The worst parent in the world (for one day)
Have you ever had a moment in your parenting life that makes you cringe?
It was in early December and my middle daughter was in her last year at pre-school. At the age of 5 she attended the local crèche down the road from my home. My eldest daughter was in Grade 2 and my youngest was just 3 years old and also attended the same day care. I was the principal of a nursery school, business woman, wife, mother and a Sunday school teacher.  My life was pretty full as I worked full-time and came home to all those other parenting-type things that moms do after hours. You know, cooking, cleaning, homework with the 7 year old, yadda-yadda-fish paste. Hectic times!

Sweating the small stuff

That particular Friday I received a phone call at work from my daughter’s crèche.  “Mrs Meyer, did you forget something this morning?” the voice on the other end said.  “Erm, no, I don’t think so...” was my hesitant reply. And then the kind lady on the other end proceeded to remind me that today was the day Santa was coming to visit the school and all gifts should have been handed in at the office the previous week. They had everyone’s gift except my daughters!

My initial reaction was one of panic. Because of course I had forgotten. Between my son throwing a fit that morning because I wouldn’t let him wear his spiderman pyjamas to school and my eldest reminding me that I had not signed her reading homework (only to discover that she had not done all of it). She tried reading to me while I was packing lunches and making sure they all brushed their teeth. Honestly what is it with little kids and not brushing their teeth?  So at the end of it all I had completely forgotten the gift. Actually, come to think of it, I hadn’t even wrapped it yet.

I wanted to cry thinking of my poor little girl being disappointed as everyone else got their gift from Santa and she was left out. I assured the kind teacher at her crèche that I would fly down there as fast as possible and rectify the situation. She said it was too late as Santa was already there and calling out names. More panic set in! My poor sweet little girl, tears began to stream down my face as I thought of her sadness.

Teacher to the rescue!

Fortunately the lovely ladies at her school had a plan. The owner had a boogie board that she had bought for her grandson- she said she would quickly wrap it up on my behalf and give that to my daughter. My daughter loved it and was super-excited as her gift was the biggest (in size) gift out of all the gifts.

The lesson I learned that day was, when you are a working parent you are bound to make mistakes. You will forget things! Sometimes important things. Get a diary and make sure you check it every morning! Working parent 101.

What’s that one parenting memory that makes you cringe?

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