Tuesday, 23 October 2012

Epic Parenting Fail

I haven't blogged for a couple of days.  I've been busy failing.  Failing takes a lot of energy.  Mental energy mainly.

The mental energy of failing definitely takes more energy than that of succeeding.  So I will try hard not to do it again.

Sarah had a big weekend.  She had a party, followed by a sleepover, followed by a playdate, followed by touch football practice, followed by the neighbours coming over for dinner.

On Monday morning she was shattered.  She didn't want to go to school.  She got teary at the school gate, clung to me, cried when I walked away.  I had a lot to do.  I was not sympathetic, but neither am I made of stone.  Every time she cried and called my name, I turned back. Time passed.  9am ticked closer.

Eventually I hardened my heart and left her.  She gave up and turned away.  The bell had just gone so she knew she had to hustle.  Issy and I hustled too, I had to get her to preschool and get on with my day.

Then, at the corner of our street and the street the school is on a bus came past.  An excursion bus.  A half second of vague wondering which class had an excursion became a sudden horrible realisation.

It. Was. Sarah's.  Cue internal screaming.

Issy and I ran for the house.  I thanked my lucky stars for the 450,000th time that we lived so close to school.  I scrabbled in my overcrowded folder for the note and when I discovered it (behind a large sheaf of paper referring to Issy's orientation days) learned she was due to go to Bobbin Head Environmental Something Centre and needed a lunch with no packaging (fail), sports uniform (fail), runners (fail), sunscreen, insect repellent and excursion bag...fail, Fail, FAIL.

We cobbled together most of what she needed in approximately 90 seconds, sacrificing sports shorts (just out of wash) and no packaging (too bloody hard) and ran at Issy's pace (not very fast) to the bus.  I hurled myself onto it and the first thing I saw was my daughter's tear stained, blotchy little face looking at me from halfway down the bus.  Her teacher (calm, cool and ultra kind) bustled down the aisle and took the things I held.  She did not allow us to meet, perhaps sensing we would have fallen, sobbing into each others arms were we allowed to.  She is wise.

I hopped off and the bus left.  Issy and I waved.  Issy then suggested she might like to get to preschool at some point.  Totally drained and dispirited, I drove her the 500 metres.

After purchasing the makings of Sarah's favourite dinner and her favourite afternoon tea, I spent the rest of the day staring into space and sighing, wondering how she was.  I managed to get Issy to her school orientation at 1:45 but I don't remember much else.

When Sarah got home she said she had come across the road from the Kindy/Year 1 side where I left her, saw the bus and burst into tears because she thought it was about to go.  She went to the office and told them she was supposed to be on the bus and thought she had missed it and started crying again.  A teacher and the office ladies had her sorted pretty quickly and she found her class, (who were just coming past the office to board the bus) but she had a horrible couple of minutes.

Poor, poor little sausage.  Oh the guilt.

The thing is, I should have known about the excursion.  I should have been prepared and talked to her about it and had the stuff ready.  And I didn't.  I was distracted with other stuff going on in my head and Issy's upcoming school start, and just, damn well forgot.

She has forgiven me.  She is a forgiving type of girl.  All is well again, until the next disaster. 

She is ok...now.  Me? Well I've added this scar of guilt to my collection.  And I've been reminded (once again) that any control I think I have over my life is only a wafer thin veneer.