Friday, October 17, 2008

Oh Good Grief

Pin It I forgot to pick up my daughter from school today.

Wait, let me say that again.

I FORGOT TO PICK UP MY DAUGHTER FROM SCHOOL TODAY. MY KINDERGARTNER.

On Mondays they get out half an hour early, and I completely spaced it.

Luckily my friend Michelle saw Abby lurking around near the kindergarten playground, called me, and stayed with her 'till I got there (feeling like an IDIOT).

I thanked Michelle profusely, then started hugging Abby and apologizing to her. She really could not have cared less. She was off in her own little world, busy thinking about ponies or rainbows or something. (I was really lucky it was Abby - if it had been Sarah, she would've been on the ground sobbing in terror. "YOU FORGOT ME, YOU FORGOT ME." It probably would have been the defining moment of her childhood, something she brought up in therapy ten years later.) (I'm really, really glad it wasn't Sarah.)

I kept apologizing to Abby and she finally looked at me and said, "Mom, relax."

Well alrighty then.

Why is it that the things I'm pretty sure will traumatize them have no effect, and the things I'm pretty sure will be no big deal are completely traumatizing?

75 comments:

  1. "Mom, relax." Now those are beautiful words. And, good for you that it wasn't Sarah. :)

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  2. Because their kids. If we KNEW what they were gonna do, parenting would be easy, right?

    My favorite is when my four-year-old tells me to "stop yelling, Mom. You're just gonna have to say sorry later."

    Touche.

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  3. I left my nephew, a kindergartner at the time, at school one day and it still makes me so sad to think about it. I pulled up and there he was standing on the sidewalk all by himself crying. so sad :(

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  4. I'm trying to figure out why the kindergarten TEACHER let her wander around the kindergarten playground. She should have noticed you weren't there and called you. We had to show ID for weeks here. And there will be a sub today to we'll have to wait forever while each of us show her ID as she checks the papers to see if we match the people who are allowed to get our kids who are saying "Hi, Mommy!!! That's my Mom, right there!"
    Hey, don't feel bad. I have to set alarms on my cell phone that go off Mon-Fri or I lose track of time and forget my kids! Especially with all their different pick-up times.

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  5. This? Is the only reason that I'm glad that my children ride the bus home. If I had to be relied on to pick them up, I would be a basket case worrying that I wouldn't be on time and they would be devastated. So that whole "we only have one car and my husband has to take it to work" thing really saves me some money in therapy! But I agree with the other commenter...where was your daughter's teacher? That's kind of scary!

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  6. I can't tell you how many times I've gotten a call from the school, "Mrs. H, it was early out today. Are you going to pick up your child?" You aren't alone!

    I loved "Mom, relax." If only we could!

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  7. At least she's not old enough to use it against you. Yet!

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  8. i love the whole mom. relax. thing.

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  9. oh and you are so not the only parent who has done that. and i am totally convinced that some parents drag their feet and wait and wait and wait until the very last possible minute to go pick up their kids.

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  10. oh and i just read michelle's comment and i have to add that i've helped out in a kindergarten class and there are always ALWAYS later, super late parents. don't beat up the teacher over it. she knew the parent would come -its not like she was an hour late.

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  11. You shouldn't worry too much about it. If she said relax, then relax.
    Last week our three year old wandered down the hall at church and we left him there and went home and didn't notice him missing for quite a while. It's one of those stories that I'm sure will be funny twenty years from now.
    We lost him at the mall last week too.

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  12. Ha! My worst nightmare too. Once I forgot what day it was and took my 4-year-old to dance on the wrong day. We got there and found the studio locked and I finally clued in. She looked at me very seriously and said, "Mom, sometimes you really ARE a guppy."

    Er...too much Little Mermaid, maybe?

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  13. First of all I love that you said, "good grief!" It's a 3-generation catch phrase in our family and my kids hear it from me about two dozen times a day.

    I've picked up my kindergartner late twice. The first time I felt sheepish, but the second time I felt flat-out stupid. I was sure I was going on the "parents who need a social worker" list. But like you, my nervous breakdown was all mine; the kid didn't care at all.

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  14. Ha, ha. Let's have a competition for lame mom. Seriously.

    I'll bet you'd be surprised how outclassed you are in that category.

    NOT BY ME, of course. You know I deal in parenting perfection.

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  15. I'm certainly not beating up the teacher...I am thrilled there are such safegaurds in place to make sure my child is not released until a parent or other authorized adult shows up. I'm wondering...was the teacher standing by Abby waiting for Sue to come...or had she been released for the day? My daughter Gabby's teacher makes the kids wait in a line inside the classroom until a parent comes so there is no confusion about who has a parent there and who doesn't. I love that system even if it does take a little extra time.

    I know some parents are habitually late, (not you Sue) but the child should still be under the teacher's supervision or taken to the front office until a parent gets there. Maybe they don't do that in Utah. -?-

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  16. I've almost forgotten to TAKE my kindergartner to school on early-out days because they also start earlier. Yeesh. And thank heavens she has older sisters to walk home with, because I'd totally forget to pick her up.

    Glad to hear you're human.

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  17. Parenting is hard, that's why. :-) Or I find that to be the case, anyway.

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  18. I hate early out days.

    I always enjoy those phone calls.......... "Mom, are you going to come pick us up, or should we walk home?"

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  19. We all make mistakes from time to time. (If you haven't yet, just wait--you will.) "Mom, relax" is fine advice. Maybe I'll try it one of these stress-ed out day.

    My favorite mommy-blooper was the time I loaded all of my school children into the car and drove away, leaving my two year old in the (very set back from the parking lot) playground. I got about a 1/2 mile away before I realized what I'd done, made the world's most illegal U-turn, went back and found her in the care of one of my favorite mommy-friends. Oh my. The stomach acid on that one.

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  20. This is my worst nightmare. How are parents supposed to keep it all straight? Especially with more than one kid??

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  21. LOL...I think about how I would've felt and that is how I react to it...

    I would have been crying if I would've been left...but like you said

    your daughter didn't mind it...

    So what I'M SAYING is that you would have! :)

    HOw's THAT for therapy! lol!

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  22. I think forgetting your kid is one of those things that just HAS to happen to every parent. Along with the forgetting to change their diaper all day, forgetting they're on the bed then thump!, a bonked head, and so on.

    Some things just have to happen. Not a terribly profound explanation, but that's what I'm sticking with.

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  23. Honestly we have no idea really what will scar them. At some point they will probably hate us for a little while and then become parents and realize we just did the best we could with what we had. Don't worry I have parents who forget their preschoolers all the time and they are 3 and 4!

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  24. my mother forgot me all the time. i turned out relatively normal.

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  25. Welcome to the 'I forgot to pick my kids up on half day' club. It happens to the best of us. Sometimes even more than once :)

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  26. My mom left me with my brother when I was three. He was ten. Then he left me alone to go to school. I still haven't forgiven her. I'm known as the home alone kid in my family. Good luck getting out of this one!

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  27. The kids are supposed to stay with their teacher until they see their grown-up. Abby thought she saw me and left her teacher and the kindergarten playground, then realized too late the lady she was heading towards was not her mom.

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  28. Ouch. Once I forgot the Thanksgiving program at preschool. It was during the middle of the day and when I came to pick my daughter up, she said, "I have a foster mom now."

    Because in her little mind, I basically abandoned her to whichever parent would take a picture of her in paper feather headdress.

    Does that make you feel any better at all?

    Oh. Me neither.

    What a sweet girl you have!

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  29. You too, huh?! My daughter (6) is early out on Wednesdays. I totally forgot her one day and was far from home, luckily my sister was able to pick her up (after the school called every family member on the list!)

    She is like your Sarah. It was over a month ago and she still reminds me of it. I will spend the rest of my life paying for one mistake! Life long therapy I tell you!

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  30. What a great kid!

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  31. My daughter still won't forgive me for making her watch Snow White. Snow White, people! It has caused some serious animosity towards all things Disney. Actually, that's not such a bad thing...

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  32. So true! It's so hard being a mom and getting it all right and wondering where you got it all wrong. That's the hardest part. Wondering where you got it all wrong.

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  33. I forgot THREE times last year to pick my son up on early day. I had pregnancy brain and then postpartum sleep deprivation to wave around as my (lame) excuse, but still.

    LOVE getting those phone calls.

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  34. Crash Test Dummy is incorrigible. Sue is just tired . . ..

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  35. i forgot my daughter one day (early release) during the second week of school. the office called me. it was lovely. and my daughter periodically reminds about how i forgot her. oops.

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  36. My dad forgot to pick me up once when I was in kindergarten. I really don't remember it being a big deal for me. Now as an adult, I realize how easy it is to loose track of time and forget something. Or someone.

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  37. i too loose sleep about forgetting to pick up my kid from school. luckily we live like 30 seconds from the school so all would not be lost... i just have to keep telling myself that. and sue can i just tell you how it has been doing my soul good that you have been posting as much as you have... yep i don't care that you are tired and behind in your work, keep the blog posts coming! i'm all about priorities.

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  38. isn't that the way it goes??? I'm glad she was fine and you had a good friend to call and let you know of the problem! adn definately "relax"! It's not like you left her at the mall and drove home without her or something...

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  39. Had it been Sarah this would have been an even more interesting post. :-)

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  40. Our school district has eliminated early out days. I blame myself.

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  41. I forgot to take my 4-year-old to gymnastics last week, when it was their Halloween party day, no less. Since the lesson costs about $12 I figured that was a $12 nap I took -- totally worth it. I just wish I'd been smart enough not to tell her she'd missed it. But she got over it pretty quickly; at four, she has a pretty vague notion of time, so when I told her she'd get to go "next week" that satisfied her.

    Now, my husband has completely forgotten to pick our kids UP from gymnastics more than once, and I get pretty mad at him for that. Once he was nearly an hour late and gave the teacher $10 for having had to stay so long. (Gee, this comment makes it look like we think of everything in terms of cash value.)

    If you forgot to pick Abby up because you were catching up on Cordy and Seth's fresh-blooming romance, then that TOTALLY excuses you.

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  42. ARGH. Those dang early out days. You are not alone! My kids ride the bus home and i swear EVERY Monday I'm like, "What? What are you doing home from school so early? go back."

    I don't really say go back. But it surprises me EVERY SINGLE Monday.

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  43. I love how my kids seem not to notice when I mess up, its when I think all is well that they freak out!

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  44. Oh, hon. That's NOTHING! Try leaving someone ELSE'S kid (the playdate you... oops! Forgot all about!). Now THAT is really, really bad.

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  45. I've been VERY close to forgetting my kid at school before. You're not the only one. :)

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  46. Kids are weird.

    *Shrug*

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  47. You never know because they're not you. :) Isn't that half the fun?

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  48. I hate stupid early out Mondays! Especially for kindergarten, its like half an hour difference, give me a break!

    You're not a bad mom, atleast you don't tell your kids to shut up.

    What? I don't do that either....

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  49. shalane1:44 PM

    That's pretty funny considering I was just telling you that we left our second grader at church just the day before. hee hee.

    I did the same thing with our now 3rd grader when she was in kindergarten. Every so often she'll ask if I will be there to pick her up after soccer, gymnastics, or whatever, and I'll say, "of course, I would never leave you there," and she says, "remember that time you forgot to get me at school?" Yea, apparently she's still traumatized. Be very glad it was Abby. Curse those darn early Mondays.

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  50. I love that she said, "Mom, relax." That is a lot nicer then "Don't have a cow." Which is what Luke said to me the other day. I have no idea where he heard that.

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  51. That is kinda funny! Something I am sure I will do...

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  52. Maybe this will make you feel better:

    When I was a kid I took ballet lessons a half hour away from where I lived. I had the last class of the day (which ended around 8:30 pm or so) and my dad was supposed to pick me up on his way home from work. Well, 20 minutes go by. I call my mom and my dad had FORGOTTEN to pick me up!! He was almost home. So my teacher drove me to my grandmother's house where my mom picked me up.

    I held it against him for years.

    Okay, that last part is not supposed to make you feel better. I was a twerp. BUT at least you didn't forget to pick her up when she was 30 minutes away.

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  53. My DS tells me to "Settle down, mom." :-)

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  54. You've only done this once, Sue? Ask your brothers how many times they sat in the school office waiting for me to pick them up after kindergarten. The office staff practically had our home phone number memorized!

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  55. I've so done this before! And my daugther couldn't have cared less. To her it was just extra play time.
    OMG! BTW, I'm late picking her up from choir! CRAP!!
    Bye.....

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  56. This happens at least once to most moms. I forgot to pick up your cousin Rob at day care once. The fact that I had to drive past the place on my way home from work apparently didn't make any difference.

    When we lived in PC, I forgot about Kelly getting out of school early on a Friday afternoon. She was also in kindergarten. However, I was in SLC when I remembered.

    Since these two are now adults, I just hope they aren't harboring some deep seated trauma because Mom forgot them.

    Also, Dads aren't immune either. Your uncle was given the charge to pick up Annie from a ballet class on his way home from work. He forgot and arrived home in PC without her.

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  57. Thanks anniebj for filling in "the rest of the story".

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  58. it's not so bad Emma!

    My mom constantly forgot to pick me up from dance class. And then there was that one time when I was 14, (14!) that my parents accidentally left me at a gas station an hour away from our house at 12:30 in the morning on the way home from one of my brother's basketball games then didn't realize it until they got inside and listened to a message from me on the answering machine saying "hi mom and dad, I'm at the gas station you left me at. maybe come back and get me?"

    I'm completely unscarred emotionally as you can see

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  59. I don't know! I'm always thrown off too.

    Just today I was totally FREAKING out and stressed and my son said, "you're a great mama"

    I said, "don't you think I've been acting a bit stressed and impatient?"

    He said, "yeah, but when you were done with that you were a good mama again."

    sigh.

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  60. I am sooo glad my kids now go to a school that eliminated early out days. I can't tell you how many times I have been on line in Target or heaven forbid Wal-Mart and had that terror strike me "oh crap! it's Wednesday!!". I once left an entire cart of groceries at the check out and ran out of the store. Needless to say I did not go back to that store for a while.

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  61. Kalli, that's hilarious.

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  62. You're both gonna be fine. I promise.

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  63. I not only forgot Harrison from Kindergarten yesterday, I forgot the WHOLE CARPOOL of kindergartners.

    So there.

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  64. can I comment on the Twilight trailer here? Because that was HILARIOUS!!!!!! oh my, I am still laughing and can't wait to forward to all my Twilight fanatic friends. Woowee - that was good!

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  65. it's because as much as we try, we can't choose our kids memories. I would love it if my kids ended up treasuring the memory of me taking them out for ice cream at 8:30 at night just cuz they asked. chances are greater they will remember when i told them they could get arrested for not wearing their seatbelt. oh well, you try. love your blog.

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  66. Been there. Done that. You're normal. Or I'm not. It's okay.

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  67. Thanks for making us all feel normal! :)

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  68. dude. i'm totally there.

    once upon a time i was wide awake at 5 am, seeing my husband off to work. unable to go back to sleep, i thought it would be the *perfect time* to check what i was sure would be the winning sweepstakes in my mailbox.

    i take a peek at my sleeping babe, the 3 year old, and traipse outside and down the lane to the mailbox,only to arrive home to a terrified daughter, wailing and renting her clothes at the injustice of such an irresponsible mom. ohhh the abandonment!

    not to worry. she's brought it up often thru the years.

    OFTEN.

    fast forward to 3rd grade. so this week is *spirit week* and one assignment was to write down the scariest thing to ever happen in their lives. little suzy is talking about the scary tree limb shadows outside her window. little tommy speaks of the green snot he blew out last christmas.

    but MY child? MY child? turns an entire 3rd grade class upside down at the horror of being "left alone" one dark and scary morning...

    oi. the adventures in motherhood.

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  69. Anonymous11:57 AM

    turn your comments on for the twilight trailer. Even the biggest fan will think that is so funny! P.S. I enjoy blog!

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  70. It probably wasn't scary at all, since mom's two friends where right there with her.
    (and I've done the same thing. My kids forgave me AND recovered enough to make fun of me about it later.)

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  71. Wednesday is our early release day. At least once or twice a year, I forget.

    (Still, guilt every single time)

    (But, yes, relax.)

    :-)

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  72. I think this is one of the white-knuckle moments of parenting. I think we've all done it a few times. I've done it at least 3 times that I can remember. One time, we literally called the police. I was over an hour late and my 1st grader was nowhere to be found! Eventually the janitor found him happily playing on the "big kids" playground. Yep, that one earned me a few extra gray hairs! Fortunately, he wasn't traumatized a bit. I'm the one who needed a stiff drink and some Prozac!

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  73. "Mom, Relax . . . . that's priceless

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  74. She might not care now, but she MAY just use it to tease you relentlessly when she's older. I know this because when I was in Elementary school my Mom forgot to pick me up at the library when she got off work. Yes, she called right when she got home and asked the librarian to tell me she was on her way, turned right around & came back. But that never stopped me from teasing her... 'well, you FORGOT me that... one... time...".

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  75. Thank goodness for good mother friends. My mom has definitely been in Michelle's place before, and had to call people from your place. I just remember how upset I was one night (I think I traumatized my mom) because I didn't know about/understand the time change, and was in daycare till fairly late when I was little, when it was just me and my mom, and I was convinced she'd forgotten me. Ever since she has ALWAYS reminded me several times about the time change and that it will get darker earlier. I heart my mommy.

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