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Mom Moments

Parenting Fails

This morning I blew it.  Like, big time.

I got up only 5 minutes after my alarm went off, got a mini workout in, did my Bible reading, had a cup of coffee, made some lunches, diagnosed a sick kid and called the school to let them know he wouldn’t be in today, hustled the other two offspring to the school for our turn doing Breakfast Club, and then cleaned up afterward.

I thought I had everything covered.

Until I noticed a long line of 13 year old boys marching into the school gymnasium wearing freshly pressed white shirts and ties with their jeans and hi-tops.

It took me precisely 3 minutes and 20 seconds to realize why that sight was bothering me.  I grabbed my oldest son’s teacher as she hurried past me and blurted out “Are they taking Grad photos today??”.

I had no clue.  Not a smidgen of an idea that today might be the day that my own 13 year old would be donning a cap and gown for his Grade 8 Grad photos.  His adorable static-y hair, t-shirt-wearing self was totally not prepared for Grad photos today.

Who schedules photos on a Monday anyway?  While he probably doesn’t care how he looks in those photos right now, I certainly do.  And I’m sure he will one day too.

His teacher caught on right away and said “Do you want to run home and pick up something for him?  I can keep him at the end of the line”.  I thanked her profusely and charged down the hall and out the door, nearly taking out another teacher on the way.

I got back in time with an unpressed and mostly white shirt, one of hubby’s ties, a bottle of leave-in conditioner and a comb, in plenty of time for my son’s turn.

But I’m still kicking myself.

When he was about 3 or 4, he slipped and whacked his head on the runner of our sliding door while he was coming in from the pool one hot summer day.  While I was giving him a hug and kissing it better, I realized that there were massive amounts of blood gushing from what I thought was a tiny scrape.  It wasn’t really so tiny.

So, in perfectly calm Emergency-Mom-Mode, I pulled out the First Aid kit, and grabbed a 4×4 bandage and held it to his head.  With the other hand I dialed the Health Hotline to ask if I should take him in for stitches.  The very polite young man on the other end asked a few questions, and I answered them calmly … and then I noticed the strange chewing motion my son was making.  The spilled bottle of Adult Extra-Strength Advil laying on top of the First Aid kit made it pretty obvious what my dear son was eating.

Calm Mom disappeared.  Crazy Mom took her place.  “Ahhh!” I said, “He’s eating Adult Advil!!”.  Polite Young Man on the other end of the phone said “Maam, you’re going to want to hang up the phone and go directly to the Emergency Room.  Now!”

I don’t know if the Health Hotline guy was supposed to break his calm demeanor, but he certainly made an exception for me.

But my son really didn’t complain much about the pain of his gushing head wound after that, and after it wore off, he was fine.  So I guess it all worked out for the best.

And then one time I was doing some sewing in the kitchen while my two little boys watched TV in their mini folding camping chairs.  You know, the kind that have the mesh cup-holders.  I watched them out of the corner of my eye from about 10 feet away, and thought it was so cute that they were casually eating snacks out of those cup-holders.  Until I realized that I hadn’t given them any snacks yet.  Turns out, they had been popping Arthur Children’s Multivitamins.  They both peed orange for 3 days afterward.  And I got to know the nice people on the Poison Control Hotline.

And then there was the time I let my boys go over to a friends’ house to soak in the hot tub with their friends —  and their mom’s boyfriend.  What was I thinking?

And the time I thought both boys were fast asleep in their own bedrooms during Afternoon Nap/Mommy Sanity Time, when really, they were in one bedroom, dismantling the Captain’s Bed.  Completely.  Screws and all.  I know, you think I’m exaggerating, and I really wish I was.  How could I not have heard that happening?

Sometimes I wonder how they have survived me this long and I’ll be kicking myself about these things for quite awhile, I’m sure.

But really, no parent is perfect.

The important thing is to learn from those parenting fails, get stronger childproofing locks, and to figure out a way to permanently attach the mattress to the bed so that it can not be used to surf down the stairs.

I’ll have to tell you about that one some other time.


Shared at Bloggy Moms March 2014 Blog Hop!




Article written by:

Megan is a WAHM to 3 (and then some) kids, who spends the majority of her time working as an Administrative Assistant, blogging and washing dishes. She loves to write about her adventures in parenting, running a home daycare, adoption and whatever else strikes her fancy!


  1. Tiffany Washko

    Scary. This is another reason we avoid all medications. No room for oopsies. We do have essential oils but I cannot imagine anyone chugging those.

    • Megan Elford

      I’m afraid I’d still have to lock them up in my house, lol! My kids were always into everything when they were little.

  2. Robin Rue (@massholemommy)

    Oh man! It is so scary when stuff happens like that. Fails are definitely something to learn from.

    • Megan Elford

      Definitely! We no longer use vitamins, and I don’t keep pain killers in the first aid kit anymore. Parenting is FULL of learning experiences 🙂

  3. Dad

    When did they dismantle the Captain’s Bed???


  4. maggiesblog2

    We all have these moments. We live and we learn. My son ate an adult Advil once and I called poison control crying hysterically sure he was going to die any minute. He’s 11 now lol….

    • Megan Elford

      I’m glad to hear it! I’m pretty sure the ER doc was laughing underneath his facade at me — all he said was “Well, at least we won’t have to give him pain killers for the stitches …” 😀

  5. Liz Mays

    I’m largely responsible for my mom’s fails. She keeps reminding me. I was such a stinker when she wasn’t looking.

  6. Mystarlight

    We all have those moments when we realize that we could have done a situation better but all we can do is do our best. I have had some similar situations happen to me too. I think they are there to help us remember what is important in life. At least that is how I look at them.

  7. citymomsecrets

    ugh – fails are always such a stress!

  8. Eliz Frank

    Those are very scary stories and can happen to any Mom. Glad when we end up surviving these fails..

    • Megan Elford

      Yes, at the time they’re so scary. But the truth is that no parent can protect their child from every possibility. When our kids turn 18, we’ll all have a long list of fails or things we should have done differently.

  9. Adin Blankenship

    Oh my gosh! those are some scary moments, I have two kids and I know there are times or days that are just way off and scary. Those types of moments are our best lessons to teach us to be a better parent. We all are not perfect and we all learn from things every day.

    • Megan Elford

      So true. Not only do we learn from our mistakes, but then we have some hilarious stories to tell at their weddings one day :-D.

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