Teaching Our Kids to Watch Where They Are Going

I’m debating if I’m going to stop him.

I probably should but this falls into one of those “Fatherly moments”. I cherish these because I get to be lazy while hiding behind a principle. I feel like a politician.

My boy is walking straight, kind of. It’s more of a drunk walk really.  The kind of walk you do when you come out of a bar at four in the morning and have convinced yourself that you are too drunk to drive. However, you are convinced that you can walk home ten miles. All you have to do is go straight, or somewhat straight.

My boy is four-years-old now and I’m pretty sure he hasn’t been hitting the sauce so early in the morning unless the fruit juice has fermented, which is always a possibility. But while he is walking straight, he is making a critical error in his technique. He is not looking ahead. Currently, he is distracted by the color of a bag of green beans in the freezer aisle. He does this often as the boy loves to get distracted.

These are the things that he has run into so far this morning at the grocery store:

  1. A lady picking up grapes.
  2. A guy wearing the same color of pants that I have on.
  3. A wall.
  4. Onions.
  5. A bench.
  6. My patience.

He fails to heed the advice of all grandmothers everywhere. Look where you are going. He is also sitting to close to the TV.   He has to sit close to the TV because his sister gets kind of loud, all the time.

So I am faced with this dilemma, do I stop him and correct his path telling him for the five-hundredth time today to watch where he is going, or do I go with the father principle of letting him fail so that he learns his lesson?

It’s a father dilemma that’s been around forever. Let the boy take his licks and hopefully he’ll learn something, or do I stop him and prevent a small injury to his face. Perhaps if I was a mom I could sympathize more with the small injury he’s about to take. I would sing him songs while protecting him from the cruel world. But as Dad, I realize that the world is cruel, and it’s my job to teach him how to cope with that and sometimes that means letting him take one in the face. Plus, I’m getting pretty tired of telling him to watch where he is going. You don’t even want to know what Halloween night was like. I do apologize to all my neighbors for the smashed pumpkins. It was not a teenager prank.  It was just my boy getting distracted by pretty things.

Two steps away a loud noise breaks his trance-like stare at the green beans, and he abruptly stops, moments away from taking it in the face. Another toddler has pulled some french fries out of the freezer, and the mom is getting on him. My boy is saved, and we continue on our way.

The mom is now is explaining to her son that we are not supposed to pull things out, which is probably how she got children in the first place. Her son isn’t listening, welcome to my world, so she squats down to look at him in the eye. Nice move. It’s impressive the chewing out that the mom is giving.  I’m engrossed with this morning’s entertainment.

That’s when I run into my son with the shopping basket, catching him right in the face. The kid goes down.

Fatherly lesson learned.


Previously Published on Hossman-at-Home