When you drop the parenting ball…

And your child picks it up?

At the moment, I am tired, more than a little preoccupied with juggling a lot of spinning plates. Work, personal life, family stuff are all keeping my brain buzzing, and today I pretty much dropped the ball on parenting and my child picked it up. 

My small son has an party type event at school this week, a fun thing based on their topic this term. We were sent an e-mail from his teachers telling us what was happening and in the mail it clearly says we do not need to send any food in for the event. I read the mail, processed the information, then put it to the back of my mind. One less thing to have to worry about, in a very busy week. 

But, today, on the way home from school, Matthew informs me that his teacher told him that he needs to bring a treat in for the special party. I tell him that I got an e-mail about it and that it said we didn’t have to send any food in. He then starts to tell me that I am wrong, and “Mrs M said that I have to bring a treat in, tomorrow, or I won’t be able to join in the party”. Now, I am annoyed, on two levels. Once because I AM the adult, I can read an e-mail (in fact I actually got my phone out to double check)  because my almost six year old seems to think he knows better than me, and is now shouting at me, as we head home from school and two because it seems that the plans have changed and at the last minute something different is being said about what we needed to do. Just what I need after a busy day. 

We get home and he persists in insisting that he has to bring something in tomorrow. I tell him I don’t have anything (true, I haven’t got anything remotely party food like in the house and not much in the way of baking items, grocery shopping on my list of things to get done too) and he gets crosser and crosser and keeps saying “but I won’t have anything to eat”. I keep countering with “but the e-mail says I don’t need to send anything”. A fun half hour we are having. If you are more switched on than me, you probably know where this is going by now and why he was upset. I however, had not caught on yet.

I look at my phone and see a message from a fellow class rep, on an entirely different topic. I chat to her, via message about that, ignoring my angry and frustrated son, who is sitting on the floor, sulking, occasionally sniffing back tears. I decide to ask her, if the plans have changed and we have to send food in tomorrow and that Matthew is insisting he was told he had to, even though the mails sent to us, said we didn’t. 

She comes back to me, after a few minutes.

“Edward (her son) says that Mrs M told them no one needs to bring food in, but she told Matthew he should bring something in, just in case he can’t eat the food she’s organised”

The penny drops. The teacher told him to bring something, because of course, he has a dairy allergy, and it may be that the food provided isn’t suitable for him. 

Parenting fail all round. I forgot to check, like I usually do, for these things, that they are happy to provide food he can eat, or if I need to bring things in, and when my small boy tried his hardest, to tell me that, I didn’t listen and I didn’t twig. No wonder he was cross with me, and rightly so. I put the whole thing to the back of my head, didn’t check, and he might not have been able to enjoy party food with his classmates which would have been very sad for him. 

Cue ten minutes of me giving myself a stern talking to about keeping on top of things, and for not listening to my son when he was trying to tell me something, and for not being more patient with him, then I go, find my still cross and sad son, properly apologize to him for not listening to him or understanding what he was telling me,  and we take a trip to the shops to make sure he has something nice that he can eat tomorrow, just in case… 

Jaffa cakes to the rescue...

Much happier small boy, after we finally worked it all out…

The moral of the story? I need to listen to my children, because sometimes, even though I am the adult, I am not always right and sometimes even the most organised Type A people drop the ball, thankfully my child caught it in time. 


Posted in Family Life and Parenting.