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My First Parenting Fail and What It Taught Me

I’ve been looking forward to today for months. For some, today is just a regular, rainy Tuesday in March, but for me, it’s much more than that. Today was the day my husband and I chose to celebrate our anniversary. You see, my husband, Mike, is a critically acclaimed chef and with his position comes a demanding schedule that doesn’t allow for days off for such occasions as wedding anniversaries. To think he would actually take our anniversary off is laughable when I’ve seen the man go directly to work from the oral surgeon’s office where he had two wisdom teeth pulled, only to work a ten-hour shift, and never complain.

So, like I said, today was a big deal for me. Not only was I looking forward to spending uninterrupted adult time with Mike, where no little person would be present to ask for juice or a snack or a different snack because ever since yesterday said little person has decided his apple sauce “isn’t sweet enough,” but because I have been very sick lately, having underwent more surgeries than I care to recount. Because of my recent poor health I’m not quite sure of the last time Mike has seen me dressed in anything outside of workout clothes, a pony tail, oh and make up? What’s that? I couldn’t wait to get dressed up to help stir Mike’s memory of what his wife looks like in actual clothes; clothes with no stretch, no shine, no stains, and no neon. My outfit (okay the dress I bought), hair, makeup, and even manicure were all planned out days ago.

Our day started off without a hitch. Like a good wife, I insisted on letting Mike sleep in; taking care of our son’s morning routine, which Mike usually does. I ran a few errands and came home to proudly present Mike with an extremely well thought-out and thoughtful gift that he loved! I was ready in record time and we were off!

We tend to do day-dates in order to avoid the necessity for a babysitter and more importantly, to keep our son, Jack’s evening schedule undisturbed. While sitting at the table waiting for our appetizer I received a phone call from my next door neighbor. She almost never calls me so I immediately answered it because I was worried she needed something. Upon answering the phone she informed me, “Katie-the bus is here.” Completely perplexed I asked, “Why is the bus almost three hours early?” To which she responded, “Half Day.” Panic stricken I thanked her profusely for getting Jack off the bus and apologized to Jack through tears over the phone. At this point Mike was already on his way to pick Jack up to join us on our date. Waiting the fifteen minutes it took for Mike and Jack to return to the restaurant felt like a lifetime. How could I have forgotten Jack had a half day? What kind of mother was I? A horrible one, I decided over my Diet Coke and tears.

When my boys arrived I grabbed Jack in a big hug and tearfully professed my apologies. I told him I understood if he was angry with me, didn’t want to speak to me, wasn’t yet ready to forgive me, or even think I was a good mom anymore. Much to my relief and surprise, he planted the sweetest smooch on my face, telling me, “Happy Anniversary, Mama. You look beautiful.” He continued, “Don’t feel bad, I didn’t even know we had a half day today.”

As you can imagine this only fueled more tears as I thanked him for being the sweetest boy in the whole world. Though I accepted what he had to say I was sure to remind him that it’s my job, not his, to know his schedule. And then we took our sweet boy for a big chocolate ice cream sundae!

So what does all this mean? I guess it means what we all already know; none of us is perfect. I’m the most Type A person there is. While pregnant with Jack I read every parenting book I could get my hands on, I visited the police station to ensure his car seat was properly installed, I exclusively breastfed per the American Academy of Pediatrics Guidelines, and I never gave him a blanket until he was old enough to ask for one! Never in a million years did I think something like this could happen to me. But it did, and thankfully, there was a safe, responsible adult to get Jack off the bus and he was well cared for until we could get to him. Nobody’s perfect and today I learned that lesson the hard way. Here’s to an anniversary we won’t soon forget!

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6 thoughts on “My First Parenting Fail and What It Taught Me

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