Thursday, January 26, 2017

One Thing You Should Stop Doing In 2017

Its January, which means we've turned the page on another year. Usually, that means new leaves overturned and resolutions. I did that last year. I did awful. Some of that is events that transpired in November that I think impacted my writing (No, not the election, but its a story for a different time), but honestly, the failing failed fully before that; likely

*checks stats* Yep; probably before that.

So this year, I'm not doing Better Bryan. Call it a Better Bryan Break. This year, instead, I'm going to make all of YOU better.

How, you ask? Good question.

There is one thing that really bugs as a parent that a LOT of you are doing. And I realize, you are doing this as a kind act. You think this makes you a sweet and nice person and you probably pat yourself on the back a little when it happens. I'm here to tell you, you are secretly impeding the ability to raise safe kids while making my job as parent harder.

Let me set the scene:

I'm crossing the street. With my kids. Its hard enough as I have only two hands and three kids. They are fiveish. Them holding each other's hands, while possible, still isn't really a good option. So I'm stuck usually having two on one hand. Luckily, unlike our current president, I have biggish hands. Hypothesize away about what that means.

So its a journey any way you slice it.

I get the kids situated around me, which requires some orchestra conductor-like work with the patience of a monk and the foresight of a prophet. Who goes where, are they facing the proper direction (no, one is always facing the opposite direction for some reason), and are they going to trip over each other and fall face down during our trip across 2 lanes.

We look left, we look right. Oh look kids, a car is close. Do we cross?

Kids: No Dad.

Dad: Of course we don't because a car is comi...

Except thanks to you, you honest, good-intention having loving, doer of good deeds, we do. Because you just waved me past. Which is fine. I get it. You see a Dad with lots of kids trying to cross an otherwise empty parking lot road and you think, "let me do that guy a solid and let him pass."

I'll ignore/pretend you aren't doing it in a sexist way simply because I'm a Dad and you think I'm overwhelmed. That's a different column.

But what you have done is essentially force me to teach my kids that its OK to cross the street with a car bearing down on them, because it will stop and let them pass. Except they have no idea you waved me on. They don't know to look for that. They can't possibly see it. Or even know to look for it. They don't have the power to look behind you and make sure some idiot isn't going around you.

And I can't wave you past, because my hands are currently tied up with fingers and hand holding. Untying three kids and leaving them anchorless near a street doesn't appeal to me. Partly for danger, and partly because somehow, someway, they will end up unable to reattach and one will inevitably be facing backwards. Sometimes I'll jerk my head for you to pass, but mostly I'll go. Because standing there jerking my head while you do whatever the hell it is your doing is mostly not helping me.

So I beg of you. I know you think you are doing a good thing, but please, just drive past me and let me cross the street after you.

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