As a mother, I have composed a checklist to determine whether or not the crisis my children are experiencing is an actual or perceived crisis.
I encourage all parents to share this with their children to use for self evaluation:
1. Am I bleeding profusely?
2. Am I even bleeding at ALL?
3. Is a crime in progress that is punishable by time in a federal prison?
4. Do I, or someone around me, suddenly qualify for a teardrop tattoo?
5. Will it ruin yet ANOTHER article of Mama's clothing?
6. Is the mere sight of it enough to cause someone to have an actual cardiac event?
7. Could I die from it?
8. Could someone I love die from it?
9. Has anyone in the history of time ever died from it?
If you have answered "Yes" to any of the above questions, Proceed to "Actual Crisis Protocol" which includes, but is not limited to, calling 9-1-1.
If you answered "No", then please follow "Perceived Crisis Protocol." 1. Take a breath. 2. Sit down. 3. Consciously make your voice three octaves lower than is your first crisis-loving instinct. (That voice you're using technically gives me reason to use Actual Crisis Protocol.)
That being said, let's take a look at a few scenarios to get a better idea of which protocol to use, shall we:
-There is a man with a chainsaw hiding in your rear floor-board after you pump gas. You do not see him until it is too late. This is an actual crisis.
-Your sister won't hang up her swimsuit and the floor got wet by your bed. This is a perceived crisis.
-Your shoelace gets caught in the rungs of the escalator at the mall and your foot is then detached at the ankle in front of multiple onlookers. Mall goers shriek and panic. A stampede breaks out. This is an actual crisis.
-"She got the pink one." This is most definitely a perceived crisis.
-A flash flood ravages your entire county and the only way out of your home is by helicopter that never comes. You are forced to eat a beloved family pet. Well, obviously an actual crisis.
-Your sister is laying on the right side of the bed and you wanted that SIIIIIIIIIIDDDDDDEEEEE. And she had it LAST time!!!!!!! Darling, this is completely a perceived crisis.
-You are casually looking out of a 50 story window when an earthquake hits, shattering the glass and pitching you outside where you hang on to the window ledge by your fingertips. You then remember that earlier in the day you had received a text message saying that your mother had been kidnapped and if you did not respond to the text by 3:00pm, she would be tortured and killed. You had forgotten to respond. It is now 2:59pm. Surely an actual crisis.
-The bee won't leave your meat alone. So...uh...perceived crisis.
-Your arm gets wedged in between boulders and you have to use your own pocket knife to cut it off and then find help after two days of drinking your own urine for hydration. Everyone you love thinks you're dead. Dear god, this is an actual crisis.
-Someone drank the last watermelon Honest Kids and you really wanted that last Honest Kids because last time you asked for it and she took it and then she promised you that you could have it the next time but then she took it anyway even though she told you you could have it next time, and...For the love of everything, this is a PERCEIVED. FREAKING. CRISIS!