Tag Archives: mom fail

Parent Fail #437: So I took my kids to Chick-fil-A…

So I took my kids to Chick-fil-A for dinner tonight. Hubby had rehearsal, and I thought since they hadn’t had it in a few days, it was a good dinner option for just the four of us. I was actually pretty pleased with how the whole experience was going; they ate well, played nicely, and had even exchanged their toys for ice cream without any meltdowns. Finally, I gave them the five minute warning before we left to come home.

Then the two minute.

Then the “One more slide down, and then get your shoes on!”

J came out first… my sweet little three and a half year old. He was still squealing, but carried his socks and shoes to our table. EK, my five year old, typical oldest child, came next, her shoes already on. It became clear I was going to have to drag D, my only semi-coherently communicating two year old, out of the play area by force.

As I was wrangling D out from the top of where I could possibly reach inside that sticky, primary-colored plastic, I saw EK next to the door to leave the restaurant, her head turned, looking for me. Assuming she was just being impatient, I almost ignored her, until I didn’t see J.

I bolted out the door of the play area, knowing D probably wasn’t going anywhere anyway. EK shouted at me that J had run outside, just as I saw his shoes and socks at our table. My heart began to pound in my chest, afraid that the Chick-fil-A local high school fundraiser dinner rush was the optimal time for my kid to get snatched, or run over. You know, worst case scenario stuff. (Spoiler: he is fine.)

As I told EK to get back to D in the play area and wait there, I ran smack into my savior – a woman holding my giggling son by the arm, saying, “I’m just worried about this child!” I snatched (see the irony?) said giggling child, and began reprimanding and crying simultaneously. Then, I managed to look at my savior, the woman who had prevented my child from being run over or snatched by a stranger… Full into the face of a woman I knew. A sweet family friend, a mom of several littles herself, who just happened to be walking into Chick-fil-A empty-handed, leaving a free hand to grab my wayward child. Bless her heart, she didn’t know when she chose her dinner location how she would cause tears of relief to run down my face. (And also a long talk about safe choices, followed by a consequence of skipping his nightly TV time.) This parent fail is just one more example of how it takes a tribe, y’all. Do the good works for your fellow mamas.

It ain’t pretty. 

This post also appeared on My Big Jesus! 

The grump king was just mad he slept through dinner.
 Sometimes, a house full of kids ain’t pretty. It’s messy. It’s frustrating. It’s loud. It’s full of surprises, no matter how much you plan. It’s often a battle: you vs. them, you vs. laundry, you vs. the unknown smell, you vs. screen time, or you vs. the version of you you’d like to be. 

Sometimes, like the other night for me, things get really crazy. It’s one thing after another, and there’s no one to blame, not even yourself (because sometimes, if I’m honest, it’s my fault). But sometimes, there are so many factors and so many things involved, it’s just too crazy and we can’t get through it without finding a little humor. 

On Saturday, Hubby and I had loose plans to go get (apparently amazing) burgers with some friends about 30 minutes from home. Once we started making further plans, our friends didn’t feel like going that far, but still wanted to hang. So we changed location and time, but kept the date. As my fam got ready to go, this kid didn’t want shoes, that one didn’t want a jacket, and the youngest screamed from the moment he got into his car seat. I was on edge from the crying, and from the sheer effort it takes to get all of us out the door…and because I had really wanted that burger with the obscene amount of bacon and the fried egg on top that everyone had been raving about. So when we finally got into the car, I sorta… exploded. I may or may not have told Hubby I wanted to run away by myself. I may or may not have meant it right then. But then I shut up, and we drove to dinner. 

Halfway there, I realized I had forgotten to grab baby wipes. This, with three kids under four, is a big mistake. Hubby offered to stop at the grocery store and grab some, and I declined, mumbling about how napkins or wet paper towels would do, and how stupid I felt for the obvious fail at Mom 101. 

When we got to dinner, it was time for D to eat his oatmeal, so he sat in Hubby’s lap while I fed him. We made precious little mess, and I went as far as to congratulate myself for not getting covered in it. How dare I?! Because the next thing I knew, he had puked. And puked some more. After the third one, I had changed his bib three times, his pants once, and used every napkin at the table. So then, obviously, there was one more spit up. Then he just got fussy. And fussier. And fussier. No amount of swaying or bouncing, toys or funny faces was making him happy, so Hubby and I deduced that he must’ve emptied his belly and gotten hungry. Because why else would he still be all mad? Well, two sips into his bottle, he passed out. Hard. Ooooh! Tired! That was it. Well, Mr. Man likes to sleep on his belly, so in my lap, he started to turn, until he was awkwardly belly down, splayed across my body. I managed to maneuver him to a slightly less awkward position, but it’s still a little disconcerting trying to eat a salad and a wrap with a twenty pound baby across your lap.

When he fell asleep, it was almost like that was my older kids’ cue to lose it completely. EK decided sitting was for losers and she would stand on one leg, with one butt cheek on her chair. J decided shoes were only for people who had their feet on the floor, and promptly threw his boots off the high chair he was in, and spend the rest of his evening fighting to get out of it. Both were fairly covered in their dinners (spaghetti with meat sauce and fries with ketchup, because obviously tomato is the only vegetable, and it exists only to be used in sauces). This was the point where I really regretted not letting Hubby stop for wipes. There was red everywhere, and several people at our table had been spit up on. And as I looked around at the laughing faces of our friends, a sweet Hubby who had hopefully not held my bad mood against me, a round of empty beers, and happy (or sleeping) babes, I made a decision. I could sit there brooding about how things hadn’t gone my way, or I could decide to have a nice evening, despite the crazy. All in all, the sequence of events was so bad it was funny. And I decided to laugh. I decided to wage my war on unpreparedness and loud kids later. I was surrounded by my favorite people, and I shouldn’t be sulking.  I should be having fun. And y’all, I did. I enjoyed myself with spit up on my sleeve, a baby sprawled across my lap, and kids who ate ketchup for dinner. I chose to ignore the battle instead of fighting it, and no one is even worse for the wear. 

Things Toddlers Say (and Do)

 There’s a word my daughter said for weeks before I truly understood its meaning. J and I both have humidifiers in our rooms, and she kept pointing to them, asking if she should turn on the “fire”. At first, I thought this was because you can see the mist/vapor coming out of it, and she was associating “smoke” with “fire”. I finally figured out that she was muttering a syllable before “fire” and it was really just an attempt to say “humidifier”. Mom fail.

Overheard in the kitchen this morning…
Hubby: What do you want to listen to?
EK: Rock and roll!
Hubby: Don’t have to ask me twice. (Puts on Pink Floyd.)

Me, seeing EK search through the junk drawer: What are you looking for?
EK: I gotta put some chappick on.!
(I’m sure everyone with a kid knows why I hide my chapstick – I don’t want spit on, rubbed into everything, and then turned up into the lid irrevocably.)

First thing in the morning, when EK climbs in the bed with us:

EK: (to Hubby) Wake up, silly boy!

Upon receiving some Lucky Charms I had bought for St. Patrick’s Day:

EK: I’m gonna eat all the ush-minnows (marshmallows) first!

And now, for my other toddler, who might not use many words yet, but can sure as heck do silly things…

That’s our living room floor – covered in metallic Sharpie. EK never misused the art supplies unless she was tattooing herself. Our son, however, skipped art supplies and went for the same junk drawer mentioned above… and proceeded to give our Pollock-esque floor a little Picasso. Alas, it probably isn’t the last time. FYI though, nail polish remover got it off our vinyl floor!

What has your toddler said (or done) recently that’s worth a laugh?Does your kid do a little art on nontraditional materials?

everyday mom link up

Mom Fail – The Parrot Edition

A couple of weeks ago, I took the kids to the children’s museum here in taken with my friend Rochelle and her kids. Her daughter Emery is 3 months older than EK and her son Dean is two months younger than J, so we can clearly see lots of play dates and slumber parties together in our future. Anyway, EK always takes a few minutes to warm up to the museum (we don’t go often enough) so once she got going, she was off. Emery was off in a hundred other directions, so naturally Rochelle and I didn’t spend too much time sitting and chatting. I was wearing J, Rochelle was strolling Dean, and those poor boys didn’t have time to chill.

A brief moment of togetherness, on the troll bridge.
A brief moment of togetherness, on the troll bridge.

Finally, the girls were getting a bit cranky (all four of us!) and needed some lunch, followed by naps all around. We decided on Moe’s, since it’s loud and fast and low-key, not to mention fun food for us all to eat. We packed the kiddos and unpacked the kiddos and ushered the kiddos through the line. Rochelle sandwiched the girls into a booth, and I situated myself in between the boys in their carseat carriers. EK and Emery were like popcorn – one was always popping up, turning around, watching the poor souls who also chose Moe’s as their lunch spot. Rochelle and I were losing our voices saying, “Sit down! Eat your lunch! Sit down! Drink your juice! Sit down! Get off the floor! Sit down! Wipe your mouth!” Talk about a broken record. I don’t feel like we were yelling, but we weren’t whispering. We weren’t being mean, but we were being firm.

After most of the quesadillas were eaten and “juices” (water with a splash of lemonade, of course) were drunk, Emery decided to stand up once more, turn around, and check out what was going on behind her. Rochelle and I had all but given up on finishing lunch sitting nicely, so we didn’t say much. EK, however, had finally gotten the point. She looked up at Emery, and firmly (rudely?) said, “SIT! DOWN! NOW!” Rochelle and I looked at each other… and tried very hard not to laugh. From the mouths of our babes, we hear what we sound like. Not that I needed a reminder that my little girl is a parrot, but I sure got one.

How hard is it, sometimes, to control your tone of voice? I know that when I need to tell EK something several times, my tone escalates each time. I almost always start softly and politely. But after I’ve told/asked several times, I begin to lose my patience. Especially if time or safety or politeness to others is a factor, I get firm and sometimes loud very quickly. I wouldn’t say overall that I’m a yeller, but I do raise the volume a little if the first and second (and third) time I say something doesn’t bring forth the desired response.

That day at Moe’s was a prime example of what she remembered about telling someone to do something. Since then, I have been more conscious of my tone and delivery of directions. I try to have a little more patience and grace. And yes, folks, it’s difficult. I have never claimed to be the most patient person in the world. I find myself hollering things like, “Get your shoes!” across the house as we prepare to go somewhere. If I catch her holding my iPad with one hand, I might shout something like, “Put that down, NOW!” a little less nicely than I could. But I’m improving, and doing the best I can. I’ve always been a loud lady, so teaching my daughter to reign her loudness is at best a little difficult for me. At least I’m honest, right?

Have you had that moment where your parrot child repeats something you’ve said, in that perfect tone of voice, and surprises you? Or even disappoints you?

Mom Fail #294838

It’s high time I posted some #momfail humor!  First, a little background info… I have an amazing mother-in-law, Anne.  My hubby and I are blessed with great in-laws that get along with us and get along together. (It makes holidays and birthdays MUCH easier that way.)

Anyway, one afternoon Anne came over to our house to help us get our laundry under control. (Laundry is our #1 parenting plight. In a family of 4 clotheshorses, we are constantly drowning in either dirty or clean-but-not-yet-folded clothes.) Anne and I were sitting in the floor of EK’s bedroom, folding her clothes and stuffing them into drawers.  Hubby was cleaning the kitchen, with J in his bouncy seat in the floor.  EK was running around the house, bringing toys from one room into another and back again.  Anne was being her sweet, encouraging self, and telling me what a good job parenting Hubby and I were doing (oh, just wait).  She was saying how compassionate and obedient EK is, and all sorts of other sweet things about Hubby and me.

After a few very productive minutes of chatting and folding, I realize it’s too quiet.  Parents of toddlers, I’m sure you’re all cringing right now because you know what that means.  All of a sudden, I hear a huge thud – like a noggin hitting the floor – and EK cries out.  I rush to the hallway, and see her lying on the floor… the wet floor.  Now, my first thought is a spilled glass of water; Hubby and I are sometimes bad about leaving our water glasses within reach.  I scoop her up to my chest and comfort her, ask her where she hurts, etc.  Upon inspection, I realize that there are little pieces of wet, white stuff on her clothes and on the floor.  Then I follow the trail… to the bathroom… and to the toilet.  And then I gasp.  I manage to maintain calm (sort of).  I assess the toilet situation as way too full to flush (the better part of a roll of toilet paper was inside), so I call on Hubby to take care of the bathroom.  I take off EK’s clothes.  I take off my clothes (because I’ve been clutching her sniffling self to my chest, and am now covered in toilet water).  I look down the hallway, and see a trail of water and mushy toilet paper leading to the kitchen.  Where in the kitchen, you ask? Why, with my then 3-month-old son in his bouncy seat, of course.  Hubby says, “I saw her playing with him, but didn’t realize she was wet!”  Codswallop, in my opinion (forgive me that HP reference).  After we are showered, floors are cleaned, and naps are in progress, I have a good laugh with Anne.  There I had been, glowing with pride as my success as mother is praised, as my toddler played in the toilet, trailed the water all over the house, and then slipped in it.  It felt like an epic #momfail, but then again, everyone is fine and we have a hilarious story to tell.

I want to hear about your most recent #momfail too!