Squawk Radio

Wednesday, October 12, 2005


Last night the phone rang at about one-thirty a.m. It was Doo-dah. She was calling to apprise us of the fact that she had just electrocuted herself. And to tell us that her arm was “all tingly.”

Well, duh. That happens when you

That’s right, in a burst of Home Improvement Euphoria, and having run out of adaptors for various crap, Doodah decided to turn her two prong electrical outlet into a three prong outlet. She made a call to “a guy” (who she apparently assumed by virtue of gonads alone was tapped into some Greater Electrical Consciousness) and got “instructions.” He did tell her not to stick anything metal into the exposed outlet. He did not tell her to TURN OFF THE JUICE or that FLESH CONDUCTS ELECTRICITY, TOO! Thus Doodah’s fishing expedition for the proper wire with her fingertips. Thus further, the flat-on-her-ass kickback from however many volts I don’t want to know.

Now, I’m feeling pretty calm about the whole thing today, but immediately after getting off the phone, I burst into tears. David, with the inimitable logic of the clueless male, pats me awkwardly on the shoulder and croons, “It’s all right. She’s okay.”

At which point I slap his hand away and glare at him and hiss, “Yeah! TODAY. But what about tomorrow? Dear God, David, she’s a very smart girl doing better than 3.5 at a very hard college and she doesn’t know enough not to stick her finger in an electrical outlet! What else haven’t I taught her?” By this time I am in full keen, rocking back and forth and doing a mea culpa that would have done my Irish granny proud. “What other things do I assume she knows that she doesn’t and which one day are going to get her killed? Does she know not to mix bathroom cleanser and bleach? Have I told her not to siphon gas with her mouth? Aeeeiiiii!”

So, I ask you, mothers all, what other things should I have taught Doodah that I haven’t? Where have you been brought up short by the realization that you have not adequately prepared your kid for...well...LIFE?

Connie Brockway, 8:14 PM