I returned to the scene I associate with my first big parenting faux pas recently. Fortunately, there was no repeat of what happened but the place still makes me wince.
Since then, I’ve notched up plenty of parenting fails. Starting with that first one – and in no particular order as they’re all bad – here are my top ten.
Interestingly, none of them involve Amelie. I would say that this is because I’ve finally learned my lessons, but that’s not likely. Oh well, that leaves this open to a sequel…
Sock it to ’em
When Dylan was a couple of months old, I took him to an event billed as a parent and baby kind of thing. It turned out to be a sports day for toddlers so I took him home. Somewhere along the way, I lost his socks. Then, to add injury to insult, I accidentally banged his head on a door frame while performing a sniff test on his nappy.
The best laid plans
The catalogue of parenting fails that occurred when I planned a nice day with a two-year-old Xander can mostly be blamed on him. Then again, I neglected to take into consideration the fact that he thinks he’s Loki, the Norse god of mischief. Never underestimate your opponents, people.
Ahead of our first family holiday we obviously needed to get passports for the boys. Kids like having their photos taken, so getting suitable pictures would be a doddle, right? Erm, not quite. I still shudder every time we walk past the photo booths in our local shopping centre…
Money down the drain
It’s just as well I don’t keep a tally of the money we’ve wasted on pointless things. Like, for example, a bucket with a rubber headband designed for getting water into hair and not eyes at bath time. It failed to serve its purpose so we may as well have just rolled up a fiver and shoved it through the plug hole.
For fox snake
We all remember our child’s first swear word and Xander’s was one of the worst. I was changing his nappy when he decided to get up and run off. I sighed and he filled in the rest of my sentence for me. Yes, it was the long form of FFS, just as Dylan walked into the room. Brilliantly, I thought, I said “Yes, fox, snake… which is the other baddie in The Gruffalo?” Still worthy of a place in my list of parenting fails, mind…
How difficult can a short walk with two children be? Well if they’re my kids, nigh-on impossible. This sorry episode includes behaviour worthy of Lord of the Flies, puddle jumping and hiding in toilets.
This one includes a similar offence to a previous one. It started with an innocent attempt to make pancakes and ended with a small fire, a huge spillage and my first born repeatedly shouting an obscenity. All my own work too.
When a kind PR offered me a Furby to show off how long a certain brand of batteries lasted, I said yes please immediately. Fools rush in. Of course, the boys loved the thing. Me, not so much. As it happens, I found it ‘hiding’ in the loft the other day.
Soft play school of hard knocks
Most parents hate soft play and I’m no exception. My first trip to our local one involved scenes reminiscent of The Wicker Man, a close call with four overfilled coffees and an injury sustained on a rope swing that probably wasn’t designed for me.
Having a ball
I have so far failed to learn my lesson about the perils of indoor play. Since that fateful first trip I have blotted my copy book more than once at home. First of all, I smashed my little toe on the futon playing football in the living room. Then I taught the boys to play dodgeball at bedtime. Idiot.
So there you go. Injuries, swearing toddlers, lost property, wasted money and a small fire. I’m strangely proud.
What have been your biggest parenting fails?