There are some unwritten expectations for parenthood that over time you hope to conquer with your children. The list of possibilities is of course exhaustive, but in general they center around right from wrong, health and nutrition, the ABC’s and more. Now, enter the smaller less obvious nuances in life. Until said nuances expose themselves clearly, you do not realize that your child may have missed that particular class in the life long course of Parenting 101. It is not that your child was absent or not paying attention it is that the instructor (you) completely forgot to offer the class.
I came to the realization that my boys had not been to the handshake class. We were attending a family funeral and the children were being introduced to distant cousins, etc… I watched in horror as an uncle extended his hand to my son, and he did not respond. Now, let’s be clear, my children are completely adept at the fist bump and the high five, but they clearly did not know what to do with the extended hand meant for shaking. I was too far away to intervene and watched as my son stared at the hand. He started to lift his left hand, quickly changed his mind and lifted his right. Phew, maybe he does know what to do. But no, he did what I consider to be the worst possible handshake and that is to hang his hand limply into the elder gentleman’s hand. The end result was a “wet fish” rendering of a handshake.
I quickly poked my husband’s shoulder and muttered under my breath “when we get home, you need to teach these boys how to shake hands”. (Yes I determined in a split second that this was a class that he forgot to offer). In return I got that blank stare, half nod from my husband as he said “sure”. You know the look, the one that says, “oh, that’s all you want is for me to teach them how to shake hands, based on your tone/face I thought this was going to be much worse.”
And so it goes without saying that this type of incident makes me wonder… what else have I forgotten? If I forgot something as simple, obvious and important as how to shake hands, what’s next? Please, I implore you, give me a heads up, what other classes do we need to offer?…. comments welcome below!