Fostering

Excuses

There was water on the ceiling! How had that happened? Sometimes mornings are a bit crazy! I was just thankful it was water!

I don’t know what mornings look like at your house but I have a laugh almost every morning. Whether it’s the zombie-like 13 year old staggering around bumping into walls trying to wake up or the 11 year old making excuses for why the water is on the ceiling…

I was in the living room reading when I heard the sound of a glass being knocked over… never a good way to start the day. There is a moment of silence followed by “I spilled water, should I just wipe it up with the dish cloth?”. I said yes and then heard the sink turn on as she rinsed the dish cloth. Based on my previous experience of her skills at wringing out the dish cloth I figured I better go help or she would be making everything more wet! As I entered the kitchen I was surprised to find water all over the floor… and splashed on the counter, the table, the chairs… and a sopping wet dish cloth being dragged ineffectually over it!

“Where did all this water come from!?” I said. It honestly looked like someone had turned the garden hose on in the kitchen! To which she replied “It’s not my fault!! Someone shouldn’t have left a glass of water on the counter!”

I had seen the glass earlier, a short tumbler about half full. Her lunch bag had been sitting on the counter as well. She had grabbed her lunch bag and dragged it off the counter and in the process knocked the glass over.

“It’s not my fault”.

We hear this phrase a lot. Particularly when it is, indeed, her fault. Why do we naturally want to avoid blame. What is it about accepting responsibility for our actions that we shy away from! This was not a crisis, after all it was just water, and no one was mad about it. Does her past hold a different story? I have no idea how childish mistakes were handled by the other mother. What was considered a crisis in her world may have been different. And although I was mildly amused and not worried about this particular situation I have reacted poorly to similar ones in the past with my own children.

She is not the only one who doesn’t want to be held responsible for her actions. We all do it. We all have excuses as to why we didn’t behave our best in a situation. “It’s not my fault, I was just so tired.”, “It’s not my fault, I just got distracted.”, “It’s not my fault, how was I supposed to know…”

We are all responsible for our actions. Sometimes there are extenuating circumstances that make it harder for us to behave our best, but in the end if we give in we are just using excuses.

In this situation it was definitely her fault! A glass of water does belong on the counter and her lack of attention had unexpected consequences! We started trying to wipe it up and I realized it was everywhere! Hard to believe that half a glass of water could go so far!

I finally said “It’s just water, it will dry.” and she went on with eating breakfast and getting ready to go to school.

As they were getting shoes on to walk to school I was hit by a water droplet… and looked up.

“How did you get water on the ceiling!??” I exclaimed. “It’s not my fault” she said as she walked out the door to school.

In the midst of the mess

Marny

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