thanks for being a…parent. what?

I took 4 kids, ages 8 to 3 (3 girls, 1 boy), bowling today. All by myself. The question, “Are you crazy?” went through my mind. More than once. But I did it anyway. And I survived. The kids survived. Brunswick Bowling Alley survived. But here’s the crazy thing: I got thanked for doing what every parent should do…

I warned the kids in the car, as we headed to the bowling alley, to mind their manners. I have absolutely no problem leaving the alley in the middle of a game, I warned. Well, in the middle of the game, the only boy of the group and my oldest took off running, teasing each other. I thought they were going to just run around the tables and I would catch them on the other side and make them calm down. Nope. They took off down the bowling alley. All the way down the bowling alley, screaming and laughing.

So, I got up and took off after them. Wouldn’t you know it, over the loud-speaker my name was called. Our pizza was ready. By the time I caught up with the 2 hooligans we were standing right in front of the concession stand. The lady holding our pizza, smiling. I am sure she wasn’t smiling on the inside.

First things first. I grab Alex, got at eye level and told her in my best I-am-dead-serious-mommy voice  “…this is not a playground. One more time and we will leave. Do you understand? Get back to our lane and bowl. Now.” Then it’s the boy’s turn for the same lecture. He’s not my kids but in my care, so I have no problem telling it like it is.

Still embarrassed and frustrated, I turn to the concession stand to get the pizza. But before I can a man in a Brunswick Bowling shirt puts his hand on my shoulder and, get this, thanks me! Still reeling from my frustration at MY KID running through the bowling alley, I don’t know what to say. Speechless. I just give a grunt, like…dang kids. There may have been some eye rolling too. He goes on to say that most parents wouldn’t have done anything and thanks me again for taking care of it. “Thanks, no problem,” I say.

Wait, huh? I get thanked for my kids being total lunatics?

I am not tooting my on horn here because I know I will never-ever win Mother-of-the-Year, but, a thank you? Really?

I feel like parents are constantly being beat down for the job they do. It’s a tough, sometimes brutal, job. Everyone is too quick to point out our failures. Where did you go wrong? What did you do, or not do, to make your child that way? Where is your Mother? There is never praise.

So, I am sorry Brunswick Bowling Alley, and, thanks too.

3 thoughts on “thanks for being a…parent. what?

  1. I stopped by last night, but then my own family needed attention, and I left without commenting.

    I have returned!

    That someone stopped to compliment you on your parenting? That is all kinds of awesome.

    But the fact that his compliment was motivated largely by the fact that your parenting is so unusual? That’s just so sad.

    I take other people’s children with me on outings all the time. And I hold them to the same standards I hold my own children. Sometimes? These other children look at me incredulously.


    Well done, you.

    I’d go bowling with you anytime.



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