Thursday, April 19, 2007

As if ...

this day couldn't get any worse. It did. And it was my fault. I am now officially the world's worst mother ever.
So we go to McDonald's to eat. It's time to leave and my 4 year old comes to me with tears in her eyes and says "I don't want to go to Cubbies mom. I want to go home with you." Umm, okay, that kind of came out of nowhere ... so we talk a bit, she said she wasn't sick or tired or worried about Cubbies, but she didn't know what was wrong or why she was crying and she just wanted to go home. So I take her and Little Man into the van and drive home.
We get home. I take Little Man out of his car seat. I ask 4 year old to carry in something for me when she gets out of the car and go into the house. I was talking to my sis on the phone and after some time had passed (okay, it was probably 5 minutes) I started to think it was strange 4 year old hadn't come in the house yet.
So I walk out to get her.
She is sitting in the passenger seat of the van, crying her head off. Why? BECAUSE SHE CAN'T OPEN THE DOORS HERSELF!!! I know this. And yet, I walked into the house and did NOT open her door. I quickly got her out, gave her hug, apologized a million times and felt like the world's worst mother ever. She told me it was okay. She forgave me. She said she was scarred and she didn't know why I left her there and she didn't know when I would come back.
My heart just broke people. Into a million and one pieces. I feel awful. I suck as a mother.
At that point, I taught her how to use the horn in case it ever happens again.
See here's the deal. My 7 year old can open the door. Usually we are all together. I don't have to really open doors for her. And if I have to, I usually remember. Tonight I didn't. I hope I never ever ever ever forget again, but holy cow, what if I do? I would feel even more awful, but at least now she knows how to honk the horn to get me out there faster.
Today has been a pretty crappy day all around.
Oh, and my 7 year old came home and told me she didn't feel so well. Yeah. A house full of sick kids and a very tired, very feeling guilty mom. Great combination there, huh?
Anyway, I read some stuff that made me feel better (well, not feel better about her forgetting her because really, I will probably have nightmares about this for, well, ever, but it did help my mood improve). And when dh came home I took a nice warm bath. With bath salts. And a book. And I feel less likely to just completely run away.
Can I just say though, thank God it is not very cold out or it is not very hot out? Because, truly I am thankful it was a kind of average day around here. Because what if it was 100 degrees out? Would I be here typing away and her sleeping away in her bed, already mostly forgetting what happened earlier or would it have been a lot worse? And my dh told me in the grand scheme of things, 5 minutes is not a long time, but for her, did it feel like a lifetime? I don't know. I bet if he were the one who did it, he'd be just as upset as I am at myself and I'd be trying to comfort him by saying some cheesy line like that to him!
People, I am hanging my head in shame here. Literally.
Ugh. Tomorrow is Friday. And it really does have to be a better day. I will make it a better day. I will not be crabby. I will not yell, okay I won't yell as much as I did today. And I sure as heck will not leave any children in the car at all tomorrow.


MissKris said...

Maybe this will make you feel better. Around 24 years ago I had taken my son who was 4 at the time to a busy mall here in Portland. I stopped at a book store to buy some books and as we were standing at the counter while I paid for them, Jamie was talking to me and I paid only half-attention to him as I wrote my check. I got that finished, handed it to the clerk, and looked down. No Jamie!! Talk about FRANTIC!!! I ran up and down the aisles practically screaming out his answer. By that time I was totally freaked out and people were getting very concerned. I ran out on to the mezzanine and hollered "Jamie!!!!" at the top of my lungs. The sweetest little voice in the world hollered back, "Mommy?" and I looked and saw him about 100 feet or so down the walkway. He came running back to me and I didn't know whether to throttle him for wandering away from me, or hugging him to me and thanking God he was ok. One of the scariest moments of my life, and I will never, ever forget it. If it's any consolation to you, as traumatic as it was to me, Jamie has no memory of it whatsoever. Just let it lie, don't bring it up, and I'm sure your little one won't remember it either. But here's a big (((((HUG))))) for you 'coz I TOTALLY understand!

mama2dibs said...

What a day! I am sure that would be a scary situation. I get nervous when I look up in a store and Libby is halfway down an aisle. Please know though, this single incident does not define who you are as a parent. You would be the worst parent in the world if you did this and didn't give a darn. A bad parent wouldn't even notice the discomfort they caused their child. You are a wonderful parent who made a mistake, one that was scary for all who were involved, and will be a little more attentive in the future to things like that. That's not to say things like that won't happen again, they will, but they sure aren't going to happen on a daily basis. Know that God loves you, in your human-ness and all!