Eight-year-old Selah loves it when I retell stories of ridiculous things she did—or when I retell stories of ridiculous things I did.
Perhaps her second-favorite story is about the day that I stormed into the dining room, angered that I had heard the children using potty words while eating dinner. In my exhausted-mommy haze, I blurted, “You may not use that kind of words at my toilet!” instead of “You may not use that kind of words at my table.”
Needless to say, all vestiges of discipline went out the window at that point; the children just all erupted into hysterical laughter and kept repeating what I’d said, to my irritation.
Selah’s favorite story, however, is of a really dumb mistake I made that could have been terrible but luckily turned out okay in the end. And one day it occurred to her that four-year-old Asher did not know this story. At her request, I launched in.
“When Selah was three and a half, she was still sitting in a car seat that had a buckle in front, and you sat in a car seat for babies. Yours was the kind where I would buckle you in and carry you around. Whenever we went out to the car, I’d carry you out in your baby carrier and click it into its spot, and then I’d buckle Selah.
“When you were six months old, you got big enough to be in a regular car seat too. The first time you rode in it, I took you to Selah’s preschool to pick her up. Once we fetched her, we went back out to the car and I buckled you into your big boy car seat. We set off to go back home.
“When we had just got back on the road, the stop light ahead of us turned red. Thankfully I hadn’t started going very fast yet, because it felt kind of sudden. I stopped the car—and to my surprise, something hit my seat.
“It was Selah! The bowl full of grapes she had been holding in her lap flew all over the car, and when I looked down at the floor of the minivan, she was sitting there, looking shocked and confused.”
This time, instead of just Selah cracking up, Asher burst out laughing too.
“I was only used to buckling one car seat, and I had forgotten to buckle SELAH in! Thankfully she was not hurt, only very surprised. It scared me and I felt like the worst mommy ever!” I exclaimed.
Laughing and shaking his head, Asher reassured me. “Oh, you weren’t the worst mommy ever.” I felt a little surprised, but reassured by his statement. Then he added, “You were just the WRONGEST mommy ever.”