Plan A: Keep the Lines of Communication Open
“Just talk to your kids,” say the experts. “Be there for them. Listen to what they have to say.”
All righty then.
Bonnie: So, Tiger, your dad heard you say something about a dance.
Bonnie: Your dad’s not sure if you’re actually going to a dance, or if you were just mentioning a dance, you know, in conversation.
Bonnie: You know, if you are going to a dance, you’ll need transportation and a suit, or maybe even a tuxedo, and a corsage for your date….if you are going to a dance, I mean. If you are, just let us know.
(a moment of silence)
So, Tiger, are you going to a dance?
Tiger: Arrrgh! I feel like I’m being interrogated!
Note to the Experts: Keeping the lines of communication open with my firstborn is like keeping the lines of communication open with a rock. You can ask a rock whatever you want, but it’s probably not going to tell you anything. And if it were to open its mouth and share, the shock just might give you a heart attack.
Time for Plan B.
Plan B: Turn to Outside Sources
Hubby: Did the neighbors know anything?
Bonnie: They sure did! Didi says it’s a formal, so Tiger’ll need a tux and a corsage for his date. And get this—he and his friends are splitting the cost of a limo!
Hubby: A limo! (clutches his wallet protectively) But who’s he going with?
Bonnie: Didi didn’t get the gal’s name, but Tiger told her she’s nice. How about that? Tiger’s first dance! Who did you take to your first dance?
Hubby: (opens his laptop) I don’t remember.
Hubby has a very selective memory. He could never remember anything about his ex-girlfriends, even though we kept running into them when we first started dating. Let’s just say the rock didn’t fall far from the non communicative boulder.
(Bonnie’s evil eye finally bores through Hubby’s laptop screen)
Hubby: I think Tiger’s just being shy. That’s why he’s not telling us anything.
Bonnie: Well, he better get over it soon! We’ll need at least a week’s lead time to rent a tux. By the way, don’t you think it’s odd that all our neighbors know more about this date than we do?
Great. Well, Hubby’s ex-girlfriends were one topic I could overlook, but I haven’t been laundering Tiger’s underwear all these years just so I’d have to pry all the details about his first dance from the neighbors.
Time for Plan C.
Plan C: Internet Research
Bonnie: Who needs the neighbors when we’ve got MySpace.com! What do you want to know? It’s all here in the comments section!
Hubby: (perks up) Hello! Who’s the girl?
Bonnie: Her name is Sweetie Pie. She’s into sports and 4H Club…
Hubby: Excellent, excellent…
Bonnie: …and here’s her picture. Isn’t she cute?
As I filled Hubby in on all the pertinent details, I wondered what the experts would think of my methods. Maybe they’d think I was too nosy. Maybe they’d think Tiger’s first dance was none of my business.
Then again, I don’t see any experts helping me do my kids’ stinky laundry, so who cares what they think, anyway?