Teaching Kids to “Respect Their Elders”– Is It A Lost Cause?


Sorry for not writing for more than a few days, but I’ve been deep in thought and research about a topic that I know is near and dear to many parents’ (and grandparents’) hearts, not to mention Aretha Franklin’s: Respect. It has occurred to me this fall that, among the many values that Andy and I have actively tried to impart to our kids over the years, respect for adults has not been one of those we’ve worked especially hard at.  Geesh,  do we have to teach everything? Can’t some things just occur naturally? Well, for our oldest, respect for adults pretty much did come naturally, with the exception of the adults known as her parents, but hers is more of a “defying parents for the sake of defiance” issue rather than respect.  As far as I know and have seen over these past (almost) 17 years of her life, she is generally nothing but polite to teachers and other adults in her life.  We often hear compliments on her maturity and politeness.  Our youngest is a different story. I should have taken more notice during past Girl Scout meetings, when Emmie would talk to others while I or another leader would be trying to explain something to the group.  I should have taken more notice during elementary school—teachers would tell us she was talking back to them in class, talking while they were talking, arguing an unjust punishment for herself or others, laughing at something they’d say to her when she wasn’t supposed to be laughing…we’d implore her to behave and to stop getting in trouble. But we rarely had her look at things from the respect side—it’s not just “Behave so you won’t get into trouble”, it’s also, “These people are older than you, know a lot more than you, spend almost every day teaching you, and deserve your respect, or at least deserve to be treated with respect, whether you agree with everything they do and say or not.  Just like you like to be respected by younger kids.”  Emmie is a pretty deep thinker—I think she might have grasped that concept, especially if she’d heard it repeatedly, as I’m sure some parents repeat as often as they remind their kids to brush their teeth.  But maybe because she’s the baby, we let things slide?


Now in Jr. High and about 5 weeks away from becoming a teenager, it’s not teachers she’s disrespecting– it’s us.  Our baby, the sweet, empathetic one, the one who gives random hugs and is still not afraid to snuggle up next to either parent in the church pew on Sunday? Say it ain’t so!  But, just like she thought she was on the same level as her teachers back in elementary school, she truly thinks she’s on the same level as her parents. Here’s a recent example: I need to make a phone call one evening while I’m at my computer, and so I pick up the phone on my desk. Before I can dial the numbers, I hear girl voices on the phone and realize that Emmie is talking to a friend. “Hey Emmie, I need to make a call so you’ll need to get off now,” I say into the phone. That’s happened before– it’s routine in a two-story house when I can’t hear what’s going on upstairs, and me telling her that should be no big deal–  in the past she has wrapped up her call and called the friend back later. But this time she argues with me over the phone, with her friend still on the line.


“You can use your cell phone,” she tells me. (Excuse me, what?!)


“No, I don’t want to use my cell phone, you have your own cell phone that you can use,” I say. 


“I don’t know where mine is,” she says.


“Well, you need to find it and get off of the phone now.  I need to make a call.”


She won’t give up.  I ask Andy to help out, and when she hears he is coming she tells her friend good-bye and gets off the phone, but she is not happy, and makes it known to him.  All about how rude I am and how I can use my cell phone just as easily as she can. He tries to explain to her that the reception on my cell phone inside the house isn’t that great and that, especially for a business call, I need to use the land line.  But she doesn’t understand.  She thinks that whenever she asks me to use my other phone, I should be polite and just use it—“No other parent would be rude by saying no!” she spouted.  He tries to explain to her that I am the adult and she is the child, but she’ll have nothing of that talk.  She goes into a rage and proceeds to lose many privileges.


In the aftermath, I realize that while consequences for bad behavior are important, Andy and I have to get to the root of the problem if any behavior/attitude is going to change— this phone incident isn’t isolated, and after all these years of “sliding by”, she really does see herself on the same playing field as an adult. Can we possibly get her to learn respect at this stage?


According to many experts, it’s going to be hard…respect is something that should be instilled from toddlerhood on.  But what else can we do but try? Among the tips I gathered recently, I liked the following, which, if used regularly, may help us and anyone else who needs a respect boost:


-If you don’t want kids to put themselves at your level, don’t put yourself at their level. Don’t allow  yourself to get into an argument with a child—repeat your request and follow up with consequences if needed, but don’t defend your request. You can let it be known that you will be happy to discuss things later, but at present, you need such-and-such to happen. So many experts say again and again, Use As Few Words As Possible. Be Succinct. Be Firm. And, (deep breath) Be Calm.


-If a child calls you to ask you something in your house (non-emergency of course), no matter how small or how big the house, don’t get up and go to them.  If they need something, they need to come to you and ask in person. Do not set up the atmosphere that you are at their beck and call. If you need to ask them something, they need to come to you as well.


-Make sure you are modeling respect of elders by acting respectful toward those who are older than you—your own parents, other older relatives, etc.  If you need to vent about something, do so to your spouse or a friend out of earshot of your children.


-Constantly remind your kids to be respectful of adults when the child is going to a friend’s house, a club meeting, etc.  I think some kids have the mentality that they don’t want to be seen as a “suck up” or Teacher’s Pet, but there is a difference in being kind and respectful and being an “Eddie Haskell” (yeah, I’m showing my age with that one and I don’t care). Have them get comfortable with simply asking adults, “Is there anything I can do to help?” I hear that rarely from kids but when I do, it’s such sweet music. Follow up when your child returns, and ask them if they were able to help.


-Be confident and sure of yourself in front of your kids—leave the self-doubts for another place and time.  Use whatever it takes to help you feel that way— prayer and quiet time; music (the theme song from “Rocky” perhaps? “We are the Champions”? J); parenting books/tapes (I always feel like I have a confident edge for about 24 hours after I listen to a Love and Logic CD while cleaning or driving); television (old reruns of The Cosby Show or Andy Griffith can do the trick…or watching whoever else you think is a “confident parent” role model); reading this blog so that you know you’re not alone; and treating yourself well, i.e. getting enough sleep and eating right, can also go a long way in helping you be on top of your game. It’s amazing how much better I can face the stressful late afternoons of chauffeuring cranky kids around when I’ve snuck a snack in my purse. But what does being confident and treating yourself well have to do with respect? When you’ve got your act together, you’re less likely to put yourself on a child’s level when the going gets tough– not to mention that kids, especially older ones, will give some measure of respect to someone who’s confident rather than someone who’s always second-guessing themselves.


What do you do, if anything, in your family to help foster respect for adults?  Or what did your parents do for you? I’m all ears…(’cause I’ve been “in the dark” for so long…)

Button, Button, Who Wears “The Button”?

Recently we officially became a “two-button” family– i.e. both of the kids are now in extracurricular activities which generate photo buttons of their faces, for parents/grandparents to wear when attending those activities.  The Mom version is usually blinged out with colorful ribbons, beads and plastic charms surrounding it and/or hanging off the bottom; the Dad version is usually “just the photo”, to be more manly of course, so they’re more likely to wear it.  But, sadly, my husband Andy is currently a no-button man living in a two-button world.

I understand his reasons completely, mainly not wanting to buy into every “parent pride” merchandising opportunity that comes along, like yard signs (got ’em), expensive ads in printed programs (“You go girl!! We love you SOOOOOO much!!”) and personalized car decals (got those, too, although Allison is still too embarrassed by our vehicles to allow us to put them on the back windows).  He also thinks wearing photo buttons is a bit excessive and over-the-top.  If you know me, you know I think things in North Texas are generally always too over the top and reluctantly go along with a lot of it.  But the buttons? I embrace them whole heartedly, for lots of reasons. For starters, the kids really want us to wear them. Just this week I heard Emmie ask excitedly, “Mom, are you going to wear your button to the volleyball game?”  For many years, they’ve looked forward to being in these activities and feel good when it’s finally their turn to have “button wearers” out there supporting them.  Second, they’re cheap. If you’re going to buy any of this parent pride stuff, the buttons are the least expensive, and sometimes booster clubs provide them free of charge. Third, they’re a way for people to know that your kid is out there, and to look for him/her.  At a large school (our high school has over 2,000 kids), it’s easy for a kid to get lost in the crowd of team photos and posters that promote only the seniors or upperclassmen. I’ve walked by many friends at the games who see my button and say, “Allison is on the drill team? That’s great!” and then they’ll look for her on the field, and maybe even stop to say a kind word to her as well if they recognize her in line at the concession stand or pass her while walking out after the game.

Still, Andy refuses to wear his specially-made buttons.  Should I organize an intervention, have a group of button-wearing parents surround him and demand to know, “WHY DON’T YOU WEAR THE BUTTON?  YOU MUST WEAR THE BUTTON!” just like in the Seinfeld episode where Jerry refuses to wear the AIDS ribbon?  Should I put adhesive on the back of the buttons and secretly stick them on his back at one of the games, when he’s not paying attention?  Should I talk the pre-game tailgate picnic servers into giving extra helpings to only those who wear the button? Seriously, getting to have another free spicy burrito just might do the trick for Andy… although he’d probably take off the button before he entered the stadium…  

Guess I should be glad he at least wears “the shirt” to football games– a red polo-style with the words “Drill Team Dad” embroidered unobtrusively on the front left side– and sits next to me in my sparkly “Drill Team Mom” T-shirt and my blinged out photo button pinned under one shoulder.  It’s a pretty big step for him to do that, when you think about it…now if only I could come up with something for him to wear at Emmie’s volleyball games…

Just Chequing Things Out…


I’m out of checks (or as you Brits spell it, cheques). Yes, I ignored the “TIME TO REORDER” warning sheet at the top of the very last bunch and here I am, nary a check in sight. I keep writing “Order Checks!!!” on my To Do lists and it’s not getting done—but I better do it now because I’m tired of going to the bank for cash, and hubby has started having to write a few from his own account—and I know he might have heart trouble if he sees just how many checks have to be written from the joint account each week.


And so, since I’m one of the “lucky” ones whose bank lets them order any kind of color and style and design they’d like, I thought this time I would finally chose something “different”.  I mean, writing checks is boring and never-ending, right? (Note to those of you who don’t have kids– parents can’t “pay online” for most of their kids’ school and activity expenses, so it really is never-ending check writing!)  So why not liven things up, not only for the person who writes the checks, but for the person who receives them and processes them? But every time I re-order and look into changing, the selection of designs is sadly limited and mostly cheesy, and so lately I’ve stuck to the basics.  I wonder if things have gotten any better since check number 0700… 


This time I looked online as well as in the Sunday newspaper’s coupon sections.  There are a LOT of check companies out there, and currently they include such offerings as:  Thomas Kinkade (the “Painter of Light”, who I think is a bit over-rated and way over-marketed); Precious Moments (um, a LOT over-rated and way over-marketed); 9/11 Firefighters (truly heroes, but it seems disrespectful to write “Fireplug Dog Grooming” across their faces); Fairies (um, do 5-year-olds now have checking accounts?); Harleys, dirt bikes and Chevy trucks (uh, no); and “Salsa Checks”, depicting 19 (I counted) different hot peppers scattered over 4 different check designs (Aye, Caramba!).  There were “Carousel Horses”, “Flip Flops”, checks with all sorts of cute puppy faces, and something called “Girly Camo”.  There were “Lil’ Angels”, cats, and a really disturbing one that combined the two called “Cat Masterpieces” (paintings of cats with wings…yep, a veritable checkbook freakshow…).  I got excited when I saw one called “Coffee Break”—‘Oh, that should be perfect for me,’ I’m thinking, imagining something designed in a retro brown and aqua palette and maybe showing a small coffee mug graphic.  No, it was a set of checks that actually look like someone has placed their coffee cup on top and spilled coffee on the checks. Okay, am I missing something here? Who wants to give a check that looks like it’s been spilled on, in four different ways? If it’s supposed to be a joke, like maybe so the check receiver will think it’s still wet and flap it in the air to dry, only to realize they’ve been punked—why stop at coffee?  Make a vomit check, a blood check, a squashed bug check…  geesh, in a household with kids and dogs, I’ve got enough messes to worry about that I don’t need to pay extra for something to look stained!   One online check company also had a music category, but when I clicked on it, there were only a few choices, including KISS, Ozzy Osbourne, and Pantera.  Huh? I mean, I like hard rock sometimes, but on a check? Nothing screams professionalism like Paying to the Order of Gene Simmons’ tongue, right?  It’s as if the check designers weren’t aware of any other musicians…or maybe, that they only design to a certain demographic…


Wait a minute. Does that mean they think only a certain kind of person goes for something different than the plain old gray, green or tan institutionalized checks, that are about as exciting as a bowl of plain oatmeal ? I beg to differ with you, check-making companies.  I want something different, and I don’t think I fall into your demographic!! How about some real masterpieces? Like a set of Van Gogh, Mondrian, Picasso or Rembrandt checks.  How about some nice patterned checks that don’t include hearts or butterflies, like fleur-de-lis, toile or paisley?  What if a real designer designed them? I can see it now…the zig zags of Missoni, the Paul Frank monkey…   There is a choice offered by some check companies where you can design your own using your own photos…hmmmm, now that could get interesting….but customizing like that takes more time to order and get processed…and a lot of those checks with full background images look like your writing would get lost, or you’d always have to use a certain color of ink in order for it to show up (like metallic or glow in the dark!).


I think I’m just going to go with something “botanical” and call it a day. Like something with a few small images on one side of herbs, wildflowers, or trees. Now, if only those trees could be yarn bombedJ

It’s Cold Here Out On This Limb…

I have a friend who raised her daughter with the philosophy of never saying no, of never having her be upset for too long, of always giving her what she wanted, no matter how crazy the request or how far the parents would have to bend over backwards to grant it.  It didn’t matter if they hurt themselves while bending over—whatever she wanted, she got.  “I don’t like hearing the crying and carrying on,” my friend told me.  “It’s so much easier this way.”  Hah, I thought to myself, easier now, but just wait ‘til later. I imagined the girl as an incorrigible, unpleasant diva as an adult. 

Well, “later” is here– she’s an adult now, and as far as I can see, she’s  a nice, intelligent college graduate who lives on her own;  a law-abiding, church-going, tax-paying citizen with a good job and lots of friends.  Maybe it’s extra tough on her when disappointments happen, small or large… I don’t know…but by all accounts, she seems well-adjusted and “raised well.”

Lately I’ve wondered if I should become “cool” like my friend, giving in to whatever my kids want—letting them text and watch TV even when homework needs to be done, buying endless amounts of junk food and running to the nearest Wendy’s or Arby’s whenever they ask, giving them an endless  clothing budget, providing transportation at their every beck and call, and when they throw aggressive tantrums if something’s not to their liking, never punishing them for their behavior—soothe the savage beast instead, dry the tears.  I might end up in the poorhouse while embracing this style of parenting, but oh, wouldn’t it be easier on my well-being while getting there…

-I wouldn’t have to go through gut-wrenching second-guessing for days after I’ve taken a privilege away or imposed a sanction

-I wouldn’t have to see my children sob and beg for a replacement punishment (“You can take my phone away for a year, make me take care of the dogs from now on…anything but this!!”)

-I wouldn’t have to be at odds with my husband (he believes after a parent has taken a privilege away that kids ought to be able to “buy back” the privilege with good behavior… I don’t.)

-I wouldn’t have to miss out on planned “date nights” with said husband (when you ground a kid who has threatened to leave the house anyway, I think it’s important to stick around!).

-I wouldn’t have to hear the words “I hate you, Mom!” (I’ll bet my friend never heard that from her daughter…)

-I wouldn’t have to be badgered with a zillion excuses and manipulative statements to try to get me to change my mind, such as:

                I don’t do this often.  Why are you being so harsh?

                Mom, you’ve lost your cool before—why can’t I?

                This privilege means so much to me—why didn’t you

                pick something else?

                Can I just be grounded for ½ the evening?

 Can I have a freebie this one time?

It’s tough standing your ground with kids, especially when you love them with all your heart and hate to see them upset.  It feels unnatural—you want to make everything all right.  The mothering instinct is to protect.  And even though that’s what I’m ultimately trying to do…why does it have to hurt so much?

Uncool parenting ought to come with a warning label—DO NOT TRY THIS UNLESS YOU HAVE A SPOUSE OR PARTNER, ONE WHO IS UNCOOL  AS WELL.  AND IF YOU DON’T, MAKE SURE YOU HAVE A LIVE-IN MASSEUSE.  Or at least one that works close by… AND REALLY, REALLY THICK SKIN, AND AN IRON HEART…     

 

Parents Who Shrouded 9/11: Is It Time to Lift the Veil?

On the morning of September 11, 2001, I was standing in our hallway bathroom, staring at a wall, when the phone rang.  It probably took me a few rings to snap out of my trance—after all, bathroom remodeling is serious business.  But after I answered the phone, deciding on paint color and tile didn’t seem so important anymore.  It was Andy calling from work, telling me to turn on the TV and see the events unfolding over 1,500 miles away.  I put down my tape measure and watched in horror.  It was so unbelievable, at times I felt as if I was watching a twisted episode of Batman where the villains were winning,  in an over-the-top, diabolical way, using only a few people and a few box cutters.  The atrocities kept happening, and somewhere, you just knew that a villain was smiling some sick grin and probably throwing his head back, laughing like The Joker. This is not supposed to be happening for real, I thought.  This can’t be happening to America.  I wanted to wail.  I wanted to scream.  But there in the next room, my 2 ½-year old toddler was dancing happily in a pink tutu.  And down the street at the elementary school, I had a six-year-old starting her third week of first grade. I knew, based on past experience, that any strong outpouring of emotion by me would scare both of them, and they wouldn’t understand why, or if they did, they might feel wrongly that they were in eminent danger.  And so, I made the decision pretty quickly that as a mom protecting her kids, I would not act like the events of the day were a big deal.  I would stifle my emotions.  I told Emmie I was watching “some very important news” while she danced in circles, round and round to the soundtrack from The Big Comfy Couch (a former PBS show).  Sirens were wailing on the TV in front of me as I heard Emmie singing at the same time: “Ya gotta stop! Don’t go! Wait ‘til the green light says so-oh…” As the hours wore on, I was even more determined that no terrorist was going to affect any more lives than he already had…Emmie and I ran errands together, ate lunch…I remember actually being annoyed that some stores, such as The Container Store, were closed for the day. I was determined to keep moving for the sake of my kids and my country, and I didn’t understand why everyone else wasn’t doing the same.  We need to be like Whoville, I thought.  The Grinch did NOT steal Christmas!!!

I felt helpless to do anything else. How could I possibly make a difference? I wasn’t going to enlist in the Army, as many were inspired to do, or get on the next plane to New York.  I felt that I needed to be at home, being a mother to my kids.  We gave a donation to the Red Cross and the star-studded telethon. We attended a 9/11 memorial church service with Allison and prayed.  We did tell her about the events in basic, simple terms and allowed her to see a bit of the footage on TV.  But we didn’t dwell on it much more than that.

Ten years later, we still haven’t.  Out of my strong desire to shield my kids from needless stress and worry, I pretty much swept 9/11 under the rug.  But lately I’ve been wondering if that was such a healthy thing to do, for me and for them.  I mean, it’s not good to stifle emotions, right?  But once they got old enough to where my emotions wouldn’t scare them, seeing Mom crying about anything became a source of humor for one of them, and embarrassment for the other. (I have managed to steal a few 9/11 cries over the years in private, like this morning as I watched on TV as a 12-year-old girl remembered her mother, a fallen NYPD officer who died in the south tower…)

For sure, keeping quiet about 9/11 for so long definitely doesn’t help our kids’ history knowledge, which Andy and I are usually big on enhancing.  Surprisingly, their school classes have been pretty quiet about it as well.   

Andy and I discussed recently about possibly showing the girls a documentary or movie to mark the 10th anniversary. A Google search and IMDB.com revealed a larger selection of choices than I expected.  Flight 93, a made-for-TV movie, might be good.  It focuses on heroism and doesn’t contain the foul language of its big screen counterpart, United 93. But, according to reviews, it’s still extremely tense and sad.  “I know I don’t want to see that,” said Andy.  There’s World Trade Center directed by Oliver Stone (got horrible reviews) and DC 9/11, a view of the tragedy from inside the Bush administration (a bit slanted).  A good choice looks like “9/11”, a documentary first aired on CBS, which uses hand-held footage taken by two French brothers who were already near the twin towers, working on a documentary about a fireman, when 9/11 unfolded.  It won two primetime Emmys and gets high praise for its avoidance of sensationalism.  So, maybe we will add that to our Netflix queue.  In the meantime, it looks like there are a lot of news specials on TV tonight that also sound good—CNN’s  “Beyond Bravery: The Women of 9/11”, CBS’ “9/11: Ten Years Later” which uses footage from “9/11” and is again narrated by Robert DeNiro; and “CNN Presents: Footnotes of 9/11”, which focuses on eight ordinary people who were footnotes in the 9/11 Commission Report, such as a man at the airline ticket counter who checked in two of the hijackers. 

Ten years ago, shielding my kids was probably the right thing to do. Experts lately are saying that children who viewed nonstop images of 9/11 in the days after the events showed signs of post traumatic stress syndrome.  But now, I think it’s okay to show them more, at least older kids (mine are almost 13 and 17).  Allison says she’s fascinated by what little she’s already seen.   And both Allison and Emmie had lots of questions when Osama Bin Laden was killed recently, since they knew it was a “big deal”.  Now they can see for themselves just how big.

Is Anybody Listening?

Just a short post today to find out if any of you have ever had fun with the mp3 player that lives on the left sidebar of this blog—it’s been there almost as long as the blog has been in existence.  I have a lot of fun coming up with songs to put on it, based on the posts I’ve written.  “Under the Bridge” and “You Dropped a Bomb on Me” were there for the post about yarn bombing and random art; Weird Al’s “Amish Paradise” will be on there as long as the story about our family’s visit to an Amish community is on the front page.  If you click on the player’s arrow, it plays song snippets in a continuous rotation and can provide fun “background” while you’re reading. There’s no charge to listen to the snippets and if you ever decide you want to download any of them, they’re 99 cents each.  (Being the cheapskate that I am, I just listen to the snippets…but they still bring a smile.)

So, I just wanted to make sure everyone is aware of this fun feature (and if I ever give away an iPod again as a Friday Freebie, I ought to have the winner’s name drawn from only those who can correctly match the songs to the posts!!) Also, I’m open to song suggestions, so if you ever think of a good one that is post-related, please let me know! Happy listening!

Musings on “Meet the Teacher”


Around here, late August not only means The First Day of School but also very soon after, “Meet the Teacher” night.  Growing up, I remember we had “Open House” in the middle of the semester, so we could show off our work to our parents and introduce our teachers (if they hadn’t already met them by then) but I don’t ever recall anything like this:  About a week or even a few days after school starts, parents of elementary and secondary students get to “walk their child’s schedule”, without the child present, visiting each classroom via a “special bell schedule” and sitting in class while hearing a brief presentation from the teacher.  Each presentation takes only about 10-12 minutes, and you have five minutes between them, so you may or may not get to personally meet the teacher on Meet the Teacher night (and if you take the time to do this, you might be late to your next “class”.)


At an elementary school, it’s easy. The parents generally get to stay in one classroom the whole time (unless you have more than one child attending the school).  In jr. high and high school, it’s a full two hours of walking the halls and trying to find the classrooms.  But no matter what level of school, all the parents sit in desks. Yep, that’s right, we put our (sometimes) fat adult bodies into those made-for-kids desks (“Ow! My back!”), complete with dried gum stuck beneath the seats, all lined in rows, facing the teacher.


Sometimes, the experience can only be described as “weird”.  Like the time the teacher talked to all of us parents in the same singsong manner she used with her young students (made me wonder if we were going to get a juice box and take a nap).  Or the time the teacher pointed her finger at us and gave us all a lecture like she was talking to her misbehaving students (I badly wanted to throw a spitball at her, but I held back). 


But sometimes it’s sorta fun, like one big “Fast Times” flashback moment. When the bell rings, you get to pass through the halls and wave to all your homies (er, I mean other parents) who you haven’t seen all summer, just like it used to be in your first week of school.  And, ya gotta think those Dads who are going through mid-life crisis are totally digging imagining that they’re young again as they sit in those classrooms, especially if the teacher addressing them happens to be young, female, and pretty…


At Allison’s school’s “Meet the Teacher” night last Monday (our 16th “MTT” to date), I had fun imagining, for a brief moment, that I was in high school again…only notice I said brief, since the guy sitting at the desk in front of me had a graying bald spot on the back of his head. And there was no “U.S.S.R.” on the world map.  And the teacher was talking about the new cell phone policy…. I took notes on what the teacher was saying, only I wondered what would happen if I wrote a “love note” and passed it to Andy instead…


Guess I’ll never know.  The bell rang and he had to leave to go play in a church softball game.  I was stuck navigating the halls alone, and was late to the next two “classes”, which I went far out of my way, in circles, to find.  Oh, well, at least it was good exercise. But I hope it doesn’t prompt any of those recurring dreams so many of us have once in awhile, of being back in school and forgetting our locker combination, or coming to school and not realizing we are wearing only our underwear…