Winner: Worst Parent Ever

bad parenting

Last week I revealed a fun game to play with friends, it’s called Worst Parent Ever. Gather your most experienced, non-judgmental friends and go around the room tattling on yourselves, spilling your best examples of bad parenting and very questionable decision making. Add some alcohol and let the fun unfold.

Previous entries can be read in my last blog, including the infamous “two cookie” incident. As ghastly/funny as the previous stories were, they did not win the game. The win was a tie. First, I give you my friend’s entry: “Where’s My Baby?”

For once the bad parent was not me, so the details may be a bit fuzzy in the re-telling, but the gist is this: The scene, a mall. Characters: sleep deprived, harried and stressed mother of three; twin boys, aged three, and darling baby girl. Imagine the packing, diaper bags, pacifiers, toys, blankets, snacks, strollers and organizational skills it would take to pull this outing off. Mission accomplished until mom looks down into the stroller. Oh my God, the baby is missing? Is she in the car? Did she somehow fall out of the stroller? Oh my God, could she have been kidnapped? I know every mother has experienced that brief panicky feeling, so we can all imagine how horrible these moments were. So mom runs frantically towards anyone and everyone she can find, pulling and dragging her twin sons behind her. She screams to fellow shoppers, store clerks, passersby, anyone who will listen. “Where’s my baby? Where’s my baby? She’s missing! Help!” Finally she connects with security, tries to choke out her story, then looks down. She had strapped her baby to herself in a baby sling, and was carrying her. Baby wasn’t in the stroller because she was in her mom’s arms. Oh, that baby…

The other story is a bit more sinister, and I really think that mom was rather sucky and should be ashamed of herself. I am, but it still makes me laugh. So younger son was about 9 or so. Sensitive young boy that he was, I had to be extremely vigilant regarding what he watched on television. Seriously, the boy would be up for weeks after watching an episode of Scooby Doo. A big sleepover at a friend’s house was coming up, and I knew there was a movie out that all the boys wanted to see, “Big Giant Spiders” or some such nonsense. I knew the host parents were not, well, let’s just say not as present as I would always like parents to be. I expressed to said parents my desire that my son not watch this movie. I don’t think they even tried to hide their eye rolls as they lied to me and assured me no one would be watching something so age inappropriate. I told son that he could go to the sleepover, but if they started watching “Big Giant Spiders” (at least a PG-13 if not R) he was to call me. Yeah, right. So you know the rest…

Son stayed up all night, freaked out at the sleepover. He came home, confessed and cried. Day one was ugly, and each subsequent day was worse. The already elongated bedtime ritual for this wonderfully sensitive child became almost interminable. Story, story, bed check, story, closet check, story, reassurance, multiple re-tucks back into bed… sleepus interruptus two, three, four times a night for months.

When the going gets tough, this mom does research. I first discovered a visualization tape for kids, made to relax and put them in a calm state before bed. Didn’t work. I researched again and learned to involve his “happy place” in stories and tailor make adventures for him, where he stars as the hero. I got a book about real spiders so he could learn all about them and perhaps be less afraid armed with information. I created the magic “spider spray” to de-contaminate the room. I escorted back to bed and tuck and retucked more than you can imagine. We all lost sleep, lots of it…

Finally, approximately three months in, a sweet voice came from darling son’s bedroom, just a few minutes after the two hour ritual of tucking, assuring and re-checking against spiders. “Um, Mom, I don’t want to worry anyone or anything, but I hear something in my closet…” My famous response, to the unmitigated joy of older son, “I don’t know, Tyler, it’s probably a big, giant spider!” Yes, I am ashamed. But you know, after that he slept through the night and we all lived happily ever after. The story also gives this rather well-adjusted young man something to talk about should he ever find himself in a therapist’s office.

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About cherichat

No better way to get to know me than by reading my blog. It is much more the truth than you would see in person.
This entry was posted in Animals, Family, Funny, Parenting, spiders and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

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