Thursday, September 4, 2008

Here it goes again

Sometimes I think I am just going to give up on going out in public and speaking to other adults because I'm not sure that I've ever had a properly working filter between my brain and my mouth. In fact, I'm pretty sure I was in the Ladies' Room when they were being handed out, and those filters are handy-dandy little things.

For instance, Back to School Night was yesterday. The last few years, Mr. O has been in charge of attending this function - what with having a baby and cancer (twice), Ty's tumor, etc. all falling at this time of year I was usually otherwise occupied. But, we have finally reached the point of *normal* in our lives where I'm attending these school functions again.

However, I may have demoted myself last night. I sat in my children's classrooms (at their desks), wrote loving notes to them, and listened to their teacher's presentations. So far, so good.
Afterwards, I spoke with each teacher and asked about ways to help my daughters with school. The first one went fine, outstanding even. But in the second class I was so nervous or guilt-ridden or apologetic, or something that I opened my mouth, inserted my foot and nearly choked on my kneecap.

What I wanted to say was, "How does (insert name of student here) seem to be doing in class? Is there anything I can do to help you or to help her (while implying - because I am a very loving, supportive and concerned parent)?"

Instead I came up with, "The problem I have with ___ is ____ (while implying - because I am horribly self-conscious/self-absorbed and worried you think I have never sat and read to her, kept her safe from processed foods, or done a stitch of school work with her and am totally failing as a mother)."

I mean what kind of mother says something like that? I felt like a total idiot. And I didn't make it better, I put the proverbial nail in the coffin of my parenting skills. What's worse is I cannot stop thinking about what her teacher must be thinking about me, about my daughter.

Stuff like - "Oh (the kind of *Oh* that is thought, not said, with a raised eyebrow)."
and "Well, that explains a lot."
and "Poor child, with a mom like that it's no wonder..."
and any number of other unintended things that reflect poorly on me. Wait, does that mean I am those things implied by my statement and that I'm just unable to stop myself from letting others know it? Ack!

My stomach is eating me up, and it's doubtful I'll ever make myself go back into that school. I have totally failed Communicating with School Professionals 101. Dramatic much? I know!

Do you ever have anxiety over Foot-in-Mouth Disease or am I suffering alone here?

11 comments:

Chocolate on my Cranium said...

I so understand how you feel. My problem is most of the time I don't even catch that I've stuck my foot in my mouth until the incident is way over and there is no way to try and redeem myself.

Claudious said...

It's almost second nature for me now to say something I don't mean, or to say something so poorly that the only response I get is a quizicle look. I've learned to shut up after the first quizicle look, but I haven't always been so learned.

I wouldn't worry about what you said at parent teacher conference, they are really good at zoning out and not listening anyway, and when they do they're more concerned about the things coming out of their mouths.

Kenna said...

I recently went through the foot in the mouth thing with my new calling i will have to tell you about it sometime, it is pretty amusing to everyone else but me.

Mrs. Organic said...

Ken - I'm afraid that's how the disease usually affects people

Chocolate - I think it's better to realize it after the fact instead of spittering and backpedaling - it somehow seems to worsen the effet.

Claudious - I know I tend to overthink the mistakes I make, but there was something , a look in that teacher's eye that made me wish for a do-over.

I like to think my slip-ups are due to my brain moving too fast for my mouth to keep up.

The Lazy Organizer said...

Oh my goodness yes!!! Almost daily. I just had to call someone this week to apologize for something stupid I said. It was not fun but I'm glad I did it and got it over with. I'm always afraid I will make it worse by explaining or apologizing.

Kim N said...

Oh, I dread those moments when you wish you could go back and start over.

When I was a teenager I was at my boyfriends parents house and she was showing me an American Doll magazine. She pointed out an accessory you could get with one of the mid century era dolls and I said, "I remember these from when I was a little girl." I thought she meant that she had the toy when she was a girl and I said, "Oh, this must be a really old doll company!" She gave me the strangest look and said, "actually it is quite new." I realized my mistake and that I have basically just called her and old lady. Oops.

Mrs. Organic said...

Lazy O - I think half the anxiety is about the apology I get to make.

Kim - I'm having an empathy cringe with you, thanks for making me feel a little bit normal.

partii said...

I usually stress for months about something I said that I "think" someone overheard. I never learn just to keep my mouth shut (at least until I get home!)

I feel your pain

Jennifer

Mrs. Organic said...

Jennifer - thx - I need to learn the same thing

Amanda Collins said...

I just have the effect that I don't get what people are joking about. I am not the fastest on the uptake sometimes.

Island School House said...

Welcome to my life!! ;o)