I’ve done a few dumb things in my lifetime; like that time I paid a strip mall tattoo artist to script the word ‘hope’ across my left hip. It seemed like a wonderful idea when I was nineteen. Two kids and a decade-and-a-half later, and it looks as if somebody scrubbed that little tattoo with a useless pencil eraser, wrung it out to dry, and then ran it over with a tiny steamroller. It’s faded and stretched and most days I wish it would disappear.
Apart from a few other relatively minor offenses, I had a pretty good head on my shoulders for my first thirty years of life…That is, until I had babies of my own. I’m not sure if it was “mommy brain” or sleep deprivation that took the wheel after the birth of my oldest daughter, but I am certain of one thing. The total number of stupid things I’ve done in the past four years far exceeds the total from the three decades prior. Here are five recent examples of times where my brain has departed for vacation, leaving my body behind. (Please note: I had to limit myself to five because otherwise this post would take two days to read.)
1. I forgot to buckle my daughter into her car seat (don’t call CPS.)
This one still makes my stomach turn whenever I think about it. I took my kids shoe shopping because the oldest grows out of sneakers every month. Since my kids are typically decent little humans in public, I figured it would be an uneventful trip. Au contraire, dear readers. My oldest had a near-meltdown in Payless because I wouldn’t let her choose the brilliant strobe-light Disney princess sneakers which were two-sizes too small. My youngest was throwing shoes and eating tissue paper while I wrangled my three-year-old into a pair that wouldn’t pinch her feet or induce seizures. The cashier was swearing at me in silence.
We eventually made it to the car and I buckled the baby in while my oldest yelled repeatedly that she wanted to wear her new shoes. I climbed into the front seat, gave her the shoebox and drove ten miles down the road without a second thought. When we reached our destination, she screamed that she wasn’t buckled in, and I nearly vomited on the steering wheel. For the next week, she told everyone we encountered that “Mommy made a bad mistake,” despite the fact that I begged her not to let on because I felt like the most horrible parent ever.
2. I stole chicken nuggets from Target (don’t call the cops.)
The full account of this particular parenting fail can be found here. In summary, I accidentally stole chicken nuggets from my favorite store. They were dinosaur-shaped and delicious.
3. I’ve left my keys on the roof of my car and driven away (five times.)
“Why the BLEEP is that dude honking at me and yelling?!?” I live in a state where this behavior is typically a sign that you’ve done something egregious (like driving 1.5 miles per hour below the posted speed limit. We are a patient and understanding people here in Massachusetts.) My first reaction: throw my hands up in a grand gesture of exasperation and yell into the rear view mirror. Nevermind the fact that the guy (or guys, as I’ve committed this offense multiple times) was actually trying to tell me that my house keys were on my car roof as I was flying down the highway/driving down our main road/sitting in bumper-to-bumper traffic on a suburban street.
4. I left my two-year-old alone with my phone (she called the cops.)
One Sunday morning at 7AM, I made the mistake of taking a bathroom break while my two-year-old sat peacefully in front of an episode of Doc McStuffins. The Doc may have been in, but my brain was out to lunch because I left my phone beside her on the couch. Three minutes later, I returned to a terrifying scene: my daughter holding my mobile, swiping and tapping incessantly. She managed to call 911 and four people in the time it took me to go pee and wash my hands. Thankfully, emergency services never showed up at our house.
5. I burned a hard boiled egg.
This happened. I’m not proud and I’m terrible in the kitchen. Lesson: don’t leave an egg in a pan of water over an open flame for an hour.
These are just a handful of examples. I’ve got an entire arsenal in my brain filled with moments of recent stupidity. On the bright side, parenthood has also made me smarter in a number of ways, but that’s a different post for a different day. Do you have any parenting fails or “mommy brain” moments to share? You know you want to get them off your chest!