Thursday, May 3, 2012

A Teachable Moment at the Redbox

Not my photo, not an advertisement
As I rolled out of the school parking lot this afternoon to head for home, I began looking forward to a quiet evening alone (after the girls were in bed, of course).  Just me and my goofy mutt, curled up on the couch watching tv sounded like a good plan-- until I realized I had very little on the DVR to keep me entertained.  Easy enough to fix, I thought.  I turned left instead of right at the light and headed into the Giant shopping center.  The grocery has two Redbox machines inside-- surely I could find something there to keep me mentally disengaged for the evening.

I'm wondering now why I couldn't have just been happy with Netflix for a change?

We walked into the grocery and up to the two side-by-side Redbox kiosks.  One kiosk was occupied, so I started looking through the selections in the other machine.  After a few moments, it became apparent that the lady next to me was having some "technical difficulties" with her movie rental.  If the huffing and silent gesticulating didn't give away her annoyance, it became very clear once the "lady" slammed her hand on the side of the Redbox and very grumpily said "stupid machine".

Princess immediately gasped, one hand flying up to her mouth, and said, "Mom, she said STUPID!"  Of course, she was pointing right at the lady with her other hand while saying this.  Up until the pointing, my plan had been to ignore the lady's outburst.  Obviously, my plan was foiled.

Before I could recover from Princess tattling on this poor, frustrated, swearing (because stupid is a swear word in elementary school) woman, Birdie felt the need to add her two cents to the exchange.  To our frazzled acquaintance, Birdie observed "My mom doesn't have any trouble with these movie rental things, so I am pretty sure it's not stupid.  Maybe it's just you."  She said this in a very upbeat, I'm-full-of-good-ideas voice.  Great, Birdie.  That was sooo helpful!  Even though I know that's not what you meant, it sounds like you just called her stupid.

You ever experience a moment in time where everything freezes and you can recall all the details of the event-- its mood and setting-- with painful accuracy?  This is going to be one of those times for me, I am pretty sure.

Just before the tattling and finger pointing ensued, I was starting to feel a little bad for my fellow movie renter.  I had just noticed that along with looking a bit frazzled and worn, the lady had in her shopping basket all the makings of an evening spent nursing a cold-- Dimetapp, some sort of canned soup, saltine crackers, herbal tea, and a box of tissues with aloe.  I was beginning to feel pangs of sympathy, especially after having spent a day gasping for air in my allergen-chocked school...  Before I could complete that sympathetic train of thought, however, Princess gasped and pointed her finger, Birdie chimed in oh-so-helpfully, and then the "lady" muttered something to me about shutting up my "little heathens".

Oh no she didn't!

I was gearing into full-on attack mode, when Birdie beat me to the punch.  "Little heathens?!  As in, you think we're uncivilized?  We're not uncivilized.  We're seven!  And we're not the ones calling other people names!"

Well, I did what any good parent would do at that point-- I laughed out loud!  I'm sure it probably sounded a bit maniacal to those that weren't privy to all that led up to this outburst.  I mean, really?!  What else could I do?  At this point, the "lady" stormed off and I imagine her now, sitting in her living room, nursing her cold and licking her wounds of defeat.

Princess, after all was said and done, was not happy that the "lady" didn't apologize for the name-calling.  "What is WRONG WITH HER?!" she demanded.  I told her "sometimes grown ups have bad days, and sometimes grown ups are just rude.  Whatever the reason, you won't always get the apology you think you deserve."

Princess thought about this for a minute.  "Well, next time this happens, I'm going to ask her if she is having a bad day or being rude.  If she's having a bad day, I'll forgive her for not saying sorry.  If she's being rude, I'll just tell her sissy was right when she accidentally said she was stupid!"

I think that Princess basically got the gist of our little life lesson.

What wasn't gotten was my movie.  I wonder how that happened...

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  1. Omg, I'm cracking up!!! Teachable, yes. Hilarious, very much so (oops...)!!

    I didn't realize Giant had Redbox machines - I must've totally looked right at them a gazillion times. But I also usually have a huge backlog on my dvr.

    Not sure if you got my e-mail - want to get together tomorrow?

  2. Believe me Chris, we've all been in that very uncomfortable moment when we know our little darlings are going to say something completely innocent and mortifying at the same time!! My favorite was when my 3 year old niece was complimented on her curly hair by a very large woman, and she graciously responded with "and you're so fat"! Luckily, the woman had a fabulous sense of humor. Happy weekend! Mary
    p.s. Princess and I had a wonderful time with the chicks today!!

  3. We both died laughing over this :) Your girls are quick on their feet!

    Might also have been a good time to get them thinking about what the other woman was experiencing at the time...

  4. a teachable moment and a giggle too. Love that you kept your composure. Sorry about the movie though. Thank you for sharing at the Thursday Favorite Things Blog Hop xo

  5. That is really funny!! Poor lady (for being sick) but seriously cold or not, don't you know that calling children names in front of them will lead to a child telling you that you are wrong?!?! Good for your daughter for standing up for herself! I am all for manners, but sometimes some things just needs to be said. ;o)
    Carmen, your newest follower