My Biggest Mom Fail & What It Taught Me

Mom failCaryn Bailey at Rockin' Mama is a blogger who can tell any story and make it funny. Or interesting. Or heartfelt. She is a truly gifted writer whose way with the pen is truly remarkable.

She graciously agreed to lend The Stir one of her favorite posts for Mother's Day as part of our celebration of mom bloggers we love. See below:

It was supposed to be a great day.  How could it not be, when we started out the morning with Cinnamon Pancakes.  I know he’s been feeling the effects of my divided attention.  He’s been the center of my world for the past 2 1/2 years.


Now there is this other person…taking his place in mommy and daddy’s bed…strapped to mommy where he once was…nursing in mommy’s lap where he always sits…  We’ve both try to make sure he is getting plenty of hugs, kisses, and love…plenty of books and play time with each of us.  But he is craving our attention…our undivided attention.

I sit him down with crayons and proceed to nurse the baby. She’s fussing and I’m distracted. My son is at an age where he prefers that mommy and daddy draw pictures (rather than drawing them himself). I explain to him that I’m nursing the baby and will draw with him once I’m finished. 

I’m still distracted with my daughter. He knows I’m distracted. He’s quiet (always a bad sign) and I don’t notice it until it’s too late. He apparently manages to break the tip off the crayon (something I didn’t readily observe in that moment). By the time I look over at him, the crayon is already on it’s way up (his nose, that is). I begin to panic…and it is apparent in my tone as I beg my son not to continue with this venture. “Do I put the crayon up my nose?” he asks.  He’s calm…he’s smiling. I’m panicking.

"No," I say loudly…"We don’t put crayons in our nose.”

In seconds I’m pulling the baby off, trying to put her in the swing so I can avoid this potential crisis. It’s too late.  My overreacting has led to a lodged crayon.  The baby is now hysterical and I’m about to join her.

The rational side of me knows that I should not attempt to dislodge it.  But I’m already marching him up the stairs with a plan that involves a tweezer.  Failed.  I’m too much of a coward to attempt such a feat.  With tears in my eyes, I call my Pediatrician, shamefully explaining how I have failed as a mother.  The nurse asks me several questions, including the one where I tell her that I observed the whole, ridiculous event…unable to change the outcome.

We get in the car, my daughter and I both unsettled.  As I drive to my Pediatrician’s office, my mind is flooded with questions, my eyes flooded with tears. Where did he learn how to put an object in his nose? Why didn’t he listen when I told him to stop? Where did I fail as a mom? My son, by the way, is smiling and oblivious to what is about to happen once we reach the Pediatrician’s office. He’s just happy he’s going to see Dr. Bob.

After spending what feels like an eternity, waiting to be squeezed in, we meet with the doctor. Right before he walks in, I have a heart-to-heart with my 2 year old. "Dr. Bob is going to help you find your crayon, but you need to listen to him and stay very, very still.”  "OK, mommy," he says…and I think to some extent, he understands the seriousness of what’s about to ensue. The doctor walks in and there is discussion of my failure what happened and his plan for “finding my son’s lost crayon." I ask the question I already know the answer to…”What happens if you can’t dislodge it?" I shudder as he confirms…a trip to the hospital for sedation and a scope.

I sit my son in my lap, holding him, knowing that success depends on his ability to stay still.  The first attempt is unsuccessful.  It’s packed in there tighter than we thought.  The Dr. goes to get a different instrument and I give my son another pep talk.  I’m scared for him.  But after a few minutes, he grasps the crayon and I breathe a deep sigh of relief.

On that day, I felt like a complete failure as a mom. I still run over the scenario in my mind about what I could have done differently.   Thankfully, my pediatrician was gracious…my husband forgiving. And I am comforted by those moms who have gone before me with similar stories (special thanks to the mom who sat with me while I waited and told me about the time her son put a tic tac up his nose).

What is your mom fail moment?


Image via laffy4k/Flickr

Read More >