Regrettable Parenting Moments of 2010

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As parents of small children, it’s inevitable that we’ll experience a few “whoops!” moments. As in, well, I started with good intentions… but somehow this turned into a colossal disaster. Read on for a few of our reader submissions from 2010 – we like to call them “learning opportunities.” To all of the Mamas and Dadas out there who gave their best this year but still made an occasional mess, we salute you. Here’s to fewer “oops” and more “hoorays!” in the New Year!

By Allison Ellis

Faring poorly at the fair

Part 1: Take two 2 year-olds, a honking stroller, and a skittish dog to a crowded fair.

Part 2: Randomly decide to buy a glass pot of honey from a beekeeper. He was very charming and knowledgeable!

Part 3: Realize we forgot to bring snacks.

Finale: Dog and kids break pot of honey in a fit of low blood sugar rage.

Encore: Walked home p.o’d and $10 poorer with nothing to show for it. But the fair was nice!!

-Helena Hillinga Haas, Seattle, Washington

Oopsy gypsy

When I was growing up my parents would regularly say, “If you don’t do XYZ, we will send you to the gypsies.”  And I don’t remember it being particularly traumatic, more of a running family joke. Flash forward to the present. One night I was trying to get my daughter Alex to cooperate, probably getting ready for bed or something.  And I was pretty frustrated so I decided to use the old line my family/parents had used on me, “you know, if you don’t get your pajamas on, Mommy will have to call the gypsies and have them take you.” If my intended effect was to get her to put her pajamas on, it most certainly worked.  She stopped fussing and put them on straight away.  Unfortunately, though, I had to spend the next hour calming her down and convincing her that Mommy was not really going to EVER call the gypsies to come and take her away. Oops.

-Jennifer Tegan, Ithaca, New York

OMG, Grandma

My mom came to my 3-year-old’s preschool class to explain the story of Passover. She was a little caught off-guard because she thought she, my dad and my in-laws were just there to watch the class learn about Passover, but since the teacher didn’t really know anything about the holiday, she asked my mom to tell the story. All was well and good until she got into the part of the story about God killing the first-born sons of the evil Egyptians. Kids’ eyes grew wide. She knew as soon as it left her mouth that she should have “revised” the story for little ears, but the damage was already done.

-Jessica Solomon Goldsmith, Los Angeles, California

Halloween nightmare

Moments before we walked into our neighbor’s backyard’s haunted house, I convinced my eight year-old son Evan that the set-up really wasn’t that scary. After all, his sister, who is 5, went through it several times last year. I told him he could sleep in our bed if he was a little scared! Not a smart move. Ever try to carry an 8 year-old through a haunted house? Ever try to stop your own screaming in the meat locker with decapitated baby doll heads and devils and werewolves jumping out at you so that your bawling son won’t be even more petrified? It’s not an easy feat. But I pushed those bloody bags aside and dragged my kid through. Great. FABULOUS job. I have unintentionally succeeded in assuring Evan’s presence in our bed for another three or four years.

-Tracey Becker, Plainfield Illinois and blogger at Just Another Mommy Blog

Stinky stroll

I will never walk to the toy store with a toddler who hasn’t pooped yet and forget the diaper bag! It was a long, stinky walk home.

– Laura McCracken, Seattle Washington

D is for…

Not sure where my 3 year-old son gets his vocabulary (yeah, right) but lately he’s been using the word “dammit.” A lot. Mostly at preschool.

-Amanda Orr, Washington D.C.

Do you have a teachable parenting moment you’d like to share?  We’d love to hear from you!

The Mother Company aims to support parents and their children, providing thought-provoking web content and products based in social and emotional learning for children ages 3-6. Check out the first episode of our DVD series, “Ruby’s Studio:  The Feelings Show,” which helps young children understand and express their feelings.  We want to be a parenting tool… For you!

Posted in: Parental Wisdom, Humor