A funny thing happened....
When I was little my parents used to tell me things like, "Stay in public. Public places are safe," or "You can trust xyz person."
As I grew older I learned to hard experience that these things were not necessarily true. Because I trusted my parents and what they told me I blindly stepped into situations that caused me a great deal of pain and suffered with quite a bit of bitterness towards my parents for "lying" to me though, of course now, I realize they were doing the best they could to raise me.
So I have determined to be very careful what I tell my children in regards to their safety, surroundings and other individuals.
But I found myself in quite a predicament at the post office today.
My 2.5 y/o son and I were waiting in line when a man came through the door. My son uncharacteristically ran behind my leg and pulled my shirt over his face peeking out at the man very cautiously. He indicated he wanted me to pick him up but as I had numerous books and papers in my hands from our recent stop at the library I couldn't juggle him and what I already had in arms.
I very offhandedly remarked, "Oh, don't worry, sweetheart. I promise he won't bite you."
I realized the moment that I said it that I was making an unfounded promised based upon nothing. I can never promise what another person will or will not do. I can only promise my own actions. I did not know the man but was automatically trying to pressure my son into assuming he was okay.
I immediately tried to correct my error by saying (a bit too loudly), "And if he does, Mommy will hit him with a book."
Everyone within the packed vicinity (including the man) turned to look at me suspiciously and the man let out a sharp, "WHAT!?" I smiled at him and shrugged he smiled back and started to laugh.
JD says that at least I didn't say, "I'll pistol whip him."
I guess I'll have to be a little more careful with the brain/mouth filter thing.