Ha ha ha…. you mean limit my list to only 5? Or how about 5 from just this week? Because not a week (maybe I should say…. not a day) goes by without me second guessing some decision I made, some consequence that I handed out…. some rule that I set. But, if I have to come up with some of my 5 biggest fails…. these are what would make my list….
Fail #1: Nearly leaving Spencer at the park one day after soccer…
Because I completely forgot that he was supposed to be with me! This goes hand-in-hand with those nightmares that I used to have when I was pregnant…. that I would place the baby in the baby carrier on top of the car and drive away (like a cup of soda) or leave the baby in the car and walk away. I shudder just remembering those nightmares.
And then one day…. I did completely forget that my son was with me. My son Jack had soccer practice and I had all 6 kids with me at the park. I took the youngest three to the playground, Jack played with his team, and the older two boys found some friends and started a pick-up game in another area of the park. Halfway through Jack's practice, a Mom stopped by the park to pick up my oldest son to take him to his soccer practice at another field (like 4 towns away!)… I waved goodbye to Kyle and forgot all about Spencer who was still playing with other kids on another field.
When Jack's practice was over, I loaded everyone else up in the car, and started to drive away with 4 kids. Spencer saw that I was leaving and came dashing after the car (thankfully not running through the parking lot, just along side of it). Thank goodness someone in the car spotted him and yelled “Mom- you have to stop for Spencer!” I could have died….
The funny thing, he gets in the car and apologizes for not coming when he was called. He thought that he had heard me calling, and when he didn't come right away, that I was “pretending” to drive off to get him to come running. Um, yeah. That was it.
It took me hours to stop shaking from the possibility that I might had driven away that afternoon.
Fail #2- Taking our young children to an expensive character meal at Disney where Spencer was terrified of the characters
Kyle and Spencer were both under 2 years of age, and I had the brilliant idea of taking them to a character dinner at Chef Mickey's at Disney when we were down there visiting family. Chip (from Chip and Dale) walked up behind Spencer and gave him a hug, and completely scared him to death. Thereafter, anytime a character even waved to us from 50 feet away, Spencer climbed on top of me and sobbed.
Fail #3- Taking our eyes off of our 3-year old for just a second at the pool
You know how they tell you that you can never stop watching your kids for even a second at the pool? Well we were sitting on the steps in my brother's pool in Florida, and the kids were on our laps, or splashing using rings right next to us, and in just a mili-second, as we paused in conversation, Steve looked down near his feet in the pool, and there was Kyle standing on the bottom looking right up at Steve and smiling! Holy crap! Not a splash, not a call for help…. Kyle didn't even think there was a problem…. but he was walking on the bottom of the pool, and he could NOT swim.
Steve just immediately reached down and plucked him up, and Kyle didn't even panic. But we parents sure did. Because we were sitting right there. Right there. And we didn't notice that he stepped off of the steps right next to us.
Fail #4- Allowing Kyle and Spencer to swim ahead in the “crazy river” at Aquatica…
So you would think that one parenting fail at a pool would be enough, right? Um,. no. A few years ago we took our family to Sea World's water park called Aquatica, and we all decided to ride on this lazy river that is cranked up with a faster current- we call it the “Crazy River.” Since Kyle and Spencer are decent swimmers, we decided it would be okay if they went ahead of us, and I told them to get out at the same point where we entered the “crazy river” so that we could call meet up.
But as we rode in the current, I started to feel that this was a mistake. The current was really fast…. so while I Steve and I held on to our other kids (who all were wearing life vests) I kept looking ahead to find my older boys- with no luck. And when we got to the point where it was time to exit…. the current was unbelievably strong, and it was very hard to pull everyone out of the “ride”. But worst of all, when we got out- Kyle was there, but no Spencer. They had become separated and while Kyle was able to get out, he didn't know where Spencer was.
Complete panic in my heart…. but I remained calm. I got back in the water to wait for Spencer to come around again. Steve also got in the water to go around the river again to try to find Spencer, and my brother stayed with the rest of the kids out of the water. About 20 heart-stopping minutes went by before a lifeguard walked up with my sobbing little boy…. he had gotten out at another exit point and asked the lifeguard to help him walk back to his family.
This may have been one of my worst parenting moments ever. I was so relieved to find my Spencer, and so angry at myself for allowing him to get out of my sight on a ride that I really didn't know.
Fail #5- Steve's first Father's Day as a Daddy of 2…
I thought it would be a lovely idea to take my hubby and his two boys to a local animal farm and then off for a lovely lunch for Father's Day. So all spontaneous and free-wheeling like…. I made no plans. Off we went. Well, the animal farm had like 2 cows which entertained us for maybe 5 minutes. Then as we drive around to find a place for lunch… we couldn't find a restaurant that opened on Sunday before dinner. What? It was Father's Day people!
So we ended up at Burger King. But once inside, I realized that my 2 year old had a leaky diaper… and the mess was everywhere… and I had forgotten to pack extra clothes. So we ate our Burger King lunch in the car…. and the cute boy above did so with no pants on! Um, Happy Father's Day….
As I reflect on this list- most of my painting fails happened with just my oldest kids….. so maybe that means that “practice makes perfect?” Or maybe that practice means “less epic fails?”. I'm not entirely sure!
If you liked this list, check out some of my other Listable Life posts:
Okay- so please make me feel a little better and share one of your parenting fails here….. please leave a comment!