This morning was a sorry catalogue of parenting failures …
It started so promisingly.
We have recently started cycling with The Bambino. At over 11 months old, this is very late by Dutch standards. It’s been an unbridled success: she loves to lean figurehead-like out of her bike seat in excitement, waving her arms in the air, wind ruffling her wispy hair strands, exclaiming; “Bah da na na NAH da Baaaaaaaa!” (this is what passes for speech in our house).
This morning as I cycled with her to her new temporary daycare (her usual one is closed for summer), I forgot to check my rain radar. Five minutes in, the heavens opened and fat drops smashed down on us. I clearly forgot my brain too as, even though The Bambino was wearing a hooded jacket, I ploughed on with the journey leaving her hood down and her free to get absolutely soaked.
When we arrived at lovely new daycare, a pair of bedraggled messes, I’d also had my personality transplanted with that of a chaotic, information over-sharing Mum.
“I TOTALLY forgot to check if it was going to be raining!” I shrieked at them, as they eyed the two dripping arrivals in consternation.
“I also don’t have ANY spare dry clothes for her!” I added, just in case they still thought my parenting skills were ok.”I mean – I have LOTS at the other daycare. But I haven’t brought ANY here.”
“We’ve probably got something spare,” they said, noting with some judgment (at least I heard it that way): “she seems to be quite cold.”
“Well, to be honest we’re between holidays so it’s a BIT OF CHAOS in our house,” I added unhelpfully. “She doesn’t really have ANY CLEAN CLOTHES AT ALL!”
There’s not much comeback to such a revelation. Just slightly widened eyes, and disappearing off to strip and reclothe my sopping daughter – in an outfit that was, frankly, smarter than the one I dressed her in.
I stood awkwardly for a minute or so, tapping my arms stiffly against my legs in that weird British manner before making my excuses and toddling on to work.
I’d love to say I redeemed myself magnificently by the afternoon, but it’s not true. Yet again, I was the last parent to pick my baby up. Ah, that horribly guilty feeling of arriving at daycare to find your poor lonely child scooting around on their own. There was a different girl working there at least. The chance for a reset.
“I had a bit of a nightmare this morning,” I started cheerfully. “Got caught in the rain.”
“Yes,” she said a bit too quickly for my liking. “I heard all about that.”