(Note: I am in no way suggesting that this is only the second parenting FAIL I have made. I make dozens each week but some are just more glaring than others. I wrote about parenting FAIL #1 on Facebook, so this one is logically the second.)
Yesterday I woke up on the wrong side of the bed, I will readily admit. By 9:30 I could feel myself starting to really lose my cool so I decided I needed to take action to change the course of the morning. I loaded up both kiddos and headed to Deanna Rose Farmstead. It was a hot day, I was feeling exhausted, and Devan continued to try my patience. For the most part I was really glad we were outside (200% humidity notwithstanding) and the farmstead did prove to be an excellent distraction for all of us. After riding the tractors, playing at the playground, and feeding the turkeys I told Devan it was time to go. He requested (demanded?) to go feed the baby goats first and I relented and thus begins my failure as a parent. I should have stuck to my guns and had us leave right then and there but I didn’t feel like I had the energy to deal with a public tantrum. Bad, bad choice.
I went ahead and bought the goat food and told Devan to go over to the fence and I would watch him give them the food. However, Devan wanted to go inside where he could pet the goats. I immediately pictured him swarmed with baby goats and told him ‘No, stay out here’. There were other kids inside though and Devan insisted he would like to pet those goats. So I had a dilemma- how could I supervise him and keep and eye on the stroller? My brilliant idea? Take the stroller halfway through the gates so I could quickly get to Devan if need be and still stay with Leah.
Things went downhill so quick I can’t even believe it- the moment Devan pushed open the second gate the goats pushed back through and swarmed us- climbing on Devan and biting at the stroller. I tried to back up and open the first gate and the goats started to push out of it as well. Devan was freaking out and I was trying to keep the goats off of the stroller and there were so many in the small area that I couldn’t move. In the meantime there are a row of parents watching all of this and making comments to me… they are eating your blanket! That one is on your son! Watch it, this goat almost got out! Did any of them bother to help me? Not a one.
At this point an employee came over and scolded me- “Bad idea, Mom, bad idea!!!” The very first thing to come to the tip of my tongue was “No $#%*, Einstein.” but thankfully I still had enough sense to just say pleasantly “Could you please help me get out of here?” She read me the riot act as she got the goats back in the pen and I was finally able to back out the stroller and grab Devan. By this point, I was holding back tears and I noticed the row of parents staring at me, some shaking their heads and all with glaring disapproving looks.
It was horrible. And I was shaken up for hours, and spent a lot of time last night thinking about it all before I feel asleep. As frustrated as I am about those unhelpful spectators and their rush to judge me, I know that they are right and the employee was right. It was an absolute idiotic decision and I can’t use sleep deprivation to excuse it. Leah could have been bitten, and Devan was pretty shook up. I’ve been around goats, I know they eat everything and jump, what was I thinking? I just wasn’t. There is no excuse, I have to do a better job parenting.
I knew these first few months would be hard, really hard. And for the most part I have taken it in stride and stayed positive. I love these two kids more than I could ever put into words and I want more than anything to do an excellent job parenting them. And when I fall short in such a spectacular fashion, I literally feel sick to my stomach. Like I said, we’re just taking it day at a time over here.
In a related note: how in the heck am I supposed to grocery shop with a toddler and an infant seat? By the time they are both in the cart I have room for approximately 5 items. There must be secrets to this that I do not know.