The Nonchalant Parent

PleaseDon'tInterruptWhileIgnoringHave you ever been around parents who seem completely oblivious to their kid’s misbehavior?

Sure, I know kids sometimes misbehave at the most inopportune times. And so my complaint isn’t about the kids’ bad behavior.

It’s the parents’ unawareness, their blatant disregard, their cool indifference for their children’s misbehavior that aggravates me!

I mean, they don’t even acknowledge that their kids are misbehaving. And then they don’t do anything to correct or prevent or redirect the misbehavior.

It’s like they don’t even want to acknowledge that they have a kid who is misbehaving.

These parents are completely disengaged from their kid because they are completely engaged in something else: talking or texting on the cell phone, shopping, talking with friends, and otherwise not paying attention to what their kid is doing.

It just makes me want to smack them! No, not the kid. The parent. The nonchalant parent…

They just don’t see the forest for the trees. Or maybe it’s more like they don’t see the trees for the forest!trees_forestSo, I took Kaleb to the doctor a few days ago. He had been feeling sickly for a few days, but not enough to stay home. But this day he developed a rash while at school and needed to see the doctor.

I called the doctor’s office and since it was Friday afternoon, the doctor had left for the day. (Why can’t they get sick when the doctor is in?) So, I took him to one of those walk-in clinics.

Fortunately, the clinic had a large aquarium set up in the waiting area and the colorful fish swimming around captured Kaleb’s attention while we waited.

They finally called Kaleb’s name and we went back to the examination room. As difficult as it was to control Kaleb in the large waiting area, it was miserable to deal with him in a small examination room. There was nothing in there to occupy his interest other than a lot of objects he’s not supposed to touch or play with.

He wanted to handle, open, close, fondle, turn, inspect, or somehow manipulate everything he could get his hands on in the examination room because it’s all so close and accessible. But, I did my best to keep him under control until the nurse arrived to ask us some pre-exam questions.

KalebInPJsActingSillySince we were at the clinic and they didn’t have his chart from  his pediatrician, I proceeded to provide a detailed account of Kaleb’s recent doctor visits. The nurse was sitting at the computer in the exam room typing Kaleb’s chart and she suddenly stopped and stood up and stepped over to Kaleb, who had crawled up on the examination table. And she restrained him from trying to take the pictures off the wall that were hung above the exam table. I hadn’t even noticed!

Then she returned to her seat and I continued to expound on his recent medical history, intent on explaining that he had already made a trip to the doctor and been prescribed medication a few days earlier for this same illness.

Again, she stopped typing and this time jumped up from her chair and made a grab for Kaleb who was standing on the exam table playing with the three pictures hanging on the wall above. I couldn’t help but notice some irritability in the tone of her voice as she confronted Kaleb and made him get off the examination table and back down to the floor.

That’s when it suddenly occurred to me, Kaleb is out of control in this little, bitty examination room and while I’m occupied with giving Kaleb’s medical report, the nurse is actually the one trying to control my child…duh!

Incredible! Unbelievable! Unthinkable! I’ve become a NONCHALANT PARENT!

I didn’t even notice my own child’s misbehavior!

I was oblivious to Kaleb’s unruly behavior even though the three of us occupied close quarters in this small exam room. Or else, I’d grown so familiar with his rowdiness that it didn’t seem as troublesome to me as it did to the nurse.

After all, it’s not like it was original artwork! For crying out loud, it was just office supply prints that he was trying to knock off the wall!

Please, somebody smack me…

2 thoughts on “The Nonchalant Parent

  1. One of the problems is the statement you made to us at lunch just this week….”Men can only do one thing at a time!” 🙂 Sorry, couldn’t resist! 🙂 And you were working hard to give the right info. You are still doing a GREAT job, Bro. Steve!!!


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