There are multiple Parenting Fails in this post. It has been one screw up after another lately. You have been warned.
Monday we had our Dad's Night/Spring Showcase for our homeschool group. I forgot to tell any of the grandparents. Not a one of them knew. I completely forgot about it. We had our Pancake Breakfast for our theater group on the Saturday before and my focus was on that.
None of the grandparents got to come and see the kids sing. Don't I feel great? Yeah, not so much.
I forgot the camera to get pictures of said singing. I have no documentation to show anyone. Awesome.
This is the big one. I am warning you now, it's ugly. It's not one I have ever done before and hope to NEVER do again.
After the singing that no family member witnessed we helped clean up before leaving. The kids were spread out playing and helping clean at different intervals. They kept buzzing around talking to me so I didn't think about keeping tabs on them. They were surrounded by familiar faces that help take care of them.
We finished cleaning up and headed to the van. We loaded up the van oh so slowly and then started to drive away. Steven and Bethany were in his car preparing to leave as well. We pulled out of our parking lot but instead of leaving we decided to mess around with our friends. They were in their SUV and pulled around to face us. We started playing chicken. Now, don't get upset with me we were both going like 1mph! We stopped about two feet away from each other and just sat there talking smack to each other. It was pretty comical, really.
But, in the midst of this comedy another friend came out of the church and approached the van. He was smiling but he wasn't really smiling. He said words to me that I will never forget. They stopped my heart and flooded me with panic.
"You do know you are missing a kid don't you?"
"What? No, I'm not." I looked back and saw all the kids I was supposed to have. I thought about the kids Steven was supposed to have and turned back around to our friend.
"Naomi's inside." He said.
"WHAT???" I started panicking a little more.
"Yeah, she's under the slide just sitting there."
"Are you kidding me?" I thought if he was that I just might jump out of the car and hit him.
"No, I just saw her. She's just sitting there. all alone."
I yelled for Sarah to run in after her as I started berating myself for leaving my child alone in a building.
Thankfully, we still had friends in the building so she wasn't alone but she was without her family. I know that anyone of those other families would have taken care of her, brought her home, or called us right away but still.
Sarah came out with her and I could have sobbed with fear, guilt, relief, and anger. I was angry with myself and with her. She knows better than to not check in with us every few minutes and she knows better than to 'hide' from us to stay with her friends longer.
More importantly, I was angry with myself for allowing this to happen.
I felt like a bad mother. Still do. It was an epic FAIL that I may not ever fully get over.