Many aspects of life are competitive, and for a long time I treated parenting that way. The farther along we get, the stupider I feel. For everything that Dave and I excel at in caring for our kids, we stink at something else. All of the back pats we’ve given ourselves are equally matched by the face palms. For example, Remy had a wacky day where he slept for long stretches and missed all of his scheduled mealtimes. Somehow, in handing the kids off between us and Estelle, he missed two meals. Now, that’s bad enough – because this little giant loves to eat. But no – we took it one step further into parental failure.
Remy was colicky for so long, we forced ourselves to tolerate hysterical crying (it was his only way of communicating, and would drive an angel bat-shit crazy). We hated every minute of it, but we’d steel ourselves and muscle through. The problem is we haven’t adjusted to the lack of hysterical crying. He started up the other day, and we assumed he was teething and furious – so we hugged him, checked his diaper and the time, and set him down to play with Tess. That poor boy was HUNGRY!!!! And we missed the signs completely.
I felt horrible guilt the second I realized what happened (and plugged a bottle in that cute little face as fast as I could), but our friend Max comforted me:
Maggey, you’re two kids under two just survived another day. You’re doing fine!
Now I’m not saying errors that grievous are no big deal, but I needed the reminder that we do our best every day – and feed him when he’s hungry almost without fail! Still, the reminder of parental fallibility forced me to tone down my obnoxious judging. We’ve got a few tricks down pat, but somebody else has all the other stuff sorted out. Touché.
Speaking of mistakes, here’s a working mom doozy for ya: I’m running out the door early this week, and I know I have a crazy day ahead of me, so I grab a slice of frozen homemade banana bread (my workday stand-by) and toss it in my backpack. The day was so crazy, I never got to eat it. So was the whole week, and I therefore forgot I had it. Gross, right? So it’s the weekend, and as I’m rifling around for something, I spot it and get a whiff. Ew. I pull it out, and gag. Really? Banana bread gets this nasty? I unwrap it to toss it down the disposal, and realize IT’S NOT BANANA BREAD. I’ve had a lovely grilled tuna steak in my backpack for days. Can’t make this shit up, folks. At least I didn’t try to feed THAT to Remy! Excuse me while I go Lysol my life.