tonight i had a major mothering fail. it left me feeling like total crap . . . but even worse it made lily feel awful and scared. i was so wrapped up in myself that i managed to totally neglect my kid and be clueless to what was happening with her.
having just finished playing on the bed, i received a phone call and immediately became engrossed in the conversation. i went to the front porch to swing as i chatted, but before i left the house i told lily she could put on her shoes and come out to play while i took the call. well, i became so wrapped up in the call that i was oblivious to where lily was or what she was doing. i could hear her screaming in the house but that’s about it.
now before you think i’m a complete loser of a mom, let me explain something. lily likes to scream. seriously, she shrieks when she’s mad (in time out), frustrated, bored, or happy (like when she’s playing with her daddy). i, of course, assumed the noises i was hearing were “happy” screams. after all, we had just been playing and laughing together resulting in . . . you guessed it . . . lily screaming!
about 10 minutes into the phone call tom pokes his head out the front door and says, “can’t you hear that?” i immediately snapped back to reality and became aware that something wasn’t right. i had wrongfully assumed that she was playing with him. obviously i was wrong. i had no idea where she was! i quickly hung up the phone and bolted through the house to find her.
we found her. upstairs. scared. crying. locked behind the baby gate at the top of the stairs. all around her resembled a battle scene . . . first there was lily herself . . . mickey mouse doll in hand . . . crying so hard that she could barely catch her breath (that was the most heart wrenching part) . . . a broken toy on the floor and a curtain rod ripped from the wall! she must have been so distraught that she went nutso and started physically acting out. she had gone upstairs to get her play shoes and had accidentally closed the baby gate behind her.
i couldn’t apologize or hug her enough. listening to her talk about how she felt as she shuttered and tried to catch her breath, all i could think of was how scared she must have felt . . . screaming her head off . . . waiting for someone to help her . . . all the while her mama is yakking it up on the phone, unaware of what was going on.
total mothering fail.
i realize that it could have been much worse. she wasn’t hurt. nothing was permanently broken. however, it was a huge reminder to me of how i sometimes need to pay more attention to her and less to my own selfish desires.