computers and music—and I love him more than life itself. HOWEVER, when he was in ninth grade reading A Tale of Two Cities, he complained to me that he was having a problem with the book because whenever he would pick his book up to continue reading it, he had to figure out where he left off last time.
I was like, “If only we had the technology, a way to mark the last place we read in a book, it would be so much easier!” Then I found an index card for him to use as a bookmark. In all honesty, I really felt for the poor kid. He was never an enthusiastic reader to begin with. I've always been an avid reader, and even I struggled with Dickens, all the way through college.
27. French Fry Farmer
When my youngest son was 14 years old, we were on a train and he was looking outside when he said, “Mum, what are these plants?” I said, “They are potato plants". He said, “Fries are made from potatoes, right?” I replied, “Yes, of course. You know that, we made our own, can't you remember?” That’s when he said: “They should plant fries instead. No one likes potatoes!”
He looked at me with a face that said, “I invented space and time travel, bow in front of your genius son!” I just closed my eyes and hoped for the best. He is a site engineer now and does well in life because everything that isn't job-related is managed by his wife. She is a godsend and I try to be the best mother-in-law that exists because I want her to stay with him forever!!!
28. That’s Not How That Works
I have recently made my son start wearing deodorant. A few days ago, I reminded him he needed to put his on, so he came in the bathroom while I was putting my deodorant on. He asked me, “Why do you need deodorant?” I said because I’m a grownup and all grownups need it. He said, “But, you already have armpit hair, isn’t deodorant only for kids so armpit hair doesn’t grow?”
29. Stay in School
Our daughter called and asked us what we were doing. I said mom and me are sitting out on the back deck drinking vino and watching the full moon. She said, “I wonder if we have a full moon here, I’ll have to check". She was in her 20s and lived about a mile away.
30. Short Cut
When my kid brought the lawnmower through the house to cut the backyard. I was not home. Worst part is it wouldn’t fit through one of the doorways due to a doggy gate, so he tipped it over on its side and spilled gas all over the floor. The house smelled like a gas station.
31. Don’t Grow up to Be Like Your Father
My son is only a year old right now, and kids get a pass on being considered idiots until about age three or four. He actually appears—both to us and to professionals—to be very intelligent. He definitely has advanced problem-solving skills. He clearly didn't get it from me though, because I had quite a few of those moments as a kid.
The most famous one in our family is from when I was 10. I had read this book on life in medieval times, and how people used to shave by sanding their facial hair down with a pumice stone. So I tried to do it—with sandpaper. Now, again, I was 10 years old, and the only facial hair I had was a little bit of peach fuzz, and it's just not a good idea to sand any part of your body.
My face was red and flaky for about a week! I remember, I came upstairs from my dad's workshop, my face stinging, and told my parents, “I think I did something not smart".
32. Just Making Sure
My brother is a hard learner. Once when he was about 3 years old, my mom had the stove on and needed to walk away for a second. She tells him to stay with me and not touch the stove. He immediately open palm slaps the hot stove burner and proceeds to scream and cry bloody murder. Mom asks if he learned his lesson.
Smugly, he yells no and does it again, crying once more. Not even a week later, mom is ironing shirts. My brother is playing close to the ironing board and my mom warns him to stay away as he could get burnt. He takes this as a challenge and pulls the cord to the iron, knocking it over and directly onto his arm/hand. Gets burnt.
He never grew out of this. At 9 years old, he was messing with my mom’s keys. She had a pepper spray keychain. Mom tells him to put her keys away because he could hurt himself with the spray and explains what it is. She then goes upstairs to check on our other brother. This idiot immediately pepper sprays himself in the face and starts crying.
This would occur several more times. He’s a teenager now and STILL does this kind of stuff. It has been a weekly occurrence since he was born.
33. Introduction to Gravity
I was around 5 years old when my preschool best friend and I decided we wanted to parachute out of my tree house. Being surprisingly lacking in parachutes lying around the house, we decide on the next best, and most obvious, thing—a plastic shopping bag. Donning our new-found-sure-to-succeed parachutes, we climbed our tree, looped our arms through the shopping bag handles and JUMPED!
Oh, glorious aviation! We soared and floated down like petals in a soft breeze. Yeah no. We did not float. We fell full speed face first into the ground beneath. My mother couldn’t hide her shame when we went to have my broken arm put in a cast.
34. Forgot to Carry the One
He’s in chemistry and while doing homework he realized the chemicals he was doing reactive equations with could be found around the house. He decided to do his own experiment but didn’t work out the end of the reaction. We ended up with a fire in the bathtub. Instead of putting it out, he shared it on Snapchat.
35. Slow Meal Prep
My oldest had a 32 on his ACT and finished college algebra with a 98 while a junior in high school. But he has NO common sense. Once, when he was around 16 years old, my wife asked for help cooking. She had pork chops marinating in a glass dish. Since I was running late from work, she asked him to put them on the grill to cook.
He asked how he was supposed to get them out of the dish, to which she replied, “You can use a fork". Instead of picking up the glass dish and taking it over to the grill, he proceeds to get a fork and pick up one pork chop, carry it outside, and do them one at a time this way.
36. Mistimed It
Just earlier this week, my son was filling his car with gas. He's 16 years old. He had $19.42 in his account. He starts pumping and forgets to stop at $19.42 or less. He called me and said, “Dad, I accidentally went to $20. Could you transfer some money to me so I could, you know, not steal?” I transferred enough for him to fill his tank completely, so maybe I'm the idiot.
37. Don’t Forget to Proofread
This reality hit me when I was called into a meeting with the Vice Principal of my daughter’s high school. He presented a letter that she submitted claiming to be written by myself. The letter was extremely difficult to read, but from what I could decipher, I had apparently asked the school to give her a full week’s vacation.
The letter was full of god awful grammatical errors and inappropriate use of the English language. What stood out above everything was that both her and my name were spelled incorrectly. I said to the VP, besides the fact she clearly forged this letter, my biggest concern is her failure to grasp the English language at a grade 11 level.
It turns out her friend wrote the letter, which my daughter was too lazy to proofread. I handed her an extra month of grounding for stupidity.
38. More Than Just a Saying
When he realized at age 17 that bread came in slices. Seriously! We were in the car and husband comes out of the store with a loaf of bread and puts it in the back seat. Son says, “Wow! You can get bread already sliced? I thought that saying was so old that no one made sliced bread anymore!” We were like, “Are you fricking kidding me right now? How on earth did I give birth to you!!!”
We fell over laughing at him. He will NEVER live it down. To explain—the kid has never eaten bread. He has always hated it. When he sees us eat bread it is usually fresh bread you need to cut yourself. But, even so, in all the years I've made sandwiches/toast around him you think he would have clued in. I have begged him to marry someone with common sense or I will fear for his life!
39. Learn Something New Every Day
When I was teaching my son to drive, I had him stop to get gas so he could learn that too. He apparently thought the gas only came out of the nozzle once it was in the car and proceeded to pull the trigger before putting the nozzle in the car, covering the side of his new Jetta with gasoline. He learned to use the car wash that day, too.
40. Don’t Draw Attention to Yourself
The one time my son came into the house from the backyard and loudly declared, “I'm going to sit like this,” with his hand covering his forehead. When we finally convinced him to move his hand, we discovered he was covering a huge goose egg that was already turning black and blue. Turns out, he took the rubber mallet and hit the volleyball as hard as he could, thinking it would pop. Spoiler alert—it didn't pop. We were grateful he didn't use the claw hammer.
41. That’s Not Terrifying at All
Not necessarily stupid, per se, but more of a raging psychopath. Ever since this little guy could eat solid food, his favorite meal has been barbecued ribs. I mean, he'd eat them every day if he could. No idea where he got that from, I've never liked ribs. So anyway, we're at Outback, and I'm enjoying my steak, and he's eating plate of ribs and fries.
He's probably about 6 to 7 years old. He asks me what kind of animal my steak comes from. I answer that it comes from cow. He asks me where his ribs come from. I honestly don't know if they're pork or beef—I don't like ribs—so I just tell him, “I'm really not sure, but it's either cow or pig. I think it's cow, but it might be pig".
So he gets this kind of confused look on his face, and almost looks disappointed for a minute. So I ask him what's wrong. “Oh nothing. I just kind of thought they came from people". This guy had been eating ribs for three plus years thinking that he was a cannibal. And was happy about it. On the plus side, when he acts up now—age nine—I jokingly threaten to send him to the butcher so they can have his ribs.
42. There’s a Better Way to Do That
My—at the time—13-year-old daughter and I were in the garage hanging out and talking when she decided she needed to blow her nose. She asked me if we have tissue in the garage. I point at a roll of paper towels. She proceeds to blow her nose into her hand and then wipe her hand with a paper towel. Same kid, around the same time, once grabbed a metal heater that attaches to a propane tank while it was on. The metal was red. She got burned, cried, and said she didn’t know it was going to be hot.
43. That’s Using Your Head
I was in my kitchen making something to eat when my—at the time—2-year-old came walking in. Didn't pay any attention to him when all of a sudden I hear “BAM”. Look over and my son just smashed his head into the oven. Now, I was about to question what just happened, but the look on his face—stern, committed, confident, I couldn't interrupt him.
I watched as he then backed up and ran headfirst into the oven again, full force, and even a louder bang. This time, I assume he was content with himself as he silently giggled to himself and then left. Never once made eye contact with me. Love my little caveman baby.
44. Common Phrase
Once I was digging up a drainage hole with my 12-year-old son and he said, "Let's move the rocks over here for all in tents with purposes". I pretended to have never heard that phrase before and inquired further as to his meaning to which he replied, "Ya know, like they're in tents, and they have a purpose, it's a figure of speech". I did not correct him and I really hope he uses that phrase in a college lecture hall or on a date someday.
45. Not Where Babies Come From
I’m sitting at the computer when my five-year-old comes and asks to sit on my lap. 30 seconds later, she gets bored and asks, “Daddy, am I going to have a sister or a brother?” I looked at her and started saying, “Sure, maybe someday” as I noticed she was all serious, staring at my beer belly. Before I could finish, she started patting it like you would on a pregnant woman. Brutal.
46. Plugged up
My 4-year-old son put a dry bean in his ear at preschool. They were making a craft with them. He thought he was going to get in trouble once he realized it was stuck, so he didn't tell anyone. A month after school was over, he sneezed and said the bean was hurting his ear. I said, “What bean?!” One pediatrician visit and a referral to an ear, nose, and throat doctor later, the bean was safely removed. My child lived with a bean in his ear, at best guess, for two and a half months.
47. Brotherly Love
When my oldest was 5 years old, I was pregnant. I found out I was having a boy and we excitedly told him he was having a brother. He started crying. Like, full on sobbing. Through the tears, he asked, “If you have a boy who will I marry when I grow up???” We had to explain a lot of things that day.
48. Simple Solution
I swear my oldest is not actually an idiot. They were just having a bad day! A few months after they got their very first car, they were in a very minor, no-actual-damage-done accident in a local parking lot. They called me absolutely panicked. I told them to relax and exchange insurance information, just in case.
10 minutes later I get another panicked call because now their car won't start. I calm them down, tell them to call roadside assistance, and I'll come meet them at the parking lot. I get there just after the tow truck arrives. My oldest is nearly in tears over their car. I give them a hug, and reassure them that it's probably something minor.
There's simply no way the tiny fender bender they had could've caused any damage significant enough to disable the car. The tow truck driver hops out, takes one look at my kid's car and asks, “Did you put it in park before trying to start it?” while pointing out that some light was on. My kid goes back to their car, and sure enough, in their panic over the earlier fender bender realized they had turned off the car without putting it in park.
Thank goodness it was on a level surface. They hop in, throw it in park and their car starts right up, much to their relief. The tow truck driver and I had a hearty laugh.
49. Getting Rid of a Problem
I used to tell my kids not to take off their shoes and socks in the car, especially on short trips. Just leave them on so that we don't have to spend five minutes finding and putting them back on before we run into the store. Imagine a single dad with two young kids running around the car trying to re-shoe my children in the grocery store parking lot in the middle of an Arizona summer, yuck.
One day we went to the store and my daughter was missing her shoe. It was nowhere to be found. “Daddy, I didn't want you to be mad that my shoe was off so I threw it out the window". It made sense to a 5-year old, I guess.
50. Non-Traditional Gender Roles
A few years ago, my two-year-old daughter and I were waiting in line at Nordstrom. She was being really quiet and really patient, so I decided to reward her by purchasing a Melissa and Doug stamp set as a gift. As soon as we got up to the checkout counter, she randomly blurted out to the girl who was scanning our things, “Did you know that my mommy has a [insert male genitalia here]?”
I was in utter shock and had no idea where that had come from or what she was talking about. I just stood there for a moment, expressionless, wondering what in the world had just happened, before I finally managed to awkwardly say, “Umm yeah, I don’t". The lady just stared at me, forced a smile and simply replied, “Have a nice day".
The only explanation I can think of as to why this could have happened is that we had been talking to her a lot about my pregnancy and discussing what gender the baby might be. We have spent a lot of time wondering whether the baby is going to be a boy or a girl, so my guess is that she was trying to innocently tell the cashier something about the baby in my belly, but just worded it very poorly.
On top of all that, all the talk about this baby’s gender must have raised some questions in my daughter’s head, because she also decided to announce to her daycare class that “My daddy decided that he wants to be a girl, so he is going to become a girl". The daycare staff never mentioned anything about it until our daughter casually informed us of her announcement during dinner one night—and we just about died when we heard about it.
I asked her teacher the next day if she had really said this, and the teacher, in fact, stated, “Yes, she did say that. But it seemed like a very private and sensitive topic, so obviously, we didn’t want to bring anything up about it to you". For the record, my husband is NOT transitioning and we have no idea what my daughter was trying to actually say. Ahh, kids. You gotta love them!