Friday, October 23, 2009

Ever Deserve the Bad Parent Award?

Parenting is hard work, and we all make mistakes. This week, I truly earned and I deserve the bad parent award. Let me tell you what happened.

It was late arrival day for middle school, but instead of sleeping in, my daughter had Girl Scouts. I dropped her off for her meeting, and then headed home. She left her backpack in the car so she would have it for school, and I left the garage door open when I got home since it was a quick turnaround. I only had about an hour before I needed to leave to pick up her cousin for school, and then back to the Girl Scout meeting to get my daughter.

Once home, I settled in for a chat with my mother-in-law, who is visiting from Boston. We made a fresh pot of coffee and enjoyed talking about various current events as reported on the morning news. Then I retreated to my office to begin my day, starting as I usually do by responding to email. Gradually I finished that up, and began making my new business calls.

I could hear my mother-in-law moving about and getting ready to take the dog on a walk. She got the leash out and the dog jumped around in excitement. The home phone rang a time or two, but as always, I let those calls go to machine since I was on my business line and on client time.

Later, I took a quick shower to get ready for a lunch out with my mother-in-law. It was in the shower that it dawned on me. I FORGOT THE KIDS! I jumped out of the shower, wrapped a towel around me, and ran down the hall dripping wet. "I forgot the kids," I yelled repeatedly.

My mother-in-law must have thought I was a nut, standing there dripping with only a towel, but I had to find out right away if they made it to school. Fortunately, my sister had plumbing problems that morning, so she was home from work and took her son to school (sorry to say that was fortunate, Sis, but they say things happen for a reason). My own daughter was dropped off at school by the Girl Scout leader, who also kindly gave her paper, pen, and lunch money (remember, her backpack was in my car).

What a horrible mom to forget her kids. I felt awful, and still do. When I dropped the backpack at school, my daughter's first words were, "Where were you?" She was so upset. I apologized, but what could I say? It was stupidity and forgetfulness on my part. While she was clearly displeased, she did seem to forgive me somewhat when she heard that I had forgotten her cousin too. At least it wasn't just her I forgot!

I had worried everyone, and for this I am truly sorry. I have no excuse, although some say it is because I keep too busy a schedule.

I love my children so very much, and would never do anything to hurt them. So, how bad a mom am I? I honestly can't think of much worse than forgetting to pick up your kid. How long before I can reclaim good mom status? Has anything like this happened with you? Please share your stories in the comments.