|photo credit: http://blog.gracobaby.com|
When we were new parents, we were a bit scatterbrained. This is an understatement. We brought our new baby boy home from the hospital and oohed and aaaahed over him and sat and stared at him breathing and just "being" for days. Isn't that what all parent's do? And we sat and talked about how crazy it was that we were parents. . .that God actually entrusted a tiny human to us and that so far, we'd kept him alive. Go us! This was a miracle in itself! (Thank you grandparents for the first few weeks. You may not have toddler grandchildren if we had been left to our own devices. . .what with colick and acid reflux and sleep deprivation. . .)
So here we were, on week 6 of keeping a tiny human being alive and we experience a catastrophe. Our dog, Daisy goes missing. Now this is actually kind of a funny thing, since we actually found her (apparently lost) in an empty parking lot in the snow and ice only three months prior. She was new to our home but had adjusted nicely, taking up residence under the baby's bassinet. She had become part of the family. Some days, we resolved to the fact that she was a RUG. . .perfectly content to lay and sleep her existence away at our feet. It was quite a convenient arrangement that we had, considering we were still trying to make sure we didn't kill an infant everyday and didn't have time to devote much attention to a dog. Until. . . .she escaped.
That's right, the dog pulled a Houdini and was out the fence and into the neighborhood faster than we could catch her. In fact, it wasn't until after we woke from a nap (much-needed!) that we realized her disappearance. I was immediately devastated and set out to find her. I left Mr. Thinks-He-Wear-the-Pants home to tend to the baby while I drove all over the neighborhood in search of Ms. Daisy, all the while, keeping in contact at home via cell phone. "I can't find her! I don't know what to do! She's probably so scared! What if she gets ran over?" My husband was on pins and needles as he listened and was there for moral support. Finally, we decided, as darkness was quickly approaching, that we needed more ground covered in the neighborhood and hubby would have to set out in his own vehicle to look as well. We drove up and down street after street, communicating by phone and making sure we hadn't missed any roads. She was nowhere to be found. Finally, I decided that we should give up for the evening, and head home to make flyers to distribute for tomorrow. All I wanted was to come home to the hubby and curl up with the baby and---wait a second. . ."Honey, what is the baby doing? I haven't heard a peep out of him this whole time. . ."
Silence. . . .then. . . ."OH. MY. GAH. . . . We're parents."
That's right friends. My infant, a mere 6 weeks old was left at home. Alone.
Cue D.H.S. and Child protective services.
In all fairness, he had only been left for about 20 minutes. My husband was MORTIFIED that he actually FORGOT for any length of time that we were parents. Can you imagine?! How did he FORGET??!!
Upon returning and finding my son STILL in his bassinet sound asleep, I allowed myself to laugh at the situation. It could have happened to anyone, right? (I'm telling you, sleep deprivation can do crazy things to your mind!). And surprisingly, I've had conversations with numerous parents who did something very similar.
Today, my son is happy, healthy, and won't be in a room alone without an adult. Yes, he's still traumatized. :)
No really, he's totally functional and doesn't suffer from any PTSD. I promise. His parent's eventually stopped beating themselves up over it.
I'd love to hear some of your stories. . .any parenting failures of this caliber? Let's compare notes!