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Accidental Parenting

What do you call it when your daughter uses your ‘joking around’ advice and it works?

Many years ago my daughter Chez came home from high school and announced, “Teacher says I have to wear navy blue pants. These black pants are not allowed.”

We had just arrived in England. My daughter’s new school reminded me of Hogwarts, right out of Harry Potter, complete with creepy dark bricks, sharp gables, corner high rising turrets, and skyward reaching chimneys.

“Navy blue is practically black,” I stated, “Your pants could pass for navy blue.”

“Dad you’re colorblind,” Chez said. Then she ran off and came back with a pair of dark colored shorts, held them up to her pants saying, “Here, can you see it now? The shorts are navy blue, my pants are black.”

“OK,” I admitted, “But, c’mon, it’s hard to tell. Those navy blue shorts are practically black, what’s the big deal?”

“Mrs. Carmody says if I don’t have navy blue pants I can’t come to school.”

“Who’s Mrs. Carmody?” I questioned.

“She’s my homeroom teacher. Everyone makes fun of her name. They call her Mrs. CAR-BODY. It fits, she’s huge. She says I can’t come to school anymore until I have navy blue pants.”

This is where I had to put on my thinking cap because, ‘Houston, we have a problem.’

“Chez, we can’t get down to the school clothing store until Thursday,” I explained, “Can’t you just wear the black pants a couple more days until we can get you the navy blue ones?”

Chez didn’t like my proposal and expressed her concern, “What am I supposed to tell Mrs. CAR-BODY?”

And, here’s where I got myself in trouble. I jokingly told her, “When you go into school tomorrow and your teacher tries to send you home for wearing black pants, do this …”

I went into acting mode, threw my hands up in the air, contorted my face to maximum ‘surprise’ and exclaimed, “Oh my God! How did that happen? Can you believe it! It’s a miracle! When I put them on this morning, they were navy blue!

It worked, Chez laughed.

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