I could list lots of parenting fails, but we would be here all day. It’s funny how as parents we get lots of things right but we; and often the children, only remember the fails! Ask my sixteen year old who still goes on about the school trip he went on at primary school and I thought it was non-uniform and it wasn’t! He is scarred for life by that one and even now has to take his uniform discretely in a bag on trips and non-uniform days just in case!
But when I was considering the subject yesterday, the ‘fail’ that came to mind took place over two years ago when I was pregnant with my daughter.
I had to go and have one of those awful glucose tests where you have to sit for hours. My father in law had kindly offered to come up from South Wales to stay for a couple of days so he could take the boys to school while I was at the hospital.
When I left in the morning, all was well, the boys were dressed and ready to go. I was just sat waiting for my tests to start when my mobile rang. Now my father in law is fab, but he is a complete control freak and panics about the smallest things. So I made the decision not to answer the phone. I figured that the boys would be at school by then and that if there was a problem he would ring my husband and I carried on with the tests and didn’t think anymore about it.
Three hours later I returned gone to an interesting sight. My front door frame and doorbell were all bashed and cracked and there was a locksmith with my father in law looking thoughtfully at the locks.
My father in law had taken the boys out if the front door, shut it with the keys inside; door and car. Then he lost the plot! He completely panicked that he wasn’t going to be able to get the boys to school and when he couldn’t get hold of me, tried to kick and smash the front door open with a shovel, a hammer, and a screwdriver. This failed and luckily one of our neighbours had a ladder and so they sent my then six year old up the ladder through a window and he came down and opened the front door!
In the course of this disaster, not only has my father in law destroyed my door, door frame, and doorbell, it had also wrecked the locking system, which cost £150 to fix! My little boy thought it was great fun being able to climb up a proper ladder, although I wasn’t quite so enthusiastic and they were both very late for school that day! Later that week, they delighted in telling this tale to the rest of the class in show and tell.
I did point out that he could have rung my husband, although he is an hour away, he would have come and let them in or he could have just gone to the park or a cafe and sat and waited for me. But mu father in law said that the most important thing was to get the children to school. Now, if I leave my children with anyone for any length of time I always answer my phone just in case!