Thursday, April 7, 2016

Disastrophe: When Parenting Disasters Meet Catastrophe

After his first soccer practice yesterday while I was helping him change out of his cleats, my four-year-old looked at me and said "Someday I'll sit and watch you play soccer when I'm big," and whether he was promising this to repay or reward me, it melted my heart. As both kids are getting older these sweet moments are happen more frequently and I love the way little minds show us exactly what they're thinking when they think it. Of course, like every family we have our share of the not so Pinterest-worthy moments too...

My son shouted DISASTROPHE after crashing a tower of blocks down and ever since, it is our go-to term for the minor to major 'oops' moments that seem to happen all day long. He used to watch Gaspard and Lisa, a cartoon about French dog/children that look more like bunnies and go to school in Paris. At some point in each episode they yell CATASTROPHE and when he combined that with the word disaster, DISASTROPHE became the best way to punctuate our most terrible moments with a little French flair.

Disastrophe for parenting fails


Every parent knows how easily bad becomes worse and can probably think of a time when equal parts disaster and catastrophe combined to form the dreaded disastrophe. 

It's not only that the baby had a diaper blowout but had a diaper blowout on the couch, or that the same baby didn't just fall down at the park but fell onto a huge pile of green goose poop. Get the picture? Disaster is implied when a four year old screams "I NEED PAPER TOWELS" but followed by "FOR PUKE! ON THE RUG!" it's clearly a disastrophe.

The wrong color countertops were installed in the kitchen at our last house while I was at work. Some would decide that was a catastrophe and it sure felt like that to me when I arrived home to see a product installed in my house that I wouldn't have ever considered, but finding out that I signed paperwork with that wrong product listed clearly on it weeks earlier? Therein lies the disastrophe.

As parents we have to try to stay on our toes for the survival of our little people but the reality is that a lot happens in the instant we let our guard down- whether it is once or ten times a day. These are the moments that produce our disastrophes. Beware when something seems like a disaster- "Mommy I SPILLED!" because that's when the words "your coffee" or "your wine" follow and a would-be disaster becomes disastrophe.

I like to think our use of disastrophe is the perfect way to indulge our melodramatic side and avoid offending those who may have experienced actual disasters or catastrophes. (Or those who haven't but would still be offended because they just need to laugh more)

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