The Good Parenting Bar

It’s been one of those days, a trauma begets trauma type of day. The life trauma that teachers and students carry with them and the third grade type of trauma of just being a kid. It’s a trauma dominoes kind of day.

So Maddie and I are hashing out our days and I get to go first in our back and forth trade of stories. For one thing I tell her about my school day, I get one thing in return about her school day. We try to build it up to the grand finale of stories. Today she won. Even with my wishing I could just cross my arms, wiggle my nose, and disappear today, she built up to an epic drop of:

“3 kids were caught vaping in the bathroom today.”

I volley back, “FIFTH graders?!?!!?” And your jaw can drop the way mine did. Yes, ten year olds.

I just can’t imagine. “What the fork?” I say. (except I didn’t say fork.) It just slipped out and my good parenting bar has slipped like this on more than one occasion. I’m working on it.

“Yeah, it was Thing One, Thing Two, and Thing Three. (names changes to protect the less than innocent) But Thing One doesn’t really have good parents.”


“How on earth do you know that? I’ve never even heard of Thing One?”

“Oh mom, kids talk.They never pay attention to him and they don’t care what he does. Everyone knows it.”

“First off, that is the saddest thing I’ve ever heard. Secondly, how does anyone know they have good parents? Do YOU have good parents?”

“Duh, yeah! You’re making me shells and cheese right now.”

And with that mic drop, she heads upstairs.

Guess that bar is set pretty low in the Koehler house.


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