Sometimes You Just Have To Bite The Bullet…

     This past Saturday, my sons and I headed out to their basketball games and we were running terribly late.  There were many reasons why we were late including the fact that I was sick as a dog and, due to my being sick, I had forgotten to wash my older son’s uniform the night before.

    When we first started getting ready, I figured we had enough time to throw it in the washing machine and dry it in the dryer because it was about an hour and a half before we had to leave the house.  If you are a parent, you know that things seldom work out exactly the way that you envisioned them, especially when it comes to having kids.

    As we were getting ready, it seems that my older son accidentally changed the setting on the dryer so the uniform wasn’t completely dry by the time we had to leave.  I had to make an executive decision and, since the uniform was just slightly damp, I told my son not to worry about it because he just had to take his picture in the uniform and then he could take it off so we could dry it before his game.

    When we got to the gym and headed to take the pictures, I sent him to the bathroom to put his uniform on.  He returned and proceeded to tell the photographer in the hallway, unbeknownst to me, that he couldn’t put his uniform on because it was wet.  Of course, it was just my luck that the photographer came into the room and blurted this out in front of the other mothers waiting with their kids to have their pictures taken.  They all looked at me like I was the worst mother on the planet.

    Mortified, I went out into the hallway and asked my son what was going on and proceeded to check his uniform.  Trust me, it was hardly even damp at this point but my son continued to be dramatic and  insisted that he couldn’t wear the uniform for pictures.  I immediately leaned in to whisper in his ear an empty threat about what was going to happen if he didn’t put the uniform on just to take his pictures hoping this would snap him out of his little tantrum.

    He finally headed towards the bathroom and, after having to go into the men’s bathroom twenty minutes later to drag him out of there, he finally put the uniform on, took the photos, and the drama was finally over.  Unfortunately, this was only after my being embarrassed in front of the photographer and the other mothers, having to go into the men’s bathroom in front of a gym full of people, and being sick with the flu.

    Later on, as we were watching my younger son play in his game, my older son walked over to me and said, “Mommy, I’m sorry you had to come out and be upset when you are so sick.”  I immediately realized that this was an opportunity to have a teachable moment with him and reflect on the morning’s events.

    I responded by telling him that, even though I was sick, I had to make sacrifices to take both of them to their games and to take their pictures because that was my responsibility.  Additionally, I told him that sometimes in life, we all just have to “Bite the bullet” and do things that we might not necessarily want to do at that moment, like him having to put on his slightly damp uniform to take his pictures.

    Fortunately, our talk seemed to drive home the point for him and he learned that he can’t just shut down or fall apart when unexpected things happen.  So, even though I had a horrible morning and, half of my son’s school probably thinks I’m a couple of eggs short of a dozen now, it was all worth it because my son learned some life skill coping mechanisms which will hopefully serve him well throughout his life.

© 2013, Tough Cookie Mommy. All rights reserved.


  1. Paula Kiger says

    Oh Maria we have all been there for sure, and my son would have done something along the same lines!!! And we all know those other parents have had their share of “wet uniform” moments they just don’t have the courtesy or ability or whatever to empathize! You are a trooper!!!!

    • Paula, you have no idea how good it feels to hear you say that! As parents, I think we are so critical of each other and we sometimes forget that we are all in the same boat trying to do a good job and making mistakes along the way. I’m just glad that I was able to put a positive spin on the whole thing and be able to teach my son a lesson.

  2. Beautiful story of a mom’s dedication to her family! I can’t believe you didn’t just break down and lose it at some point. It’s so easy to feel sorry for yourself, when you are sick and things aren’t going your way. Bravo, you! You deserve a round of applause!!

    • Thank you, Rachel. Your kind words totally make me feel better about the whole thing. Believe me, I almost did lose it a few times but I knew my boys were watching me to see how I was going to handle the whole thing. It’s these moments that really test us as moms…

  3. QueMeansWhat says

    Thanks for sharing Maria! How awesome of you to use that moment as a teachable moment. I hope to remember this when I have a meltdown after being horribly embarrassed by my sons (as I’m sure it is inevitable). *un abrazo*

    • Hi, Melanie. Thanks so much for passing by. Yes, unfortunately, it is inevitable that they will embarrass you even when they don’t mean to. Such is the innocence of childhood. As parents, I think it’s important for us to remember that, what might seem minute and unimportant to us, could be a really big deal for them. Often that is where the miscommunication comes in. Taking a deep breath helps a lot. Sending you a big hug back.

  4. Oh gosh, sounds like a rough day! But good for you for getting a teachable moment out of it. I’m sure I wouldn’t have handled the situation half as well! It was sweet that your son apologized later. 🙂

    • Hi, Camilleta. I’m sure you would have found a way for a bad situation to work for you too. There’s something about being a mom that lets you adapt to all kinds of situations. Hopefully, he won’t get overwhelmed the next time things don’t go the way that he expected them to. Thanks so much for your feedback.

  5. I love that your son had enough empathy to recognize your sacrifice. What a good mom you are!

    • Thank you Daria. It made me happy that he was able to empathize with what I was going through. Maybe if I wasn’t sick and everything wasn’t happening at the same time, I would have dealt with things differently. In retrospect, it all worked out for the best and he seemed to get the message so all was well.

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