Today was one of those days. Just one of those days...
I was out running errands with Audrey. We are in the farthest corner of Target from the bathrooms when she announces she's gotta go. I'm trying to cram in one more item from the back of the store before speedy-quick taking her, as it's a giant Target, and I'm a little pressed for time, and...and.....and not too far from the bathroom, she announces she's already "peed her panties." Sigh.
Oy. A bad Mommy moment, indeed. Nice, taking a chance on a tiny bladder.
We go into the bathroom, and indeed, she's done it. I clean her up as best I can, kicking myself for not having a change of clothes with me--I know better. Doh!
I still have things to do, and there's no way I'm leaving her like that, it was my fault for not going quicker, so I tell her we will go get her some new undies and a pair of pants, so she can change in the van. A pair of adorable striped pants and new Strawberry Shortcake undies later, and we are both feeling much better. "I'm sorry," I apologize.
One more stop, and then we are off to the school. It was a half day today, and I'm pleased that I'm perfectly on time, in spite of Audrey's bathroom detour. The kids get into the car, I'm giving a ride to three extra and bringing home one more. Ben decides to argue with me about something minor, but I give him a silencing glare and order him into the van.
I take two boys home, cross over and drop off another, and wait for Audrey to readjust her seatbelt. We are on the way to McDonald's, and about a mile or so from the house. I'm chatting with our guest, and asking her what she wants, taking orders from all. "Eh, Ryan, I know what you want," I say (he gets the same thing EVERY time). "Ryan?" I look into the rearview mirror, see a dark head...wait, that's Ben. I'm thinking Ryan's engrossed in something, and that backseat is not the best acoustic area of the van. No one ever hears me the first time when they sit there.
"I do have Ryan, don't I?"
"MOM! You don't!!" Ben's horrified voice insists.
"What?" I look up, alarmed, dread washing over me when I realize he is not in his seat.
That's right, ladies and gentlemen. How big a loser am I, that I took home three other children, and was on my way down the road, before I noticed that I forgot my own child?
"We forgot Ryan?" I squeak, as I make the first turn back to the school possible, hoping no one notices it's on two wheels. I am envisioning him waiting by the fence, forlorn, wondering what happened to Mommy. And his brothers.
Quickly, I grab my cellphone and dial the school, so they will look for him before I get there.
"Hi. This is Anna. Um, you'll never believe this, but I managed to drive off without Ryan..." The secretary cuts me off, laughing as she says, "I see him right here."
"He's in the office with you?"
"I'm right around the corner. Is it okay if Nolan comes to the office to get him?" (it'd be faster than unloading all of them and parading 'em all in)
Oy. This bad Mommy moment surpasses all others.
I pull in as close as I can, bus parking or not,and send Nolan on his way, as I am ridiculed by all the other kids left in the car.
I call Mr W and relay the story, as I am just mortified. I was hoping he'd give me the "it could happen to anybody, it's okay" speech. Chances of that aren't looking good as he says, "Man, that's baaad. You're gonna have to make it up to him, you know."
"I will drive him straight to Walmart and buy him that game he's been asking for right now." I can almost see Mr W shaking his head at me, but I'm shaking mine too.
My poor little Sugar. I see the top of Nolan's head coming out the entrance, and I can wait no longer, I get out and grab Ryan up in my arms, apologizing the entire time.
I'm thinking it's gonna be okay, right as he bursts into tears.
Oh, the guilt, the guilt, the guilt, it's overwhelming and I can't breathe.
"Sugar, I'm so, so, so sorry," I tell him. I tell him that as soon as we noticed he was not with us, we rushed right to him. That it was an accident. And I barely keep myself from bursting into tears too.
He brightens when I tell him I am taking him to get his game (penance) and Mickey-D's, and he looks like he just might forgive me.
Actually, he will probably forgive me, but I'm sure he will always bring it up, when it suits him: "I can't drive your new car? But Mom, how will I get home, you might forget me."
Yeah, this one isn't gonna go away.
They can have their little stories, the ones to tell, retell, embellish...that's fine. Hey, Mommy isn't perfect, and that's a good thing for them to know.
Besides, I have stories, too.
And a picture is worth a thousand words.