Social obligations start at such a young age these days. My kids have more social obligations than I do, and that is saying something. ItÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s go go go, all the time.
Soccer, ballet and tap classes, production rehearsals, violin recitals, school, play dates, homework, gymnastics, etcetera, etcetera. Jeez, I am tired just thinking about it.
Remember when we were children? I remember spontaneous play and soccer, occasionally. Mostly, I just played. If someone asked if I could spend the night or do, just about anything out of my parents sight, the answer was no.
Oh yeah, my dad was the original helicopter parent. I believe his exact reasoning, when I asked if I could spend the night at my best friendÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s house, was Ã¢â‚¬Å“No mija, if the house catches on fire, they are going to grab their kid first. IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m sorry. I donÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t want you to get burned. Do you?Ã¢â‚¬Â
My answer, Ã¢â‚¬Å“I guess not.Ã¢â‚¬Â But in my head I was wondering why the hell all of these peopleÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s houses were catching on fire and if ours was fire retardant. And would my dad actually let someone elseÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s kid burn? Maybe I shouldn’t be having people spend the night. It was risky business.
But sometimes the phrase, Ã¢â‚¬Å“My dad said noÃ¢â‚¬Â came in pretty handy, like when you didnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t really want to go in the first place. IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢d pretend to ask my dad, feign disappointment and give the other kid the bad news. After all, it wasnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t my fault that my dad said no.
Meanwhile, the kid felt sorry for me for having such a giant asshole for a father. DonÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t you wish you could have a Ã¢â‚¬Å“get out of jail freeÃ¢â‚¬Â card for social obligations like that when you are an adult?
Good news; you can. You can employ this exact tactic as an adult to escape social obligation, only remove Dad/Mom and insert my baby, toddler, kid, teen or husband.
ItÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s called the blame game, baby, and you can get out of almost anything, if you know what you are doing. DonÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t look down your nose at me; I know youÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ve done it. Take notes, this could come in handy.
Want to come over for a family barbecue? Wow! IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢d love to but the baby is prone to bursting into flames when in the sun too long. Maybe if the next oneÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s at night? Damn baby vampires!
Want to come to my going away party? Oh man! Is that tonight? The kid is teething, the wife is menstruating, and IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m pretty sure the dog is about to kick the bucket. Maybe next time, little buddy. Damn, dog!
Want to come to my fortieth birthday party? Seriously? I thought that was next year. My kid has a recital that night. I canÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t miss it. IÃ¢â‚¬â„¢m the videographer. Damn, needy kids!
Can you help me load my moving truck? Ooh, I would love to but I already promised junior that today was the day that I would teach him how to drive. HeÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s been waiting sixteen years. Sorry. Damn teenagers!
See itÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s easy. It just takes a little imagination and determination. But remember, what goes around comes around and the next time you need help loading the moving truck, someone elseÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s dog might be about to kick the bucket.
Would you ever use your kid as an excuse to get out of a social obligation?
Ã‚Â Photo Source: Boltron