A few weeks Scott left a shopping cart full of merchandise and walked out of the sporting goods store. (Apologies to the clerk who had to put everything away.)
Three boys followed him, complaining, and saying what a bad dad he was.
In the abandoned shopping cart was baseball equipment: pants, helmet, socks. All items that were needed for a tournament the next day. Leaving the full cart was no small feat of parental fortitude because the past two months have been filled to the brim with activity and finding the time to run out to the store with the boys to try on shoes and gloves and helmets has been very limited.
But, the boys were. . .well, being 7 and 9 years old. . .acting up: wandering around, climbing on the exercise equipment, not following Scott when he told them that he was ready to check out. The basket was loaded with everything they needed for the tournament the next day. With frustration rising, he proceeded to the check out.
The boys didn’t listen. They didn’t come when Scott asked them multiple times. He told them to come one more time (probably in that dad voice that means NOW)–and this time they did–and he walked them out of the store. No baseball pants. . .no helmets. . .nothing.
They missed the tournament (Scott checked first to see if there were enough players before he made that decision) because at second and third grade the lesson he was trying to teach them is as important as any batting and fielding practice: don’t be rude.
If dad is footing the bill for all of your stuff. . .be grateful. . .be attentive to what he is saying. . .follow directions.
And most of all, be there when he tells you it is time to check out. (It probably would be nice if you were there with a smile and a word of thanks.)
For now. . .