I grew up in the Bible Belt. Summer was ushered in by Vacation Bible School and Wednesday meant covered dish suppers and sweet tea in the church basement. Sometimes I have to draw on the lessons learned in a little country church when I don’t have the patience to deal with small children who push my buttons in public.
Recently I had one of those please God don’t let me see anyone I know moments while running errands with Caitlin. For the most part she is my little shopping buddy, but 3-year-olds are about as predictable as Tom Cruise and upholstered furniture on Oprah or Ashlee Simpson’s latest hair color. Is this unpredictability going to change now that she’s turning 4? Somehow I doubt it.
Here are some examples of my memorable WWJD parenting moments over the years…that’s What Would Jesus Do for all of you unfamiliar with this catchy little slogan printed on everything from bracelets to bumper stickers.
You’re in a checkout line six people deep and your 3-year-old starts playing your chest like the bongos and chanting “BOOBIES, BOOBIES, BOOBIES!”
Jesus didn’t have boobies, but he did advocate peace and loving all little children, no matter how annoying. Keep smiling, point out an item of distraction (Dora panties!), pray no one is listening to her Ode to Boob and bolt out of the store faster than the sales clerk can ask, “Will that be paper or plastic?”
You’re in another checkout line (detecting a mommy behavioral chain of stupidity here) and your child takes one look at the cashier and asks loudly, “Mommy, she got silly hair?” Pay up as quickly as possible and say something lame like “Oh, her hair is nice! What nice hair!” Leave the store and avoid that cashier and her silly hair, which is actually pretty silly.
Jesus probably wouldn’t be grocery shopping, he’d send one of his disciples.
You see a former co-worker at the store and start chatting with her. You introduce her to your seemingly angelic child, who promptly shoves a finger up her nose.
Jesus would point out that your child is clearly in need of attention. Go home and give your child lots of attention. At home. Not in public. And make sure you have antibacterial gel in your purse at all times.
You’re 7 months pregnant and buying something during the pre-holiday rush at the mall with your 2-year-old (can we say glutton for punishment?) She plays hide and seek from you and doesn’t understand why you use your loud mommy voice when you yank her out of the cookware display and waddle to the car.
Jesus would pat you on the head and say, “Next year do all of your holiday shopping online.” (And I did!)