Have you ever had one of those “I am the worst parent in the whole wide world” moments?
Friday night, my husband and I went to Dave and Busters for a going-away happy hour to celebrate his last day of employment with his former employer. Afterwards, we went to his friend’s house for a few games of beer pong. Originally, I planned to meet him there after my daughter came home from school. I wanted to get her settled, pick her up something quick for dinner and then make the short drive up. He ended up getting off of work early and came home to pick me up so that we didn’t have to deal with two cars.
We were only at happy hour for a few hours, which was not a big deal. My daughter is 13 and I often allow her to stay home while we are out during the day or early evening. Our neighborhood is pretty average, and we have burglar-proof windows. She’s pretty safe from intruders, and she’s mature and responsible enough to a) not burn down the house, and b) not to allow anyone into the house and c) jump out her window (first story, of course) if someone does manage to break in while she’s home alone.
Around 8 pm, we decided that we wanted to stay at happy hour longer than we had planned. I asked my husband to call my mother to go pick up my daughter so that she wouldn’t be home alone much longer…he called her, mom was heading over to pick her up and said she could only watch her for a few hours.
We ended happy hour around 9 and went to our friend’s house for two games of beer pong. We left her house at 10:30 and headed home. While we were driving home, our daughter began texting asking when we were coming home. I assumed she was bored at grandma’s and let her know we’d be there in a few minutes.
What happened when we got to my parent’s house?
She wasn’t there.
My heart sank.
Due to the noise in Dave and Busters, my husband and my mother both misunderstood. My mom thought that we hadn’t left yet and were going to drop our daughter off on our way out. My husband thought my mother was heading over to pick her up…
I immediately began crying. I LEFT MY DAUGHTER HOME ALONE FOR 7 HOURS.
When we got home, she was fine. She was happy to see us. She ate a peanut butter and jelly sandwich for dinner, then donuts for dessert. She rented movies off of our on-demand service. She used my husband’s webcam on his laptop to chat with her other friends who were home on Friday nights.
Me? I wasn’t fine. I felt like such a failure as a parent.
“Never again!” I told my husband that night as we went to bed. Never again will I just automatically assume everything is planned out and okay. The next time I ask someone to pick up our daughter, or ask my daughter to stay home, etc, I must pay closer attention to what I am saying, that the other party is hearing and understanding exactly what I am saying, and make sure that the other party is saying what I think they’re saying.
Have you ever had one of those moments? Has a simple misunderstanding ever left you feeling like a total loser parent?