Wednesday, November 28, 2007

When Fatherly Advice Backfires

In my son's short three years of life, I have offered up several different nuggets of wisdom that I thought might help him along on his journey.

I didn't think that my advice would backfire or cause him much trouble, of course, at least until he reached his teenage years. But I was wrong. (Being a husband for over 11 years now I should have learned by now that I'm always wrong)

When he was a young toddler, I offered him the solid advice: Don't drink the bum water! (Referring, of course, to the fact that it wasn't good for him to drink the bath water, it being filled with soap and dead skin and his stinky bum)

He never took my advice, of course. But over time he has translated it for his own purposes.

The other night when I was trying to wash his face, he turned to me and let out a panicked yell. "No, Dad! Don't wash my face! It's poo water!"

Then we struggled for a minute, him kicking and splashing and trying to get away in the same manner you'd see the people in the movie Jaws beating a hasty retreat out of the water when they saw a shark fin approaching.

"No poo water!!! No poo water!!!" He was yelling this out with the fierce determination and panic of "Shark!" (or maybe the way that the Griswold's yell out "Squirrel!!!!!" in Christmas Vacation.)


Since kids are smarter than we often give them credit for, and very manipulative with their parents, I figured this was just a ploy. I figured Alexander was just trying to get out of having his face and ears and hair washed in order to play with his bath toys uninterrupted. But if I poured water onto the face cloth from the tap he calmly let me wash his face.

Yes, like Frankenstein's monster, I ended up creating something that grew out of my control.

Word of advice for fathers (and husbands) -- when you think you've got something brilliant and wonderful to offer the world, think twice before you open your big yap.


lime said...

LOL, let me tell you, having to rear a particularly feisty limelette for nearly 17 years ( a child who has seemed destined to become a notable trial lawyer) even mothers have things backfire with regularity.

don't drink the bum water is still good advice. plus, it makes me laugh just to say the phrase. ;)

fran said...

It was just a matter of time!