It’s not lost on me that I just don’t update as much as I did when the girls were younger. I could say time and commitments are the reason – and probably build a good case. But the reality is when my first post about bra shopping (more than seven years ago) this blog was about my day-to-day as an only parent of two girls. While that hasn’t changed, my scope has. We’ve changed from dad and two girls to a dad and two teens. I do less parenting and spend more time looking for teachable moments.
To be clear, I’m still a parent. I still get to say, “no.” But I’m far more effective when I’m able to use a moment to convey a lesson. It was just last week I realized I’ve come to embrace those teachable moments.
This all crystalized when 17.0 (I can’t believe that either) went to take her road test last week. I just got a new car, and I had the temporary registration taped to the inside of the windshield. Honestly, I had never looked at it. I was just waiting for the regular registration to show up in the mail as it would in the course of business.
However, the road test day showed up before the regular registration – and it turns out the temp was not printed well and arguable the expiration date for the registration on my car was illegible. Arguable because I was able to read it and the woman at the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles office was able to read it – but the tester claimed he could not.
I could see the disappointment in 17.0’s face when the tester said he could not get in the car and take her for her road test due to the registration. We headed for the nearest DMV office, waited on a relatively short line and got the sticker. On the way back to the testing area, 17.0 asked me why I didn’t argue with the tester more.
THE TEACHABLE MOMENT
It’s time for 17.0 to understand that there are times it futile to argue with people who aren’t her father – there was no way I was changing the tester’s mind, so I went for solving the problem.
Both girls are traveling with international destinations this summer. A couple of years ago when the girls were in camp there was a trip to Canada and it turns out their American Express debit cards did not work internationally.
And she passed her road test, wave if you see her drive by you.
This year, both girls are out in the world with credit cards.
THE TEACHABLE MOMENT
Now I’m trying to explain the importance of credit ratings to both girls, and get them to understand they’ll get a bill eventually.
We’ll see how that goes I suppose.
So instead of semi-pithy realities of being an only parent – I’ll try to document those teachable moments now – and a bit about how those lessons are received.