Friday, August 29, 2008

I'm still a good mommy, I think

When Bug was probably only 4 or 5 days old we were scheduled to go to the pediatrician. I was a new 22 year old mother without a clue. It was the first time I was taking my little guy out of the house and I was a mess. My diaper bag was crammed full of every thing I could possibly think that I might possibly need. I was dressed in my baggy maternity clothes, looking rather deflated. I had Bug all dressed in something cute and snugly wrapped in a blanket and it was time to go. I gathered everything up. The heavy diaper bag over my shoulder, the car seat in my right hand, and Bug cradled in my left arm. I was ready.

As I tried to get out of the door with everything all at once, running late as usual, I *smacked* that poor baby's head against the door frame. The poor little guy didn't even cry immediately it probably made him so wonky.

But I did. I cried. I bawled. I just knew I had caused brain damage and my poor little guy would suffer a lifetime of problems because of my negligence. I cried all the way to the pediatrician's office and begged him to take extra care looking over my little guy because I was sure I had caused a severe concussion.

Dr. Schwimmer (I loved him) giggled a little and calmed my fears. Bug's head was just fine and continued to be just fine. Now he's my Mr. Smartypants.

Later when Munchkin was maybe a little over a year old and just starting to be pretty confident with her walking skills, The Man and I put a video on for Bug and Munchkin in the living room of the house we lived in at the time. We went upstairs and took a shower together. Crazy kids we were, I know.

When we finished our luxurious shower I got dressed and went downstairs fully expecting to find my two toddlers sitting on the couch watching Blue's Clues.

There was no one there.

And the front door was OPEN.

Frantically I screamed up to him "THEY'RE GONE!!!!" and ran out the door.

I searched the neighbors. They weren't there. I searched the other neighbors. Nope. After much panic and hyperventilation we found them. On the next street over.

I was so relieved I broke down in tears and thanked the man who stood with them. He admonished me and lectured me and made me feel even smaller and more of a failure than I already felt.

And then he let me know he had called the police.

The police came, they lectured me, they ridiculed me, they reminded me that I should never have allowed myself to breed. Then they called the department of Children and Families and we were investigated.

Days later, a case worker showed up to check on the kids. He found that Munchkin had bruises on her legs. They took her to a state doctor and had her checked for abuse. She was fine. The doctor noted that she bruised easily and had fair skin.

The case was closed and we were all fine. And we installed way up high locks on all the doors so the kids couldn't escape again. And we stopped taking showers together.

So why am I telling you all this? Why would I admit this? Because my best friend who I love is having her first child. She is due December 11th (the day before Bug's birthday!) to meet her little baby boy and she is scared.

She is petrified, much like I think we all were when we had our first child. What if she screws up? What if she's a bad mother? What if she does everything wrong?!

So I posted this here to share that we all make mistakes. We all screw up and our kids live and thrive, despite us.

We all make mistakes and we all get through them. Sure, we hear of the horror stories, but way more often than not our kids survive our screw ups and we all sort of laugh about them later. Sort of laugh.

I'm really hoping you all will share your stories of how you screwed up and post them here with Mr. Linky. Link to a story you've already shared if you have one (or five) or make a new post. My friend will be reading these stories and they'll help her get through her fears. And maybe they'll be found by another scared soon to be mommy some day going through those same fears and it can help her, too.

*Unfortunately I'm finding I have to delete some of the links since they don't go to the actual post in question. :( If you'd like to relink up after yours is deleted, please link to the individual post about your parenting mistake, not just your main blog page. Thanks!


Anonymous said...[Reply to comment]

Candy's Worst Parenting Story: My Son is in school everyday until 3pm. One day he got out early (at noon), and I missed the 2 notes, and then forgot to write it down when I saw the sign about early release. I went to the MALL that day with my other child and left my cell phone at home, and my son had to stay in the office with the principle for 3 HOURS. I was the only parent who forgot about early dismisal- and no one could get a hold of me. He was crying in the office saying, "my mommy forget me!"

mah-meeee said...[Reply to comment]

my story is up...

Sally said...[Reply to comment]

Oh my gosh. This was amazing to read and I love that you shared it.

Michelle@Life with Three said...[Reply to comment]

I really need to post about the time I took my 6 month old son for baby pictures. I was walking down the stairs with the infant carrier, tripped and smashed the carrier sideways into the cement floor. I did it front of the photographer and her assistant. I'm sure I looked like a "fully capable" mom of two. (Fully capable of what, I'm not so sure!) Thankfully, he was fully strapped in and that's what car seats are for, I guess! ;-)

Anywho, I'm not sure I'll get to posting today, so I'm linking up an "oldie but a goodie"!

Anonymous said...[Reply to comment]

Okay, my story is up. Thanks for making me cry today.

Anonymous said...[Reply to comment]

I've had to face the child protective people, too, false report from angry ex, but anyway, that is so scary. Now with a little one that's got a bull rider's soul, I've been in the ER enough to get "that note". It's a scary place when somebody only knows half your story. Glad it all turned out okay for everyone. And this was a great post idea. Well done. Thanks!

Robin said...[Reply to comment]

When my son (my first child) was just 3 days old I answered a telephone call from my husband. Anxious not to wake the baby I'd just nursed to sleep I cradled the phone against my shoulder and went to set the baby down in his stroller.

And then promptly dropped the cordless phone right on his head.

He recovered in about 5 minutes. It took me more like 5 days.

My favorite aunt just died this week, but I'll always remember the wonderful parenting advice she gave me - throw away all the books and try not to drop them on their heads. (Note that she said "try". Everyone screws up once in a while, all you can do is your best to minimize the probability and severity and then keep muddling through.)

littletoesandcheerios said...[Reply to comment]

I'll be putting it up soon.

Jason, as himself said...[Reply to comment]

Once Giancarlo and I went with our daughter's mother, Claire, to Back to School Night together. All three of us, united, together, interested in our daughter's education. And we left her home by herself. She was almost 11 and quite responsible, so we figured it would be fine. We even armed the alarm as we left the house.

Two hours later, we got home to three police cars in our driveway, and the front door wide open!

Amelia had forgotten the alarm was on and opened the door to get something. The alarm went off. The alarm company called she did not know the password. They sent the police. Lots of police. They grilled and questioned her until we returned. Then they grilled and questioned us.

All was fine in the end, but poor Amelia was traumatized and upset and mad at us. Poor kid.

We didn't leave her alone again for a very long time. And now we don't have a house alarm.

D... said...[Reply to comment]

I'm up. It's an old post not so much about a mistake, but just things in general you have to contend with as a parent. They are people with their own minds. It's can be a daunting task to teach them right from wrong only to have them come up with a new way. Kids definitely keep you on your toes!

Gosh, I hate that you had to go through all that. What a scary time for all of you.

Good luck to your friend. She'll be just fine. She'll know the highest of highs and the lowest of lows. But, most of all, the greatest of loves.

Kristen said...[Reply to comment]

My baby sat in my lap and glued her lips closed-it doesn't get worse than that! Left the link to read all about it!

Putting the FUN in DysFUNctional said...[Reply to comment]

I'll try to post mine when we get home after the weekend. The first horrible moment I had is when my firstborn child was still tiny and new. Back then (15 years ago) they made pacifier holders that you attached to their clothes with strong metal clips with teeth. I accidentally got his SKIN inside the clip. He cried so hard, but not as hard as me.

Anonymous said...[Reply to comment]

I'm sorry, but your shower story made me laugh. I put up my worst parenting mistake.

We used to live next door to my parents - don't worry, it was great. I left my hubby home with our son and walked over there for a few minutes. Next thing I know, my 2 year old son comes streaking down the road, in only a shirt . . . .NO DIAPER. I was furious!

I called my husband and screamed into the phone, "Do you know where your son is?" He sheepishly said, "In the living room?" That was the incident that made us get the high up door locks, too!

Valarie Lea said...[Reply to comment]

Oh bless your heart! They can get away quicker than we think. :) We have had to call poison control like three times, and I have wondered how many times you can call before they cal DHR on you. :)

Shirley said...[Reply to comment]

Mine is really long... it happened like 3 years ago, but it cracks me up so much, I had to share that one with the whole world... Please excuse all the swearing I did back then :D

Angie said...[Reply to comment]

I told my son that he would get worms if he ate cold hot dogs. We always grilled them, never boiled them. When he was 12 years old he went through the lunch line at school and saw the weinners in a pot of water and told the lunch lady that she was going to give the kids worms. Well...he was sent to the office for being rude. I not only had to fess up to my kids, but I had to explain myself to the principal and the lunch lady. I was totally mortified. My son...still laughs his teenage heart out that mom was caught LYING! ang

Anonymous said...[Reply to comment]

Okay, I was told that my previous post was too scary for a new mommy so I posted a new list of my previous mistakes that won't scare the baby out of anybody.

Lizz @ Yes, and So is My Heart said...[Reply to comment]

I posted my story, though I hesitated. I still feel a bit ashamed by acknowledging my mistake...

But, mistakes are just that. They might be reminders to slow down and pay attention, but they aren't an indicator of how we are as parents.