By Popular demand, The Back story of "Another Mothering Fail":
Hello all. Sorry for my little “hiatus”. Work has been, well, blecky, and I am premenstrual. Never a stellar combo. Add in the perpetual “My Balls hurt” moaning and you can well imagine the joy that has been present in my home. I am surprised they haven’t knocked on my door to do a holiday special.
Some aside notes: Yes, the Doctor has demanded that we have 20 sexual encounters before they can test his sperm sample for being “clear”. Until then, we can consider his penis a potentially lethal weapon.
We tried for the first time last night. I was terrified. I believe that I lay there like a blow up doll. I kept waiting for the whole thing to fall off on me. Talk about pressure.
He relates that he “feels better” today. Yeah right. I can see where this is going.
So today, I offer for your enjoyment, one of My most spectacular failures of mothering I was ever able to muster up. I present “The Day I caused my daughter to have a black eye cause I threw a Bitty Shoe at her in a fit of irritation” or “Why I almost had to call the Child Protective services people (….or me) on Me”
Last winter, Terrance had gone away for a business trip. I generally can keep my shit together for 5 days, then the veneer starts to crack and I look a little wild eyed and crazy.
At this point, I was driving her into school – which was 15 minutes PAST where I work, and then driving back to work, then after work driving to pick her up and then beginning the 45-minute to hour commute home. Since I picked her up at 5:30, I would get home at 6:30 p.m. or so. Not conducive to starting dinner, right? So every night when Daddy was gone, I would pick her up and take her to a different restaurant. It serves an all around need – we eat, I don’t have to cook, everyone is happy!
So, on the Thursday night in question, I decided that I wanted Thai food. I really, really wanted Thai food. Emily doesn’t care for the Thai restaurant cause she doesn’t like statues. We get to the door, she seems the statues and she starts to scream. Loudly. I am smiling at the Thai restaurant people, as my daughter crawls under my coat screaming “No, Mommy, No, I don’t like statues! Please don’t make me go in there!”
I smile at the worried looking hostess and try to say calmly “Can we have a table far, far away from any statues?” My coat is screaming and moving around. I lift the child and my coat and proceed to carry her to the table where I plop her down on the chair and whip off my coat – “See”, I say, “no statues! Calm down!”
We have a fairly pleasant dinner, after I assure her that the Tandori chicken is not the devils food, and that the jasmine rice is quite delicious!
I reward her with a new Bitty baby outfit. It is Blue and Velvety and she is excited. See – Life with Mommy is Fun!
Full and happy, we drive home. It is 7:30 p.m. and so, like Mommy’s all over the world, I am really, really ready for Em to hit the sack. We read, we snuggle and then it’s off to bed for her.
Except this is clearly not part of her plan. Instead, she hits the floor- in a full blown tantrum. She cannot find her new Bitty Shoe. I remain calm.
Me: “Did you check the car, next to your car seat?”
Em: “I CHECKED THERE IT’S GONE AND NOW MY LIFE IS RUINED!!!!”
Me: “Emily, there is no reason for you to have this reaction.”
Em: “NO, NO, NO, IT’S GONE, I LOOKED THERE AND IT’S GONE”
Me: “seriously Emily, you need to calm down – have you looked in the car?”
Em: “I TOLD YOU I LOOKED THERE AND IT’S GONE, YOU NEED TO FIND IT”
(There was more screaming at me, that I will leave to your imagination)
Me: (Voice raising) “Emily, I swear to god, that I if I go out to the car and find that damn bitty baby shoe, there is going to be hell to pay. I am throwing every last god damn bit of Bitty Baby shit away!!!!”
I run into the January cold night in my bare feet and pajamas. I whip open the car door and there it is – sitting right there – the blue velvet bitty baby shoe. Right where I said it would be.
I fly into the house and round the corner. I am Steaming mad. Psychotic Mommy Mad.
I throw my child’s bedroom door open and scream
“HERE’S YOUR FUCKING BITTY BABY SHOE”
And I throw the shoe in her direction. Now mind you, I wasn’t aiming at her head, really.
But like all moments of clarity, I watch as the shoe flies, in slow motion through the air. It makes a perfect arc and connects with her eye.
GGGGGAAAAAAAASSSSSSSSSPPPPPPPPPPP. Did you hear the sucking intake of my breath?
My daughter grabs her eye and wails. Oh…………………Shit………………………….
I run and grab her hand and wrench it from her eye. I see the black and blue developing.
Em: “You hit me in the Eyyyyyyyyyyyyeeeeeeeeee.”
I burst into tears and run for the telephone to call my husband.
Terrance: “Dawn, calm down. Now what happened? You threw a bitty baby shoe at her? You hit her in the eye? Why did you aim for her head? Never aim for the head, honey.”
So, he calms us both down and I apologize profusely to my daughter. She can tell she’s got me now. The Mommy guilt is wafting off of me like 5 day old fish.
But here’s the thing. I have to take her to school tomorrow. I ain’t got a quiet kid. She is about to relate in gut wrenching detail how Mommy popped her in the eye with a Bitty Baby shoe. Her eye is clearly bruised. I am fucked.
I also, at that time, was managing the registry for all those in the state who had been convicted for child abuse and neglect. If the teacher calls in the bruise, she is calling me into….well, me. Double fucked.
So I must do the Mommy walk of shame into the classroom and explain what happened last night in my house. Yes. I have to hang it all out there, since my kid is definitely talking. I get about halfway through the story and burst back into tears.
Em’s teacher hugs me and tells me that it’s all right- every parent in this room has lost it with their kid and done something that they regretted, including her. A hard spanking, an arm grab, a thrown bitty baby shoe. Nobody talks about it, she says, but we all have our moments.
And so, I share with you all. My Moment. My bad, bad mommy moment. And I can assure you; she milks that baby for all it’s worth. If you ever meet her just say “bitty shoe” and watch the story tumble from her mouth.
Originally posted November 2005