Word on the Street by Kevin Carty
Is it Just Me?
As many of you know I have twins, Nicholas and Presley. They are five now, and while they have always provided comic relief, they seem to be taking it to a whole new level. This week, rather than talk about business, I want to share a story that recently happened at home.
Now that the kids have turned five, they are much more aware of their actions . . . which means they are more easily embarrassed by what they say and do. I’d like to think my wife and I are good parents and don’t ever embarrass our children. But it’s hard sometimes to suppress the laughter. Our kids are at the stage where they try to cover up when they’ve “flubbed,” especially if it is something they feel they have outgrown.
On a weekday morning about a month ago, my alarm went off at 5 am, waking both my wife and me. We were chatting until we heard a noise. It was my son’s door opening. Now if my son hears us, he’ll come in the bedroom, and my wife has no chance of getting back to sleep. So we tried to be quiet, which of course didn’t work. Most kids are chatty, but Nicholas is a talker, like his dad. He loves to share, and it didn’t take long before he wandered into our bedroom.
“Dad? You awake?”
“Sure dude. What’s up?”
“My room is sooooo hot! I can’t sleep. It’s sooo hot.”
Now this seemed a little odd to me. So I said to Nicholas, “We set the temperature the same every night buddy, so I can’t imagine why it’s so hot in your room.”
“Well,” (after a long pause) “I am so SWEATY, not so much here” (he points to his shoulders and chest), “and not so much here” (he points to his head) . . . “but HERE!” (he makes a large circular motion around his crotch).
Nicholas "Darth Vader" Carty
As anyone who has kids knows, this moment is one of the BIG tests of your parenting skills. You want to laugh even at the risk of emotionally scarring your child for life. It’s funny. Really funny. I can hear my wife smile; she has her back turned away from Nicholas. But I don’t smile or laugh. I say to Nicholas, knowing what happened and that he is clearly embarrassed, “Did you wet the bed pal?”
“NO Daddy. It’s just SOOO hot. So hot that my crotch is all sweaty.” Again, he explains where on his body it “is” and “is not so much” sweaty. Chest, shoulders, head. No. The circular middle section. Yes.
I try not to laugh, but it’s hard. Again I say, “Dude, if you peed the bed it’s OK. It happens.”
“NO!” he says. “I just have a really sweaty crotch Dad.”
I follow Nicholas into his bedroom. Ya gotta give the kid credit. He knows how to sweat. There’s a sweat stain the size of Wisconsin in the bed.
What’s the best part of this story? In about 16 years, Nicholas will bring his college girlfriend home to meet us. The word “perspiration” or “sweat” will be mentioned in some innocent context, and, I will no longer care about not embarrassing my son. The phrase, “I am so SWEATY, not so much here, but HERE” will be repeated again and again.
Please share. I could use some sound parental advice. And a good laugh.