|Too bad I didn't have a 2'x4' - I could have done more than just yelled!|
I don't often lose it with other mothers. I get the fact that, working or not, parenting is HARD work and it really isn't my place to criticize another. Until you've walked in their shoes, you have no idea what kind of baggage anyone is carrying or what kind of pressure they're under, blah, blah, blah. But when another parent's priorities are so out of whack that they affect one of my kids, I get angry. More like livid. Here's what happened:
Moron (not her real name, but what she is) texted me earlier in the week, asking if my daughter, Lily, could come over. Sure, I responded, and thanked her. I didn't think twice about it. Lily has had many playdates with Moron's daughter, Idiot, and even had a sleepover at their house. I trusted Moron, even though I knew Idiot is wild and undisciplined (the child once did a cartwheel and when I was spotting her, knocked so hard into my mouth that she dislodged one of my fillings. While I sat there in pain, Idiot then laughed about it. Thanks, Kid.). I wasn't going to have Moron's kid at my house, but if Idiot wanted to invite Lily, okay. So I wrote a note and stuck it in Lily's backpack, saying that Lily would be going home with Moron (who, at this point, I did not know was a REAL moron).
20 minutes after school ended yesterday, I received a call from the Main Office. “Lily is here. Idiot takes the bus and we called her live-in nanny who knows nothing about the playdate. Please come and pick your daughter up.” I raced over there and on the way received a call from Moron. “I just got a call from the school,” she said. “I'm not home, Idiot takes the bus so isn't on the pick-up line, and I forgot to tell my nanny about the playdate, so even if there had been one, you would have had to pick Lily up from school to bring her here. Oh, and Thursdays aren't good for me anyway.”
I pictured my frightened child, sitting in the Main Office. I thought about how embarrassed and sad she had probably been, standing with her teacher with no one picking her up. I considered how fortunate it was that I was home to pick my daughter up – what if I'd been on a job interview or in the middle of a root canal? How would I have been able to get Lily? I realized how irresponsible Moron had been. You want to forget your own child? Be my guest. But NOT MINE! And so I lost it.
I kept my tone even, but cold, and reviewed the details of the playdate with Moron...how SHE'D invited MY kid over today (THURSDAY); how I had no idea that Idiot took the bus and would not be with the teacher at pick-up. I told her, my volume rising, that I TRUSTED HER TO PICK MY CHILD UP FROM SCHOOL. She was taken aback by my tone, went on the defensive (“I'm so sorry YOU now have to go pick up YOUR DAUGHTER”) and said, “Maybe Lily can come over another day.” I said, “I don't think so” and hung up.
Usually when I yell at someone, I feel bad, embarrassed. I regret my tone and what I've said. Not this time. I arrived at school and scooped Lily into my arms saying, “I would never, EVER forget you! EVER!” I apologized to the teacher who was waiting with her and I explained the situation. The teacher kindly shrugged it off. On the way home, I again, explained what had happened to Lily. She understood it was the other mother who had messed up and not me.
I get people being “ditzy.” I'm not on my game all the time, either. I forget to pack snacks until the last minute, lose my cellphone, and often run back to the house to make sure I locked the door. But when it comes to the safety of children, I'm fully present. And I would never, ever forget to pick up a child from school. In my book of priorities, kids come FIRST, never second. They are my Number One concern and if your kid is supposed to play with mine, your child is MY child while they're in my care. If there's any doubt that your child is coming with me, I confirm and then I'm there.
If you're reading this, Moron, I lost it with you. You were negligent and hurt my child. She's nervous now about going on playdates, uncertain that a parent will pick her up. It's affecting her social life, although, with you out of her life, I believe this, too, shall pass. Still, as far as I'm concerned, you deserved getting yelled at.
Please note, a more polite version of this post was submitted to Jersey Moms Blog. Oh, and I've learned my lesson. From now on, ALL PLAYDATES GET CONFIRMED THE MORNING OF, although, they've never, ever needed to before.
Thanks for reading!