Having been a parent for 20 years I wanted to share some of my more humorous parenting fails. We have all had them, things that just didn’t go to plan or worked out how we imagined and are the stories you look back on and howl with laughter, although at the time they are often not so funny.
The first nappy
When I had my first baby I had zero experience with babies. I hadn’t even held one. So, it’s no surprise that my first time putting a nappy on my daughter I seriously fluffed it up. Although it wouldn’t become quite apparent until a midwife did some new baby checks. My partner at the time had done the first nappy under midwife supervision, whilst I had a much-needed bath. As it was very early in the morning when I arrived on the ward, my partner was ushered home, and I was left alone with my baby.
No one told be about the black poop, so i was deeply unprepared when she did the biggest rip-roaring fart and noise that signalled nappy Armageddon! I remember wondering how do I know if the nappy is too tight, so gave baby room to breathe. Which apparently wasn’t wise as when the midwife lifted baby up to check her a short while later the nappy slipped right off, the midwife was very amused at my first attempt, although at the time i was mortified.
Car seats and nappies
By the time baby number 2 came along 4 years later I had nappies down to perfection. Although I was still to be caught out when my second daughter was 13 months old. We had just visited my parents as they holidayed in their static caravan. Travelling down the dual carriageway about 15 minutes from where we left my elder daughter announced that her sister was ‘covered in poop’. My daughter was in a rear Facing car seat so I couldn’t see what had happened. I said she probably just had it on her hands, but my daughter was very sure it was ‘everywhere’.
Pulling over expecting it to be nothing I was hit by the horror of just how covered she was. And my goodness was she covered. She had emptied the contents of her nappy out all over her face, arms, legs, hair… everywhere! And then had promptly fallen asleep! I couldn’t help but howl with laughter at the sight. In fact, I couldn’t breathe for laughing so hard. I learned the hard way, kids and dresses in car seats do not mix as they can access the legs cuff and thus the contents of the nappy! We still laugh about this today. Although my daughter doesn’t see the funny side.
Never leave a toddler in the front room to go get some more sleep in the morning!
My first daughter was an early riser. I was not. Once she reached 3 I used to put her in front of the TV put on a movie and go back to bed. It was a tried and tested method. She would watch TV happily munching on a piece of fruit and I got a good hour or so extra rest. This particular morning, I had been up during the night, so when I went back to bed exhausted I fell back into a lengthy deep sleep. I was woken up by the ringing of my flats intercom doorbell.
Nothing unusual, until my friend announced ‘you have been a while are you coming down’? To which I replied, ‘no, I was in bed’. ‘Ah right, you do know your daughter is down here’? Many expletives later I ran downstairs not able to believe that my 3-year-old had unlocked the door and gone for a little walk! Lucky my neighbour had seen her and brought her back. Major parenting fail and ever since I have been super careful with toddlers and locked doors!
The toddler and the reed diffuser
After 2 children, you would think I was clever enough to know kids put everything into their mouths. Apparently not! My first son and baby number 3 was a real fire cracker and because of this there was a gate on everything. He was pretty much confined to the front room which was baby proofed to within an inch of its life. Yet I still made the rooky mistake of leaving a reed diffuser on the side. I walked into the front room to be hit by a wall of scent.
I knew immediately what had happened. My son had got hold of the reeds and started sucking them. In a blind panic, I washed him the best I could and called the emergency number for the hospital. I took him to A & E to get him checked as we had no idea if the diffuser liquid was poisonous. Luckily, he was fine apart from a rash on his face and a few yucky nappies. I learned the hard way to keep everything out of my sons reach.
The first day of a new school year
After I had baby number 5 I think I lost a considerable amount of my sane brain. Either that or the sheer amount of planning and time it took to coordinate everyone was getting too much. It was the first day of the new school year and I took my kids into school as I always did. I had no clue where their classrooms were, and owing to being late I hastily dropped the first one off and then asked my 5-year-old which classroom was his. He was unsure and I recognised some of the mum’s coming out of a classroom, so without checking,
I ushered him in and went off home. On my return that afternoon and to my horror I was greeted in the playground by my son’s teacher who told me I had dropped my son off at the wrong classroom. He had sat in the class on the mat with the other children who he didn’t know and worse still, were in the year above him. It was not until after register that they realised that my son didn’t belong there, only then was he taken to the correct classroom. They were impressed though as he sat really well and didn’t seem out of place with the older children! To say I was mortified was an understatement. Needless to say, I was the butt of the joke for a few weeks after when the teacher’s would check daily ‘if i had the right classroom’.
Like most mum’s I get mixed up with what day of the week it is, days often merge into each other and this particular day was no exception. The alarm went off as it always did and we got up, dressed and ate breakfast as normal. There was the normal fight to get shoes on in time, but we were out of the door a surprising 5 minutes ahead of time. As we walked up the road something was wrong, and I couldn’t quite put my finger on what it was, but something was ‘off’. The shops were beginning to open and there was people walking about like normal, I must be imagining it. As we got closer to the school I noticed a lack of parent and kids, that’s strange I thought, I must be earlier than I thought. It only became obvious as I neared the school that all the gates were closed.
Was it a day off and I didn’t get the letter? Or perhaps there was a school flood or some other equally as random disaster and it was closed? I had no idea. So, we turned around with me scratching my head wondering what was going on and headed off home. We got back indoors and I rang my friend, enquiring what had happened as the school was closed. I was met with shrieks of laughter, unbidden howls down the phone. What? I thought, what was so funny? After what seemed to be 5 minutes of constant laughter my friend replied. “It’s Saturday”! Yup, I had gotten up forgetting what day of the week it was and went to school on a Saturday. I don’t think I will ever live that one down!
Just eat it!
I love to experiment when cooking, it’s so much fun. On this particular day, I had found a recipe for goulash and I wanted to try it out in my slow cooker. What could possibly go wrong?
I prepared the meat and vegetables and placed them in the slow cooker with the relevant amount of liquid and set it on low. The goulash bubbled away for most of the day and I thought it smelt great. My husband wasn’t so sure. At teatime, I made some mashed potatoes to accompany the goulash. When I looked though the goulash was still very watery. I had forgot to coat the meat in flour. So, trying to avoid a tragedy I added some flour to thicken up the sauce. It kind of went a bit stodgy but I was confident it would taste fine. When I dished it up EVERYONE turned their noses up at it.
To be fair it did look akin to dog food on the plate. I was cheesed off at everyone’s lack of faith and began ranting about how I had spent all day cooking and preparing it, and how ungrateful it was to be so rude about the food I had lovingly made. By the time we sat down to eat everyone had decided it would be better to shut up than say anything else to me. Everyone’s faces were a picture as they tried to politely but very slowly eat the Goulash which really wasn’t very nice. Trying to prove a point I forged ahead eating my dinner, but even I was struggling.
The whole table, even me started to push their food around the plate, waiting on who would be the first to say they were done. No one would relent. Eventually I crossly announced that I knew no one liked it and to go ahead and put it in the bin. Looking back the speed they jumped up from the table, is funny. They wanted to get rid of it before I changed my mind I think! 8 years on and no one will let me forget about just how disgusting the Goulash I made was. I still remain adamant though, it wasn’t THAT bad, when in reality it really was!
Our budding Di Vinci
Kids are like little whirlwinds of mess. They have the ability to trash a room in 2.4 seconds. The amount of time it takes a skilled mum to do a pee! One particular day I had been tidying around the house. I had made the decision earlier that day to take away our fire guard, leaving the fake coals still in the fire. Up until this point my son had paid little notice to the fire, so I thought I had no worries. I had gone to the kitchen to grab something and whilst I was there I had a quick drink. I was gone for perhaps 3 minutes at most, and all was quiet so I didn’t feel too worried anything was afoot.
WRONG! I walked into my son coal in hand creating his own da Vinci masterpiece on our wall, along with several other masterpieces and a scrawl joining each one on the 3 other walls as well as a nice drawing on my front room rug! I could muster nothing more than ‘oh my goodness, what have you done’. He was smiling from ear to ear, proud of his achievements. In cases like these you can’t do much else than laugh. I had pretty much invited him to do it, by leaving such fantastic charcoals within easy reach. I still have a faint reminder of his work on our exposed brickwork as nothing would remove it completely, it always makes me smile.
What goes up
When you are a first-time parent you are always told to never leave your baby in the bed unattended as they can roll off. However, as a bed-sharing mum it’s easier said than done. My daughter crawled at 5 months, she was amazingly mobile very early and it made leaving her unattended in bed a challenge. I had a great set up of a cot attached to the side of my bed for her to sleep in and as she became mobile i lowered it down so there was a lip of about 10 inches enough to stop her rolling on me during the night. Although she was crawling she hadn’t yet figured how to climb up on anything. as a result I didn’t worry about her crawling off my bed. At night when I came downstairs after she fell asleep I would pop the camera on to watch her sleep, occasionally the camera would freeze but we usually realised quickly and could restart the camera.
On this particular night, we were engrossed in a movie and hadn’t noticed the screen freeze. There was a faint thud, and I think my husband and I went white, we could see out daughter still in bed, phew, but then we noticed that the screen had frozen. On restarting the camera, the picture revealed my daughter no longer in bed. We jumped from the sofa and as soon as we started up the stairs we could here crying. My heart was thumping, wondering if I was going to find my daughter injured. Luckily picking her up and soothing her we found she was not injured just a little shaken from the fall. I was berating myself for allowing it to happen and not being in bed with her. As she had now figured how to climb up ledges we decided to move the cot from against our bed and put on the rail the following morning.
On my daughters 3rd birthday we got up stupidly early as she always did and unwrapped all her presents, had a ‘birthday breakfast’ and generally had loads of fun indoors waiting until my friends came round to celebrate with us. It got to quite late in the day and no-one including family had come over. I was a bit cheesed off as no one had seemed to be acknowledging my beautiful babies birthday. It wasn’t until i called one of my friends asking if she was still coming over that i discovered i had got the dates mixed up and it was in fact my daughters birthday the following day! So, yeah, once i forgot my own child’s birthday!
Other people’s Parenting Fails
Teaching my then 1-year-old to walk, she fell and I grabbed her arm to stop her unfortunately, I tried to stop her too hard and dislocated her elbow. Worst moment!
Trying to combine potty training and a beach trip! Epic parenting fail !
Driving along my daughter managed to get her arms out the car seat, i couldn’t pull over due to the road being super busy. She then leant over and undid the car door…child locks were not on for some reason, i only knew as she started shouting door mummy! I kept seeing the door starting to open so was yelling at her to hold the door closed. She’s just over 2, she had no clue. Epic parenting fail!! We were 2 mins away from nursery thank god!
When my son was 18 months, we went to a friend’s house. There was several of us there and the kids were playing in the lounge and hall. He always was a monster so I always had an eye or ear on him where ever I went. A moments lapse in concentration as a friend asked me something and half way through a sentence I stopped cos I couldn’t hear him. He was in the hall, which was in sight of everyone but when I looked he wasn’t there! I turned around and her front door was wide open and I found him a few doors down the road. Not only that he was rattling an old iron fence, which then fell and hit his bare foot as I ran towards him. I had never had to think about locking doors as ours is so high up, he can only just reach it now and he’s a tall 4-year-old. Worst moment ever!
This morning I was trying to teach my 17-month-old to come down the stairs on her bum, this resulted in a carpet burn on her back and a new found fear of the stairs.
Forgetting to put the potty-training seat on the toilet then laughing too hard when he fell in that I couldn’t pull him out for about five minutes.
Having him all dressed and proudly ready for his 1st day at nursery – photos taken, nanny’s phoned and wished him luck, daddy had the day off work and everything… we were a day early *slaps head* so we went to McDonalds for breakfast instead! That was 15 years ago and it’s still one of my biggest parenting fails!!