Poor Parenting on Parade

This past weekend was our town's holiday ("it's-not-PC-to-say-Christmas") parade. And let me tell you, there's nothing like a parade to make me feel like the worst. Parent. EVER.

Fail #1 was the kids' attire. The sun was shining. It was supposed to be in the low 60s. Nice day, right? I even stepped outside myself to gauge the temperature before I dressed the boys - and granted, I'd been hurrying around and was kinda warm, but the weather felt really nice. So I put them in T-shirts with long-sleeved shirts over them.

But then we got downtown (where we parked, like, eighteen miles away from our actual destination - and realized Fail #2: we forgot the stroller). People were flocking to find a seat. People in parkas. And coats. And scarves. And gloves. And hats. And here we were, with our poor unprotected-from-the-elements children. I could almost hear the disapproving tsk sounds the other mothers were surely making. I found a thin jean jacket in our Jeep for Cameron, but it was nothing compared to the puffy winter-weight coats everyone else's kids seemed to be wearing.

So, stroller-less and coat-less, we made the trek to the parade route to find a seat. Cameron weighs like 31 pounds, so by the time we got there, I was huffing and puffing. And immediately noticed Fail #3: we hadn't brought anything to sit on. Most people had chairs. Or, at the very least, blankets to pad the cold concrete curbs. But did we have such foresight? No. So now, not only was I "the Mom who didn't put coats on her kids" - I was "the Mom who made those poor coatless kids sit on that cold sidewalk."

Which brings us to Fail #4: no thoughtful, warming pre-parade treats. The mom on one side of us was offering her beaming (bundled, sitting-on-blankets) kids hot chocolate from a Thermos. Did I have any such thing? No. Of course not. My kids' only sustenance was the Marshmallow Mateys that they'd eaten - from a plastic baggie - for breakfast. (Which, now that I think of it, could probably be constituted as Fail #5 - but hey, I'd been in a hurry.)

And then there was the matter of Cameron. Almost-two-year-olds do not do so well when they aren't strapped into a stroller. Thank God the parade hadn't started when he broke free from my grip and hurtled himself into the street, where I had to chase him down.

Finally, to pin the Worst Mother of the Year award firmly in place, came Health-Conscious Mom and her germ-free, appropriately dressed kids. They sat down next to us, and even though I wasn't exactly putting out the "let's talk" vibe, she kept talking to me.

"I wonder how many of these kids are going to be sick tomorrow?" she wondered out loud, gesturing vaguely. "I mean look. They're not even wearing coats!" Then, with a sideways glance at my coatless kids, she quickly added, "And they're in short-sleeved shirts!"

Then: "Have you gotten your kids vaccinated for that H1N1 yet? I got mine done right away. They're having a clinic on Monday, you know."

Then, when a guy came around selling cotton candy: "Oh that's great, get all these kids high on sugar, that's just what they need."

... So I bought my kids some cotton candy. I don't know if that's why she decided to get up and move or if it was some other reason entirely, but I wasn't sad to see her go.

Finally the parade started, and the boys settled down for like fifteen minutes to watch.

Then in his excitement, Colin grabbed some lady's butt, thinking it was me.

Needless to say, I was glad when the parade was over. I didn't have the greatest time in the world, but I learned a valuable lesson: you can never be too prepared. And next year, I'm putting my kids in snowsuits and earmuffs, bringing the stroller and some comfy chairs and some blankets, and installing a damn capuccino-and-cocoa machine next to us.

That ought to do the trick.


  1. Lol, I now leave extra coats and a blanket in the car cause I have done this sooo many times! You can't possibly be the worst mother ever, cause if you are then we're sharing the title!

    Amanda @caffeinated_mom

  2. Tooooo funny. I have so been there. So mostof the time when I join my kids and grandkids for parades or whatever. I know that my daughtrs have forgotten something, they have kids to get ready (I so understand)I have a back pack that I carry all the time. First neccesity BAND AIDS. But anyway you get my drift.I bring all the extra stuff so they don't worry about it. Sometimes that isn't good. Sometimes I forget so then we are doomed.
    I think the most important thing is. Did the kids enjoy the parade? There you have it.

  3. I went to my youngest child's school today to do my weekly volunteer-in-the-classroom stint (great mother kudos, right?) to be condescendingly informed by the teacher that my kid didn't have a warm-enough coat to play outside today (bad mother award). Yeah, kid told me the coat was in her backpack and it turns out it wasn't. It's not like it's freezing outside...she'll live...but still.... Oh, well, I console myself with the fact that the teacher wrote on a whiteboard, "What do you want to be when your grown up?" If she's so blinkin' perfect....grrrrrr....

    Let's see...did your kids freeze to death? No? Did they enjoy the cotton candy? Yes? Have a good time with their family--the family that cared enough to take them to a parade? Did they care if they had chairs or not? No? Then who cares about Mommy Sanctimonious?

    I'd rather have you for a mother than that other lady any day!

  4. Don't beat yourself up too much b/c I am exactly the same way. So hey, lets share that mother of the year award. What do you say?

  5. HA!
    I've done this. I usually have a stray goldfish cracker or a skittle at the bottom of my purse, so there's that...

  6. The kids of "Mommy Sanctimonious" as Michele put it are probably totally jealous of the cool mom who let HER kids have cotton candy.

    Just sayin'.

  7. I'm totally proud that you were brave enough to do something like a parade with a 2 year old in the first place (not even to mention the other kid!). Kudo's to you for gettin' them out there!

  8. No worries! I love that you went to the Parade. I had class, but I watched them blow up the balloons on my way in. =)

  9. Wow, she sure was a know-it-all judgmental mmmm - woman. Must be nice to be so Puuuuuufict... NOT. I'd rather know you and be your friend than her, that's for sure - you're waaaay more fun! Even if you aren't... perfect. Phew. She was an example of perfect, right? BE GLAD YOU'RE YOU!

  10. I have been the coatless lady for months now. people are all walking around bundled up and I'm in a cardigan and the kids are in light jackets at best. It's freakin 50 degrees! that's not that cold people. I even had the old greeter guy at HyVee say something to me about bundling up the kids. I was just like, we're from Colorado, this isn't cold. What I wanted to say was, shut freakin pie hole old man. but I restrained myself. I also would have forgotten blankets and snacks, although I would rather die than forget my stroller - at any given time there are between 1 and 3 in the back of my car just for these types of situations. Carry kids? hell no. let them run around unrestrained? double hell no. That just makes work for mommy, and mommy don't do work too good. I love that you ordered cotton candy right in front of Miss perfection who declared it ridiculous. Gosh, this is rambling. stopping now.

  11. I think you are being to hard on yourself. All those goody-two-shoes moms can take their winter coats, blankets, and hot chocolate and stuff 'em where the sun don't shine. 'Cause obviously they don't need the sun to shine- they are well prepared.

    Did the kids complain of the cold? I'm guessing not, kid's usually don't. And are your kids sick? Swine flu vaccine mom needs to take a pill and realize cold weather doesn't make people sick. Geesh.

  12. They are super cute! Gotta love parades, gotta hate crazy psycho moms!

  13. Love the pic of the kids at the parade. They don't look like they were freezing.

  14. Amanda - I try to keep coats in the car but it doesn't always work out so well - I did find one of Colin's coats, but it was crusted with spilled chocolate milkshake. GROSS!

    Grammie - My mother-in-law is the same way: she comes prepared! I always know that if we're out and there's something we need, she's got it handy.

    Michele - When "your" grown up?!? You'd think a teacher would have a better grasp of grammar! And "Mommy Sanctimonious" - that is SO my new favorite term!

    Jen - I'm all for sharing the Mother of the Year award! I think we're all deserving in one way or another. :)

    JenJen - That cracks me up because I literally do have like six or seven Skittles floating around loose in my purse right now! LOL!

    Holly - I agree. Unless she has them brainwashed.

    Me - Thank you thank you! I only venture out with the kids when Curtis is with me. Sad but true!

    Kim - Did you see the Bob the Builder balloon? Colin saw it coming down the street and was all, "HANDY MANNY!" LOL ... I guess he doesn't watch enough Bob the Builder. Or Handy Manny, for that matter!

    Kate - You've TOTALLY got an excuse though. You just moved and haven't acclimated to the new climate yet. I've been here for two years this month - and grew up one state away - so you'd think I would know better. :)

    Nan - Aw, thank you! I am glad I'm me, for the most part ... I'd rather be a little disorganized than a total germophobe!

    Julie - Nope! Kids didn't complain of a thing, and nobody's on their deathbed of a cold today, so I think you're right. :)

    Stepfabulous - Thank you! Their cuteness gets them far, except when it comes to me. ;)

  15. Heather - Thanks! And nope, they weren't freezing. Their cheeks didn't even get rosy. Take that, coat-wearers! ;)

  16. When the boys grow up, they'll remember all the fun stuff you guys did as a family, not whether they had blankets to sit on and all that stuff. I think creating memories is far more important than being obsessively organized!

    I had to laugh at the part about Colin grabbing someone's butt! Your brother did that to a nun when he was about that age! LOL

  17. Girl you totally crack me up. I KNOW we'd be BFFs if we lived near each other!

  18. You Rock Rita! Way to go w/ the Cotton Candy to get the health lady moving on her way! HA!


Post a Comment

Commenting makes you big and strong! Okay, maybe just strong. Okay, so it's only your fingers. But still ...

Popular Posts