Friday, April 16, 2010

It Could Be Worse

I could be Joan Crawford. Or my mom.
Ha, just joking!

Let's face it, every mom, despite her very best intentions, will disappoint her child(ren) at one point or another. It's hardly ever intentional, but even accidental disappointment makes you feel like a total failure.

Two days before Spring Break started, Caroline brought home a field trip permission slip. A quick trip to the Natural History museum in DC was in the works, for April 16th. Today.
Along with the parental consent form, the teachers requested that any parent interested in chaperoning the trip should send in a note of intent.

I signed the consent form and sent it back to school, but forgot to send in a note saying I'd be happy to chaperone. In all honesty, sitting on a school bus with screaming 2nd graders isn't exactly something I could say I was "happy" about, but knowing that it would make Caroline smile, made my decision easy. Since I forgot the note, I mentally reminded myself to send it in the first day after Spring Break.

Here's something you should know: whenever I "mentally" remind myself to do something, I forget to do it. This isn't news to me;I know better. And yet, I forever remain hopeful that JUST ONCE I'll remember.

I guess you where this is going, right?

Yep. I forgot. And then I mentally reminded myself again.

And forgot.


And then once more.

By the time I remembered, it was too late.

The selfish part of me, which, by the way, consumes at least 90% of my sturdy frame, was secretly happy that I wouldn't have to corral a group of wandering, overly excited 2nd graders in a very busy museum. However, the one soft, smushy, warm spot buried deep inside the recesses of my cold black heart belongs solely to that kid of mine.

Naturally, she was bummed.
Naturally, I felt bad.

Guilt and motherhood go hand in hand.

Actually, Caroline, the stoic child she is, put on a happy face, but it was her teacher who told me that she was saddened by the news. Her teacher assumed that I was busy; I told her I wasn't busy(as if!), but that I was, instead, very much brain dead.

It's not so much that I missed the trip, but what gets me the most is that there is only a short window of time where kids think their mom is awesome enough to be seen in public with. Before long I'll have to drop her off around the corner while she pretends she doesn't know me. The opportunities are getting fewer and I need to soak them all up.

It could be worse. That, I know.

In fact, I also know, that at some point it WILL be worse.

It's not like I closed the trunk of my car on her head or passed off her allergic reaction to penicillin as an itchy bug bite. Nope. I'd NEVER do either of those things. What kind of misguided, negligent mother would do that? Certainly not me. Nope. Never. In fact, up until this very moment in time, I've been a mother of extraordinary measure.


The one thing about guilt is that it fuels you and inspires you to bring on the overcompensatory niceness. Did I just make up the word overcompensatory? Probably. I suppose I meant that I was over compensating for being a brain dead mom.

Well, I wasn't exactly over compensating. I didn't buy her a pony or a motor scooter. I did, however, make her a tasty and whimsical breakfast. Because, I can do breakfast. Ponies are a little out of my league. Besides, our landlords don't allow pets.

Look how happy the pb/honey/waffle/raisin man looks. Who needs mom to chaperone a field trip when you can eat a smiling raisin man?!

I think she forgives me.

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