Monday, June 05, 2006

i am a complete failure

as a mother
i have proof...

exhibit 1

saturday. shopping at Nordstrom's Rack. (the mother ship calls me home when i get too close)

leaving dressing room. have Sam and Smith with me. Smith expresses that he'd like to make his own path and not go with me. i say "fine - you stay here. but momma is leaving."

sam thinks i am really leaving him and proceeds to start tantrum. and lest you have forgotten - she is a professional tantrum thrower. like nothing most people have ever seen with their own eyes.

i turn to her and make an attempt to divert tantrum - usually a lost cause. i keep one eye on smith - still moving away from me.

i look at her. i turn to smith. i see him run the other way. i tell her to freeze - i am going to get brother. when i get to the aisle he went down - six steps away - he is nowhere to be seen.
GONE.

so i start calling his name. nothing
i call a bit louder. still nothing.
sam is melting. i cannot tend her till i find smith.

the store is jam packed crowded with saturday shoppers. looking at me.

my heart is pounding in my ears. i am suddenly high on pure un-cut adrenaline. i am sweating.

i glance to the front door. i have full view of the back door. the thought goes through my mind that someone could be leaving right now with my precious son.

stay calm. do not panic. i tell myself.

i turn up the search a notch. i start saying loudly - though not yelling - "I AM LOOKING FOR A LITTLE BOY. HE IS TWO. HAS CURLY HAIR AND IS WEARING A GRAY T-SHIRT"

i love being the center of attention - always have. until this exact moment in time.

so i plant sam - with her hand on the buggy - in the exact spot i saw him last and i tell her NOT TO MOVE - that brother might come back here. i start to the far side of the store - where we went first when we came in. i am repeating myself, louder still.

"I AM LOOKING FOR A LITTLE BOY. HE IS TWO. HAS CURLY HAIR AND IS WEARING A GRAY T-SHIRT"

people are looking under racks. staring at me. giving me the "Bad Mother" look.

as i turn the corner to the FAR SIDE of the store i see him. a woman is walking toward me - holding his hand. his tear-filled, red-rimmed eyes match mine exactly. he runs into my arms. i inhale him and smother him with kisses as i thank the woman profusely and start running back to sam.

sam, of course, has moved. but not far. she sees me and runs to me. into me. nearly knocks me over. clings on for dear life - to me and brother. we are all trembling. sweating.

i pay for my items and leave as fast as humanly possible.


exhibit #2
this morning.
i am in my room - working.
sam is in the den watching tv.
we are at opposite ends of the house.
she comes to my room and tells me there is someone here.
i take my time getting up and going to the door. i expect to find the AC guy outside still getting his equipment out of his truck.
but when i get to the den, the front door is WIDE open and there is a young man standing on my front porch. selling some sort of summer eductional material for kids.
i tell him i am not interested.
he is undeterred.
my southern upbringing does not allow me to shut the door in his face.
i tell him my daughter's tuition for the fall is $15K and that leaves nothing in our budget for summer materials (much less food).
i finally get rid of him.
i shut the door.

turn to sam
and proceed with
DO NOT EVER OPEN THE DOOR TO THIS HOUSE WHEN SOMEONE KNOCKS ON IT UNLESS I AM STANDING RIGHT HERE! WHAT IF HE HAD GRABBED YOU AND TAKEN YOU AWAY???

i continued with horror stories about how mommy would not even have known she was gone. that i would have thought she ran away. i ranted until i could not breathe.

and then i realize - i am a complete failure as a mom when it comes to keeping my kids safe.

told you i had proof...


8 comments:

bg's Little Sis said...

T-
I'm so sorry, You are NOT a bad mom, don't beat yourself up over any of this, we live and learn and keep moving. I lost green bean in a similar store, it was horrible, the store was locked down, then I see him through the exit door sitting on the bench outside, "waiting" for me, I couldn't get out, he couldn't get back in, that security guard never looked so good as when he reunited mother and son.

Coming from a mom with a similar situation to yours with Sam, same goes for my Loud Girl. Her tantrums are of the same proportion, other people stare and tisk as if I have some control not knowing our situation and that I have NONE, the episodes come and go as they please, I can only wish for them not to happen at certain times. You've got to take it easy on yourself, you do the best you can and the rest we just have to take it as it comes. I learned the "stranger at the door" lesson last year with my girl, now it's always locked if hubby or I are not in same room with them.

We can only resolve to correct things when we find we've erred, know you are a good person, great mother, you deserve to know these things, to know you have so much value to your kids. Vent away, we're all here to listen. Sending you lots of hugs!

Lots of love,
lil'sis

Pixie said...

TC- You are a great Mum, kids do these sort of things all the time, the being lost in a busy place is very scary I know just how you felt.

Reg said...

T- you care and love. That makes you a great mom no matter what.

LOL although I probably would've given you the "bad mom" look too! If you're ever in Hollywood with your brood, just call me first. We have a great booth in the back!!! :)

Big Pissy said...

Cole! You are NOT a bad mom!

You are only human. These things happen.

Take a deep breath.

It'll be ok.

love and hugs
~Pissy

KC said...

Ah, t_cole, these things happen when you shop with more than one child. I feel your pain, but believe me all of us moms have been there at one time or another. You are a great mom. It just happened to be a stressful day for you and the kiddies. Like Pissy said, take a deep breath and all will be well again.

buddha_girl said...

Listen here, woman...I received a call from my sister yesterday afternoon while driving my kid to the doctor. After giving me the obligatory "sorry the kid's sick" deal, she immediately launched into a litany of reasons you are NOT a bad mom and how pissed she was because blogger wouldn't let her post the story about when she 'lost' Green Bean.

Like you, she was convinced she was a horrid maternal figure. Like you, her oldest daughter can make the world tilt off its axis when the tantrums begin. Like you...she is a wonderful, caring, loving mother.

You are loved. You are special. You are the mother your children need and deserve. It's that simple.

When you need a reminder, we are here.

t_cole said...

i reckon i was just having one of those poor pitiful me moments when i wrote this.

thanks ya'll for all the encouragement. i got the bestest blog buddies EVER!

Three Score and Ten or more said...

Hey, I was driving cross country when we had to make one of those urgent stops (six kids, you know how it is-- or not) at a road side food place. As we prepared to leave, I turned to the mass in the rear of the car and asked "is everybody here?" My oldest answered "Everybody's here" so I drove away. Some miles down the road my wife turned to give the kids treats. Eric, here's yours, Stuart here's- - - where is Stuart?" Eric the previously quoted oldest just gave one of those "shrugs" that means --- "Who knows". Turn off at the next exit, zip back to the place, panic creating speed that is illegal, off at another exit doing U turn, Zipping up to the food joint to find Stuart (five or six years old) standing at the edge of the parking lot, looking wistfully down the way we had departed. You think losing one in a store is bad, try losing one at a truck stop.