As parents, we watch the craziest things unfold and can find ourselves completely baffled that what is happening with our kids is actually, really, truly, happening. In the moment, these parenting situations are downright embarrassing. We see flashing words across our vision labeling the situation “FAIL! FAIL! FAIL!” and all we can do is stare, wide-eyed.
I’m not going to lie. Sometimes, when one of these parenting fails is unfolding with one of my kids, I pretend I don’t see or know the child in question!
This one time, my kid straight up sat on a park bench and started peeing the most perfect rainbow. As people walked by—almost getting their shoes wet—I really wished I could have walked away. Probably the most mortifying fail to date.
But guess what?! We have survived pretty much all the OMG moments with little psychological damage and enough time has passed by that we can spare a laugh or two on the memory. My friends, you are not alone out there. Our kids can be unpredictable, and despite our best efforts, stuff happens.
Here are some of our other parenting fails:
A few years back while visiting family in the D.C. area, my kid had daily poop explosions at the most inconvenient times ever. It just so happens that nearly every time we mixed up baby formula with the local tap water, our poor kid had some serious poops. I’m talking fountains that put Kansas City displays to shame. They happened three days in a row in the middle of restaurants during the lunch rush. Really, they should have just thrown out those highchairs.
On a recent trip across the country, we ran into the gas station for snacks. As the kids came running out with their finds, my youngest bolted to the first white SUV he could find and hopped in. It wasn’t our car. The poor lady inside had no clue what to do.
I can’t tell you how many fire alarms my kids have pulled over the years. It really is embarrassing. I probably owe a few municipalities some sort of fine. One of my kids pulled an alarm that didn’t even make any sound. I saw it, my husband saw it. I am sure the cameras saw it, but no one else did. When the fire department showed up, everyone was confused as to why they where there. Turns out, it was a broken and my kid potentially saved that restaurant. We just sat there and ate our food in silence.
When we first moved to the Kansas City area, I went exploring with a visiting friend. We decided to check out The Nelson Atkins Museum of Art. Google said it was kid friendly. It really isn’t. We made it out to the garden area. Decided to try out the maze, not much to potentially destroy there. My toddler-aged boys decided to run through it. They hit the glass a few times. We left with goose eggs on their foreheads.
What I am trying to say here is that it’s OK to laugh (and cry) in these moments. We all have them. Once the dust settles, document them! You are going to want to remember these times and find the humor in them…eventually. I promise you’ll be proud of yourselves for making it out the other side.
Enjoy some other parenting fails from friends of mine, shared with their permission:
“My son jammed his finger at his grandma’s house when he was 3. It was swollen and bruised when I picked him up that evening, but kids are resilient, and we went to his weekly gymnastics class as planned. I noticed he wouldn’t put that hand on the ground in anything they did, so I took him for an X-ray the next morning…it was broken!! His first broken bone and his mama was making him do donkey kicks and forward rolls on it!” — Amber P.
“One warm and gorgeous spring day, I opened all the windows to my house to air it out and breathe in the fresh air. That evening, a cold front and storm was heading in, so I closed up the house and went about my evening. The next morning, I woke up and stepped into the hall. I felt a wave of ice cold air across my feet and it hit me… I forgot to close the window to my infant son’s room before I went to bed. I opened the door and there was a PILE OF SNOW ON THE FLOOR! It had snowed all night into his room! The kid was freezing, but I still stand by the fact that my son who was a terrible sleeper slept better that night than any other during his infancy.” — Jamie Y.
“I told my 4-year-old she could pick out one lip balm while we were at Walmart one day and failed to realize that this was the hardest decision of her young life. I started to move the cart away from the display and she held on. She pulled so hard on the rack that the entire lipstick and lip balm display came down, but not all at once. It was like a slow faucet dripping several tubes at a time.” — Marsha R.
“My kid fell in the water works exhibit at Wonderscope. We scooped him out right away, but he was a little soggy until we could get back home.” — Valerie S.
“I was at Target with my then 3-year-old (Briar) and a woman was looking at her reflection in the mirror debating on long-sleeve shirts. Briar said out loud no more than 5 feet away ‘oh I don’t think that shirt will fit her because her arm is too short.’ Her arm had been amputated at the elbow.” — Michelle S.
“My 1-year-old got her foot stuck between the metal bars/wires in the seat of the Aldi cart. A customer ran back and grabbed a bottle of cooking oil from the shelf, opened it, and poured it on the kid’s leg. Her leg slide right out.” — Holly P.
“I got my daughter’s birthday wrong once (her third b-day, so she doesn’t remember). Now every year it comes up on my FB memories to haunt me. I thought it was a day earlier than it is” — Lizzie D.
“When Colby was 5, I let him ‘help’ me pump gas at the gas station. He pulled out the hose while it was still on and sprayed both of us, in the faces, with gasoline. We immediately went to the doctor and were both fine. But I am still mentally scarred from it to this day.” — Lindsey H.
Take a minute a laugh with me at these truly relatable parenting moments. When you’re done, share with your kids some funny stories of what happened to them. They’ll get a kick out of it. Be sure to remind them what goes around comes around, too!