As a parent, I am always looking for teaching opportunities – you know – those little moments in which a person can teach a valuable lesson to the impressionable minds of today’s youth. Happily, while at Wal-Mart the other day, I found such a moment.
What could it be you ask? Something totally inspiring such as getting $100 too much in change and alerting the checkout person to their mistake? No, nothing so noble. Did we help the elderly to their car? No, again I must try and direct you away from such admirable thoughts. Perform mouth to mouth on someone who otherwise would have died? Nope – and now I’m almost embarrassed to admit to my little lessons but I’ll forge on ahead.
The first valuable lesson taught was to avoid grocery shopping at all costs if you are hungry when you arrive. Everything looked good to me; orange marshmallows shaped like little pumpkins? Throw it in the cart! Ready made cookie dough? A must have shopping item! Cereal from my childhood? No time like the present! There were actually two valuable lessons involved with this: 1) Shopping while hungry increases impulsive food purchases approximately 467 times the normal rate and 2) it is possible to go grocery shopping and not actually come home with anything worthwhile to eat.
The next lesson was a hard lesson to demonstrate but I feel that I did a decent job of getting the idea across. How many times have you heard, “don’t run in the store” or “walk, please!” but really, is that any way to teach a lesson? I was with Lucy and Kaileigh was off getting some necessity we had decided upon. Lucy and I saw Kaileigh coming and we were pretending to try and get away from her. So yes, we broke into a bit of a trot in the store. “Horrors”, you say but wait…….it turned into a valuable teaching opportunity. As we trotted towards our cart, I glanced down an aisle and thought I saw the cart. I quickly put the brakes on my feet in order to make the turn. My feet may have stopped, but not my forward motion. As my arms flailed around in perfect windmills, I desperately tried to regain my balance. My eyes were computer fast as I looked for anything that I could grasp to stay upright. Then I realized what an awesome moment this could be to teach my kids about running in the aisles of stores and gravity asserted itself on my body. I swear it seemed like it took at least five minutes for the whole event but it was probably only about 7 seconds or so. I fell backwards on my posterior which I had previously thought had ample padding. Speaking from experience, there is not padding thick enough to cushion such a fall. Yes, once the girls stopped laughing and helped me back to my feet, I went over the basic tenet of not running in shopping establishments. They were quite appreciative of the sacrifice I made in order to get the lesson across in full.
I had a pleasant reminder of my self sacrifice in the form of a huge bruise on my bum. You can be sure that I will continue to look for teachable moments for the greater good of society!!!