Sunday, September 28, 2008

The One Where Mommy Messes Up

My good friend Carol is always blogging about the Bad Parenting Chronicles.

And I usually laugh, because she's one of the best moms mums I know, and her bad parenting is hardly such.

I'd have to say I had my moment in the sun pouring rain this afternoon.

MH and I went to a lovely Gymboree birthday party.

By far, I think the 3rd birthday is the best - the kids get that it's all about them, they all follow directions, and you can see how much fun they have playing together. It's fabulous.

And then, of course, comes the party favor bag.

MH has been known to go to a non-birthday party and ask one of us where her party bag is.

She's been known to carry around an empty favor bag just because she loves it that much.

This party bag was a lovely pink, had a balloon attached to it, and her name written on it.

After the party, we helped our hosts bring their gifts to the car (in the POURING rain), and then headed to our own car.

MH could not wait to open her special bag and inspect its contents.

I must admit, the party loot was fantastic! We oohed and ahhed over the candy, Hello Kitty magnetic picture frame we could put on our fridge, the Super Star stamp, and by far the most exciting of all - the Tinkerbell socks.

What thought my friend put into making MH's favor bag so special. And clearly, she loves Target as much as I do!

MH was very into her gifts, and at the same time trying to find a way to ensure that her balloon wouldn't pop on the way home.

After all the excitement and chatter about how she couldn't wait to put on her socks at home and use her new stamp, I got in the car and put it in drive.

Not two seconds into the ride, I heard what might possibly be the most hysterical wailing I've ever heard in my life.

Not the I'm hurt really badly wail.

Not the Mommy, please don't leave me at school wail (who am I kidding, this NEVER happens!).

This was not a cry I've heard often from the Mad Hatter.

I instantly slammed on the brakes as MH got herself together enough to manage "You forgot to strap me in!!!".

Ummm, could I be a worse mom?

Seriously, could I?

I have never done this in my life. Three and a half years of having a child, and I've never been so irresponsible.

I think I was so caught up in her excitement of the goodies, trying to get her settled in with all of her raingear on, and getting myself in the car before I was completely soaked.

It took me what seemed like forever to calm her down.

I pleaded with her to stop crying.

I begged.

I apologized for making such a horrible mistake.

I praised her for being such a big girl and knowing how important it is to be strapped in.

I thanked her for being such a good girl and letting mommy know that she had messed up big time.

No matter what I said, those tears kept coming fast and furious.

I felt like a total failure as a mom.

Seriously, how could I have driven off, forgetting to have strapped her into her carseat?

And the way she was carrying on, you would have thought she had been seriously hurt.

She told me her tears were going to keep coming and coming over and over again.

I felt my heart break in two.

Finally, I told her again how sorry I was and asked her what I could do to make her better.

Her answer?

I'm going to keep on crying but if I can eat some candy I'll feel better.

Seriously, that easy?


Smarties to the rescue.

That and my trusty Ahh-Pod (read: iPod).

When I asked MH what she wanted to listen to on the way home, her immediate reply was David Cook (she also knows he's the best American Idol ever).

I happily obliged, and after that we listened to her ultimate fave by Dee-Onis Yewis (read: Leona Lewis). My girl can belt Bleeding Love like nothing you've ever heard (unless, of course, you heard said wailing above). We finished off with the Bah-Dee-Ahh Song (better known to us grown-ups as September), and all was well and good in her world by the time we arrived home.

I, however, am sure my world won't ever be quite the same.

I couldn't have been prouder of her for being so concerned about her safety, and so knowledgeable about something being so wrong, but I can't shake that bad mommy feeling.

I let her down, and she let me know about it. In spades.

And sadly, I know that as a mom, this is just the beginning of many times I will let her down, without in any way meaning to.

It's a pretty scary feeling knowing that as a mom, you hold that kind of fate in your hands.

I think I can say with complete confidence today's mistake will never be repeated.

But that feeling in my heart? Not so sure.

Maybe for now I just need a little more candy, Tinkerbell socks, and good music.

15 Fabulous Replies:

Julie said...

You are a great mommy! Everyone makes an oops now and then and the trick is to remember that because you have been such a great mom in the past, MH was able to recognize the oops and correct it :)

Liza said...

OK, and this is all said with complete love (at least the kind you have for someone you kind of just met and didn't really because it's on the internet) - GET OVER IT!!! Seriously, if this is the worst thing you ever do to your child then you are very lucky. I have done much worse and I'm sure I will top even those things as time goes on. It happens. We are human, and we make mistakes. Trust me, MH loves you and always will, no matter what you do. I'm sure you were much more freaked out about this then she was. HUGS!

Merrie said...

Welcome to the club -- we've all been there at some time or another. Be glad you've done such a great job teaching your daughter the importance of having her belt buckled. Good job there, Mom.

We all have our cringe moments...don't're not alone. :)

Marni said...

Been there, done that, though I wasn't "caught" by my kids! She'll be OK - and so will you! :) (Just don't let Andie know you did that! She'll send the car seat police over to your house! hehe Just kidding!)

Krystyn said...

Oh, don't be so hard on yourself.

And, how awesome that MH told you what was wrong and that she was upset about it. I would rather have it that way than you have gotten all the way home and then you discovered it.

Anonymous said...

Been there, done that! And my daughter was also kind enough to point it out to me.

Recently, she has started putting on her on seat belt so I guess I can move on the screwing up other things :)

Stephanie Cunningham said...

I've done it once with each child. In fact, this was actually a topic that was discussed amongst a bunch of moms last weekend and it was agreed that it was one of those awful things that is almost guaranteed to happen at least once! So don't feel TOO bad, you are just a normal mommy!

Mamasphere said...

MH sure takes her saftely seriously! Oh my goodness, the crying made me laugh just a little bit.

This, my dear, is a right of passage. And I can't believe it took you this long to do it!

Don't you dare feel bad a minute longer. I think YOU needs some candy now, lol.

Kristie said...

I am right there with you. I have done that before. At least you are woman enough to admit and I can bet you won't forget to strap her in ever again! Now remember the fun favor bag from the party--not the incident on the way home!! I love your blog!

Carol said...

I'm thinking if you've only felt like that once in 3.5 ears you are doing a pretty amazing parenting job honey.

I love how into music MH is, the boys just don't care about it.

4funboys said...

candy solves so many things when they're little... if only the rest of it could be so simple.

you're doing great mommy friend... in a few days, she won't remember crying- but she'll know mommy fixed it for her.

anti-supermom said...

I forgot to buckle my infant son in, which I didn't notice until he was in the grocery car, nearly dangling out.

Now, that's a bad mommy :)

Isn't candy the best bribery.

Lipstick said...

Awww...Rach. I'm sorry you had one of those heart-stopping moments. We've all done it, and it feels so awful. Once Mr. Lipstick and I did this with JBB...he thought I did the car seat and vice versa. It took our breath away when we realized.

Lisa said...

If it makes you feel better I've done that more than once. With each child. I even drove 15 miles or so that way. Yes, my heart about stopped, but then I thanked God that nothing happened. Now Goosey just says, "Mom - you forgot to buckle me".

It will be alright, I promise!

Dana said...

Sad to admit I've done this too many times to count. you are not terrible, in fact it shows that you have taught your daughter the importance of buckling up. Hunter on the other hand, usually unbuckles himself. I usually wind up not being able to pull over to make him put it back on. I really need to start doing it though, he has to learn.