Yesterday, I was reminded of my favorite Bill Cosby sketch – the one with the chicken heart that ate New York City. It wasn’t the part with the floor covered in jello or the couch set on fire that I was remembering, but more the end of the skit – where Bill’s dad sets up a chair on his front lawn and shouts at passersby, “Hey you, come here and look at my stupid kid.”
Why would I be recalling this scene? Because after school yesterday I looked out the front window to see my beautiful little 6 year-old daughter and her friend standing at the end of the driveway holding a sign and waving to cars as they drive by. Not that big of a deal until I realized that on the sign they were holding, in huge block letters, was written both girls’ names, birthdays, home addresses, and home phone numbers.
Exasperated, I called both girls inside. I explained that, while it’s great they know that information, shouting it to random strangers was simply not safe. I lectured a bit about the dangers of strangers, etc. – pleased to see understanding and subtle fear shine in their eyes. When finished, I asked if they understood. The response: “We understand, but what should we do about the fliers we passed out?”
Fortunately, the only ‘flier’ passed out had been to another neighbor kid whose mother I knew pretty well. She got a bit of chuckle out of the scenario, grateful, I’m sure, that it wasn’t her little girl standing on the street corner with a dry-erase board calling card.
Oh, the joys of parenting. Some days, I totally forget that there are any.