A time and a place. This is not it.

Wouldn’t it be great if kids came with a switch for when you are at home and when you are in public?

We’ve all been there. You are in public and your kid does something completely embarrassing. Your kid responds to your anger/frustration by saying “Well you did it at home.” Whether it’s in the form of them saying something embarrassing you’ve said about someone or a loud burp in a restaurant, our kids are going to embarrass us at least once in their lifetime.

Then there are things that aren’t necessarily embarrassing or out of the ordinary, but when combined with a public setting make for an awkward situation.

Games are an ongoing thing in our house.  We have tons of games we play or make up. But obviously there is a time and place to play. Department stores, are not a place to play.

Imagine my surprise when one day shopping for some new pants for the kids, browsing the racks and the tables, I suddenly no longer hear my children.  For most parents this is always uncomfortable.  The children have either been kidnapped, or they are in a different part of the store causing serious damage.

It is at this point in time that I am beginning to feel that sense of panic.  I look up to a horrifying scream from one of my children.  Only to see another one on the floor screaming and writhing in pain.  As I rush toward my child laying on the ground, people are starting to look and wonder what is happening.  A few worried faces are hoping the one on the floor is ok.

I’ll save you!

It is my son, rushing to help my daughter.  You may be thinking, Aww, that’s nice that he is concerned about his sister. It would be nice, if he was actually concerned. Or if she was actually hurt and in pain.  But this is not the case.

You don’t see what I am seeing.  My son is jumping from display table to display table en route to rescue his sister.  Rescue her from what, you ask? She has fallen in lava. That’s right. My kids  are playing The Floor is Lava and had been jumping on display tables and hanging from racks pretending the floor is lava!  God, I wish they had a switch to turn on when they are in public!

People are starting to stare. They are astonished at my kids. I am embarrassed to see the scene unfolding before me…… Let’s back up a step.  As I type this up and relay the story, it seems as if I may have left my children unattended while I shopped.  Not true, this literally happened in the 15 seconds I took to bend over to search for my son’s size pants on the display.   Although, as this is all happening it is as if time is standing still.

My youngest is yelling for someone to help my oldest on the floor, who is still squealing and squirming in “pain”. My son is bounding from table to table to rush to the rescue.  I am frozen in disbelief that this is all happening.  I have turned into one of those parents.  My kids have suddenly become those kids. The kids that you point at in the store and say,

At least our kids don’t act like that.

I have finally gathered my children.  I have a conversation with them about the time and place to play games.  We cleaned up our mess (It wasn’t that big really.  It seemed worse than it was.) and we left the store.

After the kids were punished for their behavior and we discussed when appropriate times for games are, things settled down.  We still enjoy a good game of the floor is lava. But we are sure to only play them at home.

The Floor is Lava!!

The Floor is Lava!!


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