Parenting fails. I’ve had a few

I think if you asked me what my biggest parenting fail is it would be the shouting. I really don’t like when I resort to it because I feel like I’ve lost control.
We all have parenting fails. All of us. Some of us laugh about them, some of us keep shtum for fear of shattering the ‘perfect parent’ illusion and some of us share them in all their glory on Facebook.

When Mia started school I had to be called by the secretary to pick her up because I’d forgotten they were only there for half a day. “Are you coming to pick your daughter up?” she asked with barely disguised disbelief.

Dan I pretty much just blundered through the whole baby thing without the foggiest idea, making fail after fail.
He’s 12 now and doing pretty good, so I didn’t so so badly.

So what are your parenting fails: the good, the bad and the ugly. Maybe just the ugly, not entirely sure what a ‘good’ parenting fail would look like.
I turned to Facebook for a spot of research – ah you guys, you never let me down! Read it if only to make yourself feel better . . .

Dawn Brown: I could mention the time my mum failed me lol – I was a toddler playing out in the garden, mum looked out of kitchen window and saw I was actually toddling around 2nd floor scaffolding on the building site across the road. Of course my own parenting is practically perfect in every way (if you ignore the time Zara tried to ride the wooden tricycle down the stairs)

Bryony Wilson: I locked my newborn and my keys inside my car at a shopping centre once. Baby was crying so me and my mum were pushing the car from either side to try and rock him to sleep while we waited for the RAC! People kept looking at us strangely…

Chris Mosler: There was the time when I left my trolley full of purchases with the IKEA man to guard while I brought the car round, got to the car and my eldest piped up ‘Shouldn’t we have the baby Mummy?’ I’d left him in the trolley – I thought the IKEA chap had looked a little perturbed!

Liz Grayson: Oh so many… First was in the early days and L didn’t sleep more than 1.5 hours and was screaming while she was awake. So after week 8 I was beyond exhausted. I fell asleep when I was feeding her. Woke up and she wasn’t in my arms, couldn’t remember. where I’d put her – she was on my feet. Fast asleep Second major one was when I went back to work, she was 2.5. Sitting in a meeting at 6pm my phone went off and the nice lady from school said ‘Are you coming to get L today Mrs Grayson?’ I forgot I had a child!! *mortified* set an alarm every day after that for 4pm!

Louise Fairweather: This week I was rushing the boys to school and my youngest was crying. I thought it was because we were rushing – turned out his trousers had fallen down round his ankles and he was fast shuffling. Oh and on the first day at pre school I called my son by the wrong name – twice. The keyworker very politely queried his name and I had to apologise that I was calling him by his brother’s name.

Becky Wiggins: Oh god yes I have a few. Putting Sam on the seat in the swimming pool changing rooms then struggling to get into my pre baby swimsuit only to turn around and find he’d rolled off onto the floor. I turned up in A & E with jeans over my super tight swimmers and a 3 month old child with industrial tile patterns embossed on his forehead. With Charlie we were in A &E so much they knew his name. One time I turned up in hysterics because I found him with an empty Calpol bottle after forgetting to put the lid back on and assuming he’d drunk it. Turned out he had poured it into his shoes…

Marianne Weekes: I had to take one twin at a time to the car, strap one in and go back for the other only to find I’d shut the door behind me and locked a twin inside with the house keys, my phone and bag. #panic

Emma Wright: What about putting a new pair of Clarks shoes on tho roof of the car and driving home with them? Luckily they were still there! Or on our last day on holiday with friends in Tenby we all decided to pop to the beach for a last dip. Just took wet suits, towels and buckets and spades. Then my 3 year old pooed in his wet suit! No wipes or anything. We had to try and clean him off with buckets of sea water. Totally gross and my hands stunk! What was worse was when we got back to campsite my hubby had to clean off wetsuit. Have never forgotten wipes since! Or jumping in the car to pick up kids from school and whilst standing in the playground waiting, realising you had left the baby asleep in their cot! (*that may or may not have happened!)

Wendy Vail: Walking my kids to school, 200 metres at end of street realised pram was empty, 1 yo toddling around at the top of our driveway. I used to walk him up our steep driveway then put him in pram, but totally forgot about him…

Karen Cannard: There was that awful time when I sent my eldest into school in his Tudor costume when he was in Yr 3. And I only found out it wasn’t dressing up day when the school assistant called me to see if I could quickly drop off his uniform. I was 40 minutes away and about to do a live radio interview. Ooops.

Jean Ward: So many to choose from. When my two girls were tots (1 & 3) I drove to work, parked the car and heard my 3 yr old say “Where are we going today mummy?”. They were both still in their baby seats on the backseat because I’d forgotten to drop them off at the nursery

Liz Jarvis: Having to meet a deadline and forgetting that I had the dummies boiling in a saucepan to sterilise and setting fire to it… or the time Man of the House had to take him to the garage in a tea towel because there were no nappies in the house… And  the time I put him in a little rubber dinghy at Lyme Regis and he floated out to sea – towards the harbour! People were looking and getting ready to call the air sea rescue and I had to jump in with all my clothes on to rescue him. Then there was also the time when we thought he had hearing problems and were referred to the hospital for tests. Only to discover he’d wedged a fat red chubby crayon in his ear canal and had probably had it there for at least a year. Oh I could go on and on. Miracle we’ve come this far, tbh.

Libby Price: Buying your 11 year old a t-shirt with swearing on it by mistake. Or cutting the top of your 2 month old’s thumb off with nail clippers whilst trying to trim her nails…

Toni Summers Hargis: Oh god, where to begin. Trying to get the rear window in my car up. pressing the button over and over and then hearing a squeak from the back – only to discover that my 18 month old had stuck his hand out and I was actually squashing his little fingers (see, it still tortures me.) Buying same child a set of plastic golf clubs for his 2nd birthday, letting him play in the (fenced) garden with older sister, and then hearing the neighbor exclaim when she saw that he had decapitated every single tulip and daffodil with the little three iron.  

And I leave the last word to Rosie

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12 Responses to Parenting fails. I’ve had a few

  1. Mwa says:

    My word! I almost feel sane after all that.
    (I did nearly lose my daughter down the side of a mountain once, but never mind.)
    Mwa recently posted…BackMy Profile

  2. Iota says:

    Bought a new pair of hair clippers, having been persuaded by a friend that it was easy to cut small boys’ hair (and saves on haircuts). Put on what I thought was the lowest intensity attachment. Turned on the clippers, and ran them up one side of my son’s head. Turned out I’d put on the highest attachment. Sent him to school the next day with a runway up the side of his head, because I was too nervous to try and do anything about it, and thought I’d make it worse if I did. Took him to the barber’s immediately after school.

  3. Iota says:

    On the subject of hair, another of my big parenting fails is how very infrequently I washed my children’s hair when they were little. But in a way, it’s a success, because (a) I’ve discovered that it really didn’t matter, and (b) they never had lice. Not once. Apparently lice like clean hair (unless that’s just what we all tell each other).
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  4. Jen says:

    Most epic fails relate to my daughter, somehow when we got to our son, either it washed over us more or we’d done our worst.
    So there was the time I was walking with my 2 year old and stepped awkwardly off the kerb so as I fell into the road I pushed her away – with such force I broke her arm. Very suspicious looks at her dad when we brought her in with a broken arm and me covered in cuts, bruises and a twisted ankle.
    Then there was the time she was on antibiotics, also aged two, and she refused to take that bright yellow liquid. So I was advised to hide it in her yoghurt, but she caught me. And refused to eat anything from me for 48 hours. Of course I was still in the kitchen, hiding it in her yoghurt then passing it to her dad or nan to feed her, so she got what she needed but not from me because her trust was shattered.
    Oh, I thought of a son one too. He was 17 weeks old and had been a very sicky baby, I knew he was bringing up more milk than his sister had but I was just adapting by taking heaps of muslin squares everywhere to mop up. So, I’d just started giving him purée (back then it was four months not six for feeding) and I’d gone to a cafe with friends. After I gave him milk and apple purée, I left him with my friend and nipped to the loo. And came back to two drenched friends smelling of appley milk – including my poor friend’s handbag which was now swimming in lait du pomme. They were both really kind about it but that was the point where I got GP intervention and discovered he had reflux.
    These all centre round medical stuff. They’re both pretty healthy kids so I guess these things stick out!
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  5. Mari says:

    I’ve nodded along to so many and I felt pain for Rosie and her missed memo, I dread that one happening to me.
    It is a muddle from start to finish this parenting lark but at least we can look on the bright side eh?
    Mari recently posted…Four years of crisis – 83% of Syria’s lights extinguishedMy Profile

  6. Laura says:

    There have been so many, but the one that sticks out is the time I went supermarket shopping with my kids who were 6 months and two.

    I returned to the car with the trolley and put the 2 year old in the car first leaving the 6 month old in the trolley.

    All was well, until an elderly man started shouting across the car park. Something along the lines of “Is he yours?”

    Turns out the trolley, full of shopping and a rather jolly 6 month old had gone for a bit of a roll and the elderly man had managed to catch them.

    The shame mixed with the ‘could haves’ totally wiped out the fact that I had successfully, until leaving the supermarket, done a big shop with two small children.

  7. When I took Jessica to the vaccination clinic for her first set of baby vaccinations, I walked in and sat down on the chair provided next to the nurse’s desk, promptly bashing Jessica’s head hard on the desk. The nurse actually shrieked, ‘what did you do?’ Still it took Jessica’s mind off the vaccinations
    Outside The Click recently posted…Song-ography – In My Own Little CornerMy Profile

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