I spend a lot of time reading blogs. All sorts of blogs. Funny blogs, inspirational blogs, short stories, a little of everything really. I notice that many of the writers talk about their young children, and the worries they have about trying to parent in today’s world. I thought I would share some of my finest moments as a parent to help them understand that kids will turn out fine, even if you are not exactly a perfect parent.
So, here they are. My Top Ten Finest Parenting
- I had a birthday party for my daughter and baked a homemade Red Velvet Elmo cake. The cake was delicious by the way, and the Red Velvet looked great when you cut into the cake. It sort of looked like Elmo was bleeding out with each slice. That wasn’t the part that freaked the kids out though…I used baker’s gel colour for the frosting, maybe a little too much gel. It made the cake and the frosting a beautiful, bright red. It also turned all of the children’s stool a bright red for about three days after the party. Moms called to tell me that their kids were crying because they thought that they were bleeding out of their butts. We stopped having homemade cake at birthday parties after that.
- I stuck my oldest daughter’s head into a moving ceiling fan. In my defense, I am 6ft tall, and the ceiling was a bit low. I was trying to lift her up to place her into my front facing baby sling. I lifted her up alright, right into the fan. It conked her on the side of the head, she cried out and I burst into tears. This was before I had gone to nursing school, so I had no idea what to look for, or even if I really needed to be worried. I sat with her on the bed crying, and she started laughing. I cried harder because I thought I knocked all sense out of her. She was fine, a small bump. Life went on.
- I made the mistake of talking about work in front of the kids. One morning, after a very rough night in the ER, I arrived at the house to find my youngest daughter already up and about. My husband at the time was complaining about something and I said” At least you don’t have brains all over your shoes!” We had had a shooting during the night and I was pulled into the trauma room. I started working on the patient before I had my shoe covers on and brains leaked all over my shoes. From that day forward, each morning she would inspect my shoes for brain matter. (She’s OK, therapy is a good thing).
- My oldest daughter stayed home ill from school one day. It was a day that I had to get several errands done, which meant I had to drag her all over town while she was ill. (That alone deserves a parenting award). So, off we went. Well, I got hungry part way through the day and stopped at Qdoba. We lived in NC, and it was a warm, Southern day so she had to come in to the restaurant with me. The smell of Mexican food(or their version of it) hit her, and she barfed her guts out on the spot. None of us have ever gone back to a Qdoba since.
- Same child, in 4th grade, told me she didn’t feel well and wanted to stay home. The Super Nurse that I am, didn’t believe her. (She was going through a phase of “Not feeling well” so she could stay home with me during the day. I worked nights, and needed to sleep during the day)So, I sent her to school anyway. Within an hour, I got a call telling me that my daughter had barfed all over her desk. When I picked her up, she was covered from head to toe in vomit. I still do not know how that much vomit came out of that child, or how she got it on top of her head.
- One year for Christmas, I bought both of my daughters some temporary hair colour. I thought it might be fun to do over the Christmas break from school. This worked out fine for my oldest as she has a naturally beautiful, dark brown hair color. I got her a temporary red colour and it lasted a few shampoos, and washed out just fine. My youngest daughter has blonde hair, and she used a “temporary” purple colour. He hair stayed bright purple for weeks, and then faded in to a lovely pink shade. She was in elementary school, so this hair colour stood out just a bit. What made things worse was she had her school pictures made while her hair was this lovely pink shade. Classy.
- When I do yard or garden work, I wear my old, raggedy clothes. Clothes that should NEVER be worn in public, but fit very comfortably for working around the house. My youngest daughter needed something from the store while I was working in the yard. After much begging from her, I finally said we could go, but we needed to be quick about it. So quick that I didn’t change out of my sweat stained tank top and booty shorts that said LIFE GUARD across the ass. We had almost made it out of the store with our items when we ran into my daughter’s teacher. I am sure I made a great impression. Nothing says stellar Mom like tank tops, tattoos and booty shorts. There were no words to help that situation.
- As I said before, I worked night shift during the entire span of my children’s childhood. I rarely got more than 4 hours of sleep each day with the drive home, the drive to school, home to shower, try to sleep, then get back up to pick up the kids after school, then make dinner before I left for work again. When I did actually fall asleep, I slept like the dead. So, when my youngest got sick at school and the school tried to reach me, they were unable.(And by sick I mean, projectile vomiting, then pooping, then projectile vomiting and pooping at the same time. My poor baby!) After quite some time, they managed to reach my Mom(who lived an 1 hour 30 minutes away) who made the drive to pick up her poor,sick, and motherless granddaughter from school.
- Technically this next story isn’t a parenting moment, more of a pre-parenting moment. While babysitting my younger brother(he is 8 years my junior) he somehow managed to get his head stuck in the iron gate that surrounded our spiral staircase. I still do not know how he did this, but he did it on my watch. So, I slathered him in vegetable oil and tried to pull his head out. No luck, his ears were stuck. I then found some Vaseline and coated his head and ears. Almost, but not quite. My Mom then arrived to find both of her kids covered in oil and her son still stuck in the gate. She then used her Super Mom strength and bent the iron gate just a wee bit to let him slide out. It took days to get all of the oil out of his hair.
- When I was a younger parent, I frequently told people that I had adopted my girls. I always said this jokingly, as a way to say “There is NO way that I am old enough to have two daughters! Well, this went on for as long as I could get away with not looking old enough to have two daughters. However, at some point, a few people believed me. My oldest daughter looks very little like me, and tends to favor her Dad’s side of the family and my youngest looks very much like me. Unfortunately, this allowed people to believe what I thought was a funny story, Clearly not funny when people would ask my oldest about being adopted. This is probably the biggest of my parenting faux pas.
Now, here we are today. My oldest daughter has completed her training as a Cosmetologist, and has recently moved out of the nest on her own. My youngest is currently doing her training as a Vet Tech. Oh, and she is doing this training in a second language(German) a language that she is learning while doing her training. Amazing. So, both my kids lived, thrived and made it to adulthood in spite of my parenting fails. Your kids will do the same, in spite of the things you think that you are doing all wrong!