Have you ever had one of those moments that you consider an epic parenting fail? Maybe you tell the story to a bunch of people and they all think it’s no big deal but in your mind, you can’t believe you did it? You laugh it off, feel relieved that everything worked out but still replay the “what ifs” in your mind?
Well, if you haven’t guessed it by now, I had one of those moments this week.
As anyone with kids in school would know, this was parent-teacher week and Wednesday was an early dismissal day (meaning kids were getting out of classes at lunch). Even though I had my parent-teacher meeting that evening, I somehow completely forgot that our six-year-old was getting out early. I packed her a lunch, didn’t mention a thing to our sitter and then walked out the door to work like I do every day.
You can imagine my surprise when I got a message around lunch telling me that our daughter completely shocked our sitter by walking in the door. She was fine – not fazed by it at all. I, on the other hand, could not believe that something that big had completely slipped my mind.
Truth be told, we don’t live very far from the school. In fact, we’re within a block so even though our sitter still walks with her during the day, the crosswalk guard knows who she is and she only has to walk by about eight houses to get home.
In my message back to our sitter, the first thing I said was, “Ask her what she would have done if you weren’t home.” Her response, “She says she doesn’t know.”
That response, combined with the news this week that three men tried to lure two girls into a truck in Eastern Passage, set us in emergency planning mode. We were talking code words, we were planning the best places to go for help – you name it, we talked about it. I feel confident now that if my memory fails me again, she’s now as prepared as she can be for various scenarios.
As my brain continued to plague me with “mama guilt” for the rest of the week, she caught me completely off guard one afternoon…
“Mom, can you do me a favour?” “Sure honey, what’s that?” “Can you forget about parent teacher again next year – it was really fun surprising everybody.”
I just laughed. It would be impossible for me to ever forget early dismissal again. At the same time, I couldn’t help but be incredibly proud of her. When the routine was thrown out of whack, she very calmly and confidently managed the situation. As parents, I guess we can’t ask for much more than that.
Deanna is a Mom of three, wife, marketer and blogger – lover of travel, morning coffee, family time, belly laughs, good friends and uninterrupted showers! Follow her on twitter @DeannaCMiller