4

The Lawnmower

About a year ago, we were in the market for a new lawn mower. Our old lawn mower was fine. Nothing wrong with it. Just, you know, my husband felt that we needed a new one. I was actually happy that we were getting a new lawn mower…because the current lawn mower was gigantic and ridiculous and impossible for me to use. It looked like this:

tractor-stander-front-left

For real.

Look at that crazy thing! You don’t push it OR sit on it…you stand on the back and just sort of whir around the yard. It’s insane. You can see why I was happy to hear that we were getting a new one. (Or as happy as I could possibly be about something as boring as getting a new lawn mower.)

While my husband spent every single spare moment researching lawn mowers, I ever-so-helpfully told him that if he would just get a lawn mower that I could handle, I would be happy to mow the lawn while he was at work. I envisioned something like this:

good lawn mower

With the following features:

  1. Cup holder for my iced coffee.
  2. Comfy seat
  3. Steering wheel
  4. Four normal-looking tires

I pictured myself riding around the yard on that thing with my trusty iced coffee by my side. I was pretty sure that I could find something on Pinterest that would teach me how to make patterns in the lawn…maybe even a quick little tutorial on how to trim the bushes around the house into fun little animal shapes… I was super psyched thinking about it. (No need to tell me how lucky my husband is that he landed such a fab helpful wife. Hashtag: he hit the wife lottery.)

Oddly enough, my husband wasn’t all that keen on the idea of me taking over the lawn care. How do I know? Because he came home one day with our new lawn mower…that looks like this:

big lawn mower

What you see before you is a commercial-grade, 48″, nary a cup-holder in sight, super-colossal enormous lawn mower. Your eyes do not deceive you. This monster boasts the following features:

  1. Some sort of steering device. If you push the right handle, you go left. If you push the left handle, you go right. If you were in some sort of lawnmower emergency situation I can’t imagine your natural instinct to be anything other than to immediately push BOTH handles at the same time and go down a ditch into the woods.
  2. A rather comfortable-looking seat. With arm rests. This is the only positive thing I will say about this thing.
  3. A roll bar. Did you hear me? A. Roll. Bar. The manufacturer obviously KNOWS of the high probability of a lawnmower freak out, (as mentioned in feature #1.) The manufacturer KNOWS that there is a fairly good chance that you are going to launch yourself into the woods by mistake and flip over.
  4. An empty space where the cup holder should be.
  5. A giant set of tires.
  6. A little grouping of tiny tires that seem to serve no purpose because they float about the ground.
  7. Another set of average-sized tires that clearly have NO traction what-so-ever.

If this lawnmower doesn’t scream “Don’t touch my lawn!” I don’t know what does.

And yet…

When I told my husband that I couldn’t help him with the lawn now because the lawn mower was stupidly gigantic, he looked at me like I was crazy. He told me that I could definitely handle the lawnmower. He said that he would put me through a training session for a month, and that I could practice mowing the lawn without the blades down. (No, for real, he said that.)

As if I have an actual interest in learning how to operate this machine.

I have no such interest.

I just wanted to “help” because I thought it would be fun to drive around the yard wearing a cute hat. I don’t actually care about the lawn.

Plus, I’m fairly certain that any attempt on my part to operate this monster would just end with me being med-flighted somewhere.

Thanks, but no thanks. When it comes to caring for our lawn, I’m tapping out.

dog on mower

2

The “Present Plan”

present plan pic

 

Has anyone else signed up for the “Present Plan” at their pediatric dentist’s office? Anyone? No? No one? That makes sense, since the “Present Plan” doesn’t actually exist. Unless you ask my 7-year-old. She thinks it exists because we told her exists. We told her of a special dentist’s office where they give you an actual, wrapped gift at the end of your appointment. We told her this….and by “we” I mean my husband. Not me…him. I never would have told her something so foolish because it is ridiculous. And because I want her to be able to be okay going to the dentist without the promise of a gift. But mostly because it is ridiculous.

She is terrified of the dentist. I don’t really know why, since she hasn’t ever had a bad experience, but she is just absolutely beside herself at the thought of the going to the dentist.

My husband was all, “I can get her to go to the dentist. I can make it so she is excited to go.” And I was all like, “Yea, right. Not possible.” But sure enough, he goes to have a little chat with her and 10 minutes later she is skipping around the house talking about how excited she is to go to the dentist. And he is all smug like he has just found the answer to world peace…which he kind of has.

But I am totally dumbfounded. How has he done it? How is this possible? How different could our approaches to this situation have been that the outcome is so drastically different?

My approach: Sit down with her, put my arm around her and snuggle her close. Tell her how much I love her and how I believe in her. Explain that it is okay to be nervous, but it is important to push through that fear and do what needs to be done. Point out her strength. Talk about good oral hygiene and the future of her teeth. Explain that I would never take her anywhere that was not a safe place. Listen to her talk and validate all her feelings. Sit with her awhile, as she is now a quivering emotional mess.

My husband’s approach: Sit down with her. Tell her that we have found a special kid dentist that gives a wrapped gift to each patient after their appointment. An actual wrapped-up present with a bow on top that will be waiting for her at the front desk. Assure her that he is telling the truth. Talk about how he has heard of kids getting new purses as their wrapped gift. Listen to her talk about how excited she is about the possibility that SHE will get a new purse as her gift. Validate this excitement by telling her that it is possible that she will. Walk away, as she is now skipping throughout the house with joy.

WHAT?!

I want no part of this lie! This doesn’t feel right! This goes against what I believe in. And, yet, she isn’t afraid anymore. She is actually genuinely excited to go. Oh God. Alright, I’ll go along with it. I mean, really, what is the worst that could happen?

The worst that could happen: I forgot to buy the gift.

But why was it my job to buy the gift anyways? This whole “we found a dentist who gives presents” was his thing, not mine. He should have been the one to buy the gift, wrap the gift, and hide the gift in my car so that I could be the one to sneak it into the dentist’s office. Oh, and also, he should have been the one to have to listen to the other kids in the house grumble about how THEY wanted to go to this new dentist that gives gifts. But none of that happened and I had to somehow get a gift and wrap it up before the dentist appointment…all while she was right by my side the whole time. Impossible. Luckily my friend said that she happened to have a few brand-new Beanie Boo stuffed animals at her house and did I want her to stick one into a gift bag for me? Yay! She’ll get it to me at preschool drop off. Yay! Except that she isn’t doing drop off this morning, her husband is. So she is going to put the Beanie Boo in a gift bag with some tissue paper, give it to her husband, explain to him that he needs to give it to me…but that he has to be sort of sly about it, and then I can sneak it into my car. Where my daughter is sitting. Okay, no problem. What needs to be done is what needs to be done (and all this needs to be done to continue the “we found a dentist who gives presents” story.)

But obviously, my daughter saw the gift hiding in the front seat, because she is 7 and there was basically no way I could totally hide it.

So, I had to come up with a story to support the first absurd story: The dentist has us buy the actual gift and bring it with us. That way they know the present it something that she wants. They just deduct it from our bill at the end. (I added the part about the bill. I thought it made it more believable.) She understood. She thought it was smart of them.

Then once we got to the dentist’s office, and I was shoving the gift into my purse, I realized that she might talk about it to any other kid who was in the dentist’s waiting room.

So, I had to come up with another story to support the previous foolish stories: Don’t talk about the present to any other kids who might be in the waiting area. We signed up for the “Present Plan,” but their parents may not have. It cost extra to sign up for that plan. Their parents may have decided not to do it. We don’t want the other kids to be mad at their parents because they are not part of the “Present Plan.” She understood. She thought it was a good idea to keep quiet.

The “Present Plan”?!?! Who am I that I am trying to pitch this idiotic story to my daughter? I never wanted to get involved in this lie to begin with. Even though it worked liked a charm.

I feel like they greeted me at the dentist’s office like this:

Miss Liar

By the way, she LOVED her Beanie Boo present. She named it after the new dentist, who she also loved. She can’t wait to go back to see him. And to get another present.

Dr Bob