As I continue to work on lowering my parenting expectations (baby number two is due any day!) I am reminded of the hilarious stories that help keep me modest.
Seriously, how can I keep up my perfectionist façade when I walk out of the house with my skirt tucked in to my underwear, or I find myself street-fighting with a well-groomed house pet? That dog was coming at my toddler!
But enough about me…
Sometimes it’s best to hear other people’s tales of woe and embarrassment to remember that I can pick myself up off the floor and that I don’t have to hold it all together.
My friends have some great stories to share. So many, in fact, that this is only the first installment.
The other day while I was in the shower, my oldest son kept coming in to ask about how my shower was going. This was a little odd, even for him.
After I finished showering I saw that I had a few missed phone calls. When I called these people back, I learned that my son had already returned the calls. Several times.
He was giving anyone who called minute-by-minute updates on my shower progress. He can’t read more than a few words, but apparently he can work my phone just fine.
I was very excited and proud of myself for attempting my first “real” outing with my two-and-a-half year old and my two month old without my husband one sunny Friday morning.
I was meeting a friend and her toddler at the Oregon Zoo, so I figured if worse came to worse, she could always help me out. A few hours in, everything was going great: We’d made it through most of the zoo and were taking a break on the lawn to watch the Birds of Prey show.
My toddler had already gone to the bathroom several times, which was a feat since we’d been working on potty training for six months already.
I was feeling like a total rock star and in complete control of my children and the environment.
Halfway through the show my newborn decided he was hungry. So, thinking I’d already had a successful morning, I went ahead and whipped out my hooter hider and let the little one have his mid-morning snack.
I’m not one of those moms who feels very comfortable nursing in public, mind you, but you gotta do what you gotta do. My friend left at about the same time I started nursing, so the boys and I were just hanging out by ourselves enjoying the show.
Suddenly, my toddler decided he had to go to the bathroom—again. Except this time, I literally could not move. I had strategically placed my hooter hider so I wasn’t giving everyone a show at the zoo, and we were sitting smack dab in the middle of about 150 people all trying to learn something about bald eagles.
I asked my son to please hold it. “NO MOMMY, I cannot,” he replied. “I need to go NOW.”
Without opportunity to argue further, my son stood up, pulled down his shorts and underwear, and peed on the grass in the middle of the show.
“I am peeing on the ants Mommy! Look Mommy! I got them! I got them!”
Completely mortified, I looked around to see how many people were looking at me and judging me for being complete trash and a faulty parent.
There were too many to count.
One woman locked eyes with me and said, “Well, I guess you see everything at the zoo.”
Evelyn (the East Coast one), North Carolina
My son is a super active little boy and will just take off running without any warning. Walks are interesting (especially now that I’m pregnant). Most of the time, he walks near me, but occasionally he’ll just take off.
One day we were walking down the street and he took off into someone’s yard. I started going after him, yelling, “Stop! Stop! Stop!”
Instead of stopping he took a left turn and headed for the next street.
Just then a car came up the road and (thankfully) slowed down upon seeing my son. All the while I was hauling my pregnant butt, trying to get to my son before he reached the curb. I finally grabbed his arm, and the car came around the corner.
Gratefully I raised my hand in a thanks-for-not-running-over-my-son way, and the driver shook his head at me! I was like, WTF? Thanks for the judgment, buddy!
Jasmin, New York
Of course there are multiple low points including when I screamed at Mr. Baby for having a temper tantrum when all I wanted to do was make some dinner after work and all he wanted to do was to be held by Mom.
But the worst moment was the day I started my new job.
We had just been away for three weeks, so Mr. Baby and I weren’t used to our regular schedule. I got him ready a little later than I’d have liked. He sat in his stroller while I put his shoes on, and then I collected all of the things he needed for daycare.
We made it out the door just a few minutes late.
It was a cold day in New York, so we had one of those footmuffs attached to the stroller. I thought I would just walk really fast so I wouldn’t be late for my first day at work. We hadn’t even gone a few steps out the front door when the stroller got caught in the footmuff, flipped half-way, and Mr. Baby fell on the sidewalk.
In my rush out the door, I had forgotten to both strap him in and tuck in the footmuff. Luckily Mr. Baby wasn’t hurt, only shaken up.
But–of course–when it happened a bus had just pulled up, so I had dozens of witnesses for my bad parenting moment.
Stay tuned for the next installment involving frozen keys, pork roast, and broken glass.
If you have a story to share, let me know!