When One of Your Worst Stories is Also One of Your Best (Parenting Post)

October 2, 2015 by cloften  
Filed under Family and Parenting

My wife and I were sitting downstairs in our house in St. Louis.  Our two daughters were (theoretically) asleep upstairs.  We had the TV on and were winding down from another day.  We were getting ready to move to Cabot and it had definitely been an exhausting few months.

Then suddenly, we hear a blood-curdling scream from upstairs.  It was Lauren.  As fast as we could, we both ran upstairs to Lauren’s room.  We dart into her room and our five year old is sitting on the floor in the middle of the room screaming her head off.  It did not take much investigation to find out what had happened.  There on the floor next to her were a pair of charred cuticle scissors and on the wall was a charred electrical outlet.

Needless to say, everyone in the house is freaking out.  Mama is holding Lauren trying to calm her down.  They are both crying…a lot.  Maylee, who is 8, has wandered across the hall also wondering what has happened.  She is now crying, not because she knows what happened but because her mom and sister are crying.  (This is what we do by the way. Dad of daughters!)  I take Maylee back across the hallway and back to her bed.  I sit with her for a little while and help calm her down.  When it is apparent that she will fall asleep post-chaos, I head back downstairs.

Mom has Lauren and I wanted to keep the chaos level down.  Mom and Lauren are laying in bed and eventually stop crying.  After probably 20-30 minutes, Heidi finally leaves Lauren’s room and slowly comes downstairs.  She sits next to me and we sit in a silence for a while.  We are still both breathing heavily and quite overwhelmed.

Heidi breaks the silence.  “You know what your daughter said to me right before I left?” (It’s never good when your spouse refers to one of your kids as your kid.)


He narrowly avoided litigation

He narrowly avoided litigation

“She said, ‘When I put those scissors in the outlet and the electricity went through my body, do you think my bones glowed like Jimmy Neutron’s?’”


(Both erupt into laughter)

That is how the one of scariest moments in our life became one of the funniest.  10 years later and we still laugh about it.  10 years later and my heart still races a little about what could have happened.

Mostly I just wanted to share that story because it’s a great story, but let’s try to turn it into something of value.

Random Parenting Advice

1) Your kids are affected by what they see on TV.  No, we didn’t try and sue Nickelodeon.  No, we didn’t ban TV for a year or anything like that.  However, don’t go to the other extreme and think that what they are watching doesn’t affect them.  We have temporarily banned a handful of shows over the years.  We noticed them talking to us or each other differently.  Then we notice, hmm, that’s how they talk to each other on that Disney Channel show.  Then, ban.

2) Your kid that is like you will repeat your mistakes.  Yes, I stuck something in an outlet once.  Yes, it was because I wanted to know what it was like.  Yes, I feel guilty about passing on my genetic traits.  If you know what your kid is thinking, use it to your advantage and help them process things the way that you wish that someone would have helped you.

3) Take great love and care with any kids that you have that you would describe as curious, scientific, and/or reckless.  Don’t think, they will never _________ because they can and will.  We had and have continued to have many conversations with her about the ideas that she is currently having.  One slipped through the cracks.  It happens.  While we are at it, pray a lot for your “Lauren.”  We plan on holding a party for her guardian angel when we get to meet her.

4) Don’t be afraid to laugh at stories like this.  Sure it was scary but it was also funny.  Sure it’s embarrassing and could have been a tragic story, but it wasn’t.  Thank God (literally) and laugh.  Don’t beat yourself up. Learn, laugh, move on.

Parenting is a brutal, crazy adventure and it is relentless and draining.  Hang in there. Trust God. Enjoy the ride.


One Response to “When One of Your Worst Stories is Also One of Your Best (Parenting Post)”
  1. Carolyn Loften says:

    Pastor, I believe your parents are grateful to God and your Guardian Angel for protecting you. Parents do have blind spots that they don’t realize until after the fact. Thanking again God for Post-Wisdom. I believe there are stories to tell about you, but another time.

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