Monday, November 12, 2012

Assume Nothing

 My Dad surprised me with a Boston travel book as a gift for qualifying for the Boston Marathon.  So thoughtful!
 The boys invited my Dad, a veteran, to attend their school's Veteran's Day program.

 The kids sang to the veterans.  So sweet!

 Cooper invited a few school friends to the bowling aisle to celebrate his sixth birthday!

After bowling, the kids dug into the bowling cupcake cake.

A few weeks ago, Chris got the boys off the school while I was out for a run.  That afternoon, I watched the boys leap off the school bus and come barreling down the driveway.  I did a once over on Cooper and asked, "Is that how you went to school?"

He shot me a perplexed look.

"Did you really go to school wearing two different shoes," I said, fully aware that the answer was yes.

He shrugged his shoulders and dashed into the house.  

I dialed Chris at work and asked the obvious, "Why did you let him walk out of the house and into the school like that?"

"I told him to put on his shoes," he replied.  "I just assumed he did it right."

Aha!  There sat the problem.  He assumed.

I quickly sat my naive husband straight.

"You see," I began.  "You never assume anything with kids."

Good advice.  

I wish I listened to it more.

This weekend, the boys asked if they could sell candy to the neighbors.  I found the prospect of them removing even a portion of the mounds of Halloween candy we have and unloading it on to the neighbors to be quite ingenious (and helpful).  So I handed them a few candy bags and watched them skip out the door.

A few minutes later, I peeked outside to check on the sale.  I scanned the empty driveway with concern and then raced out to the edge of the yard.  I spotted a neighbor kid and asked him about the boys' whereabouts.

"They are walking door to door selling candy," he replied.

Sure enough as my eyes scanned down the street, I zeroed in on two little boys shuffling along the sidewalk, clutching plastic bags bulging with candy.

By the time I caught up with them, they were pleased as punch with their newfound wealth (a whole 16¢ richer) and totally unaware that their mother was in a tizzy about them wandering down the street selling to the neighbors.

As we talked, I realized we assumed different things.  I was thinking the selling would be transacted lemonade-stand style smack dab on our driveway (within eyeshot of their mother).  They were thinking more traveling salesman.  Clearly, we had a lost in translation moment.

I thought about my own "assume nothing" advice and added:

Spell it out.


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