Monday, August 06, 2007

Flirting with disaster

In addition to my self-appointed efficiency expert mantle, I've decided that I (and all parents really) can also claim the title Incident Prevention Specialist.

At the end of every workday, rushing to finish one last thing before I put away my laptop and pick up the kids, I contemplate leaving the laptop plugged in and sitting on the table. Then the IPS corner of my brain starts shouting: What if someone trips over the cord and yanks the laptop onto the floor (notice I don't care if any human sustains an injury; my only concern is for my precious rainbow-adorned laptop)? What if somebody spills milk into the keyboard? What if I have to spend a half-hour deflecting requests to "play a gaaaaaaaaaaame on the ca-puter, Mommy, pleeeeeeeeease?" I take the 48 seconds to unplug the laptop, move it to an out-of-sight, out-of-mind location, clear the junk off the table and leave. Incident, prevented.

Later, I notice with horror that there is only one more ice cream sandwich in the freezer. There are two children, and because the freezer is at floor level they can open it up anytime they want. I immediately eat the ice cream sandwich or at least hide it under a bag of frozen broccoli. Incident, prevented.

Preparing for an outing, I give the kids healthy snacks to eat in the car so I can stave off requests for unhealthy ones later (or I--oops!--neglect to bring any money so that I can't buy any junk). I plan my route so I won't pass the snow-cone place or the Dairy Queen or even the pool. I bring a stroller, aka traveling toddler cage. (Yes, I do know how to say "no." Trust me, I do it often. But it's nicer just avoiding the whinefests whenever possible.)

It's like a chess game dealing with these wily kids. You always have to think at least 5 moves ahead. Or else there might be an Incident.

17 comments:

Lawyer Mama said...

I can completely relate to the ice cream sandwich thing. I would have eaten it too!

Karianna said...

Knowledge in IP is what I am lacking. And thus, why my home is filled with those "oops! too late! disasters."

On the road, of course, I am the opposite, and Husband wants to slap me silly because of my panicked "What if..."s

GHD said...

I'm constantly moving cups from the edge of the table to the center of the table at parties... lest one of the tiny ones run by and knocks it over.

I used think it was just a "quirk". Now, I realize it must be a condition of motherhood.

Jennifer aka Binky Bitch said...

Expert incident preventer here, too! It's so much easier to avert than to deal with the aftermath!

I think I'm going to have to go get myself an ice cream sandwich now!

Christina said...

That's why I only eat desserts when Cordy is in bed. Otherwise we'll have an incident when she wants to eat it all and is upset when it's gone. Better for me to hide it and eat it on my own, right?

mothergoosemouse said...

I have IPS OCD. (But you knew that.)

Magpie said...

Yes, they are wily. But so cute.

binkytown said...

Ugh. I do this too. It's exhausting and I'm guessing mostly mothers suffer from this. I'm 99% sure my husb. doesn't have this.

L.A. Daddy said...

Moving the laptop out of sight might also prevent a burglary incident. If someone sees a nice camera, computer, or TV through a window? Smash and grab time...

BlondeMomBlog (Jamie) said...

I find myself doing stuff like this all the time! I consider it sanity maintenance. And God forbid there be just ONE lonely ice cream sandwich...you put it out of its misery!
;)

Jenifer said...

My 12 year old step son just spilled my wine cooler into the keyboard of my laptop.... I wasn't thinking 5 steps ahead that day!

Christine said...

I feel like this IP is 90% of my day...a big thing here for my daughter is what color bowl she's been given vs. everyone else's bowl. There's a hierarchy: pink > blue > yellow > green > red.

Jennifer (ponderosa) said...

Oh, exactly! I'm putting that on my resume.

jen said...

you are hilarious. i so love that you take one for the team on that whole ice cream issue.

aimee / greeblemonkey said...

Love the chess game analogy.

The Happy Housewife said...

With you all the way - but let us clarify - I'll agree that Mummies are Incident Prevention Specialists (par excellence) but Daddies are definitely Incident Provoking Specialists in my experience.

hamiam said...

This is so true...and I am with Happy Housewife in her analysis of the different IPS roles moms and dads play.