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Ah, the broken promises of parenthood. Although my son
turned 21 last month (gulp), time hasn't dulled memories of the promises I broke
along the way. Here are just a few of the ways I twisted reality to suit the
moment—and yes, he remembers them all.
I am pretty sure the epic menu of shots required in order to
attend kindergarten proved that this was one big promise I couldn't keep. And
he still hates shots even now.
2. We'll go to McDonald's tomorrow
So I may have promised a few times that we would go "tomorrow" and crossed my fingers he would forget.
McDonald's was the holy land for my son when he was young.
OK, it still is. But there was a limit on how much of that crap he should eat—and a definite limit to how many times I wanted to go there and endure
the crazy of the indoor play area. So I may have promised a few times that we
would go "tomorrow" and crossed my fingers he would forget.
3. If you eat this broccoli you will be big and
My go-to attempt to counterbalance McDonald's meals was
always to offer vegetables for snacks. And while he may be bigger and stronger
than when he was at 5 years old, it's long since been established that it
wasn't the broccoli.
4. If you eat these carrots you will be big and
We had a perpetual bowl of baby carrots on the table for
lunch and dinner for most of my kids' childhood. In fact, I just gave it up
last year. They cheered.
5. Just try one bite. You'll like it
This went hand-in-hand with the promises that broccoli and
carrots would ensure strength and might. And I can't think of one new food I
offered my son over the years that he really did like after only one trial
6. We won't be in the car for that long
Anytime a parent has to say this? It's a lie.
7. I just have to grab a few things at the grocery
That's just not how it works. A "few things" to a new mother who
actually made it to the store in real shoes—without forgetting a child at
home—may mean a cartload. Who knows when you will be back?
8. I just need to make a few stops on the way home
Pretty sure this was an empty promise from the very first time I uttered it.
Same as above—and I was the master errand-planner. Pretty
sure this was an empty promise from the very first time I uttered it.
9. We'll go to the park tomorrow
There are only so many times a mom can hang at the park.
10. One day we'll go to LEGOLAND for vacation
OK, I honestly thought this was a promise I could keep. I
mean, LEGOLAND is only about a six-hour drive from our house. We never made it.
Unless you count the time we briefly pulled into the parking lot near closing
time. He was a teenager and we were touring colleges at the time; so yeah, I waited too long to keep
11. I will only be on the phone for a minute
With one of my BFFs living two time zones away, we could
easily spend an hour or more on the phone. But I would never admit that up
front, and it didn't take long for my son to figure this one out.
12. I'm sure they will let you play with them
A promise I always hoped would come true—whether at the
playground or during recess at school. Sadly, Mom doesn't have a lot of control
over this one.
13. The teacup ride is fun! You'll love it
14. The Tilt-a-Whirl is fun! You'll love it
15. Oral surgery isn't that bad
This might have been a feeble attempt to promise myself that
caring for the patient after removal of his wisdom teeth wouldn't be that bad.
16. The water isn't that cold
Apparently it was, because it triggered a serious asthma
17. It's not that hot outside, you'll be fine
It's a pretty cool honor to participate in the annual
Memorial Day remembrance at the local cemetery with your fellow Boy Scouts. Not
so cool when you pass out and crumple to the ground.
18. We'll get another cat
19. I'll help you with your math
I think I broke this promise somewhere between Geometry and
Algebra II. Because OMG, math.