As a mom sometimes I say things I shouldn’t. I’m not just talking about our youngest daughter’s lucrative side hustle of catching me drop a curse word.
No, there have been plenty of times during my tenure as a mother that I’ve opened my mouth and immediately inserted my foot.
Who am I kidding?
As a person, in general, there have been plenty of times when I say things out loud that should remain comfortably in my brain.
This past week I had yet another stellar parenting slipup. It may have rivaled the time I told our 8-year-old son, who had a crush on his 3rd-grade classmate, “don’t forget bros before … (a word so awful it can’t even be printed in this newspaper).”
I’ll never forget the puzzled look on his little face as my husband bailed me out with, “What your mom was trying to say was pals should come before gals.” In that moment, I was so glad my husband promised for better and for worse.
Last week I could have used him in the car as our youngest daughter was excitedly anticipating the upcoming holiday season. She was rambling on, “After Halloween, we’ll have Thanksgiving and then our elf on the shelf will come back.”
Now, I’ll admit these past few months have been like no other in my career. Not only am I juggling my typical workload and responsibilities, but there are many other layers that’ve been added on top of it.
When you couple that with the extra layers added to our Savages’ weeks, sometimes I feel like I’m barely treading water.
In all honesty, the last thing I wanted to think of at that moment was all the hijinks our Christmas elf would be planning and needing to carry out.
Thus, without thinking it through, I said, “I don’t know, maybe he got COVID and won’t be coming this year.”
Well, that certainly changed the tone of our conversation very quickly. Our daughter got quiet and then protested, “What? No! I’d just die if he got sick and didn’t come back.”
Mom of the year, right here. Without my husband to step in and save the day, I clarified, “You know, I’m sure he’s fine. I haven’t seen the North Pole at all on the worldwide COVID map. I don’t think they’ve even had one case.”
That’s when our sweet girl pulled my foot right out of my mouth with her own wit, “Well, the North Pole is pretty ice-o-lated.” We both got a good chuckle out of her little play on words.
She, then, happily returned to thinking out loud about all the things our elf might do this winter. This time, I listened without letting my own thoughts slip out.
In fact, they say it’s no coincidence that the word listen contains the exact same letters as the word silent. After all, silence is golden, which is a much better color than the stuff that sometimes accidentally slips out of my mouth. o