No more telling my daughter she killed the dog and other resolutions

It’s here: The first post by could-be-new-to-you-but-will-become-your-new-virtual-bestie Mary Graham, of Trusty Chucks. We’ve followed her humorous yet real tales about parenting for a couple years now and after much begging kind conversations, she has agreed to grace with her voice on a monthly basis. We know you’ll love her. We do. So here goes…

I didn’t mean to tell my daughter that she probably killed the dog with her Silly Putty but that’s what happened.
She had left it out and then it “disappeared” when she wasn’t looking. She assumed the dog ate it and, in a moment of frustration as we were trying to walk out the door, I told her because she wasn’t paying attention and couldn’t clean up after herself, she probably poisoned our dog and when we got home, he would probably be dead.
I wish I was making this up. 
My proclamation caused many, many tears and went down as one of my finer parenting moments of 2015. I’m sure years from now it will come up in counseling so I just wanted to get it down somewhere so there wouldn’t be any confusion or embellishment as time passes. Things tend to grow and morph the more we distance ourselves from them, and I don’t need extra mom guilt from exaggerated stories. Especially since this one has enough guilt all by itself, thank you very much. 
Although, maybe she’ll look back on it with kinder eyes. Or maybe she’ll look back on her mommy’s outburst with clarity that this was the moment she first realized her mom liked to claim worst-case-scenarios as her own. Maybe she won’t remember it at all.
I’m really hoping for the last one.
As we start 2016 fresh, I love the do-over we get. I love the chance to review what went well last year (lots) and what I’d like to do better (also lots).
This year I’m going to be more patient. I’m going to be kinder to my kids (and myself). We’re going to play more, and I’m going to work at the computer less. We’re going to keep the TV turned off like we did last year, and we’re going to keep eating our vegetables even if no one really wants to, myself included. I’m going to say yes more. I’m going to care less about the mess because weren’t they just babies yesterday? I don’t even recognize these elementary-aged kids that live in my house. 
This year I’m going to not care how dirty they get even though they just had a bath. If there are puddles and mud that need some attention, go at it. I’m going to allow more Kidz Bop in the car even though I can actually feel my eardrums bleed when we listen to it. Also, this year I’m going to not blame my kids for our dog’s potential death. Not even one time.
I’d like to make a few resolutions for my kids too, if they don’t mind. I’m asking for a listening rate of at least fifty percent, a clean room about once a week, and no more boogers on the wall above their beds. I’m not sure you can actually make resolutions for other people, but I’m doing it just in case.
The good news from 2015 is that our dog–in fact–did not die from eating the missing Silly Putty. Magically, the ball was found in my daughter’s bed which just happens to be the top bunk of some bunk beds. Where our dog can not possibly go. 
Funny how that works out.  
Oh, if it’s not too late, I’d like to add that my children resolve to actually look for things instead of just saying everything is lost and that they looked everywhere for it and it’s gone. Because really they looked in their hands and it wasn’t there and that’s as far as they can possibly hunt for anything.
Bless their hearts. 
As hard as I hope they forget some of my less-than-stellar mom moments, I’m hoping that I don’t forget any of their moments. I find myself almost daily thinking “Don’t forget this! Don’t let this one slip your mind!” Even the annoying stuff like boogers on the wall. I want all of it, I want all the moments preserved in my head so that one day, when they’re at college or with families of their own, I can sit with my memories and laugh. Maybe cry a little, but mostly laugh and smile. Smile that they were so small and that they are now so big. Laugh that I once told my daughter she killed the dog. Cry a little that they don’t need to hold my hand when they cross the street anymore.
Okay, one more resolution for my kids: stop growing so fast. Oh, and no more Silly Putty in the house.

Mary Graham, Trusty Chucks - Indy's ChildAbout Mary: 
Mary Graham is a lifelong resident of Indianapolis, Indiana. She lives with her husband, two daughters, and rescue dog, Blue. During the day, she teaches high school English and at night (after the girls are asleep), she writes for The Huffington Post, Pearson’s Teachability, For Every Mom, her own blog,, and various other print and digital outlets. Mary’s work has also appeared on In her spare time, she likes to read, travel, eat chocolate, run half marathons, and then eat more chocolate.

Find Mary on Twitter and Instagram.


Indy's Child
Indy's Child
For 40 years, Indy's Child has been the trusted source for Indianapolis families seeking fun, educational, and enriching experiences. Our award-winning magazine and website are dedicated to providing expert advice, insider tips, and up-to-date information on everything from the best local attractions and events to parenting resources and support. As local experts deeply rooted in the central Indiana community, our passionate team at Indy's Child is dedicated to uncovering the best family-friendly experiences and resources our city has to offer. Whether you're new to parenting or looking for new ideas, Indy's Child is here to help you enjoy the adventure of raising a family in central Indiana.

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