I’ve always suspected I was a scatty mum.
I mean, I often used to borrow a nappy at mother’s group because I’d rushed out the door without one, or accidentally bought wipes when I needed nappies from the shops.
Now that I am a school mum though, this character flaw of mine has been confirmed.
I. Am. Scatty.
Take yesterday for example.
Yesterday, I walked my newbie schoolboy through the schoolyard wearing bright orange. I had received an email from the (clearly opposite of me) organised class parent advising me that on ‘Harmony Day’ our little loves need to wear ‘a touch of orange’.
Knowing I am scatty, I wrote this all-important event on the calendar – so I wouldn’t forget, of course.
Then I also wrote myself a ‘Harmony Day today’ reminder note the night before, leaving it on the kitchen bench to see in the morning. Which I did!
I felt so smug as I dressed my boy in his neon orange tee-shirt, school shorts, orange socks and school shoes. ‘You didn’t forget, nailing it’, I thought.
The penny dropped that I’d gotten the date wrong as we walked through the gates to see a sea of green uniforms. “Why is no one else wearing orange?” I wondered.
It turns out Harmony Day is today and that I’d written the event on the wrong day in the calendar. Because of course I did and, oops.
Thankfully my little guy was able to zip his jacket up on my orange mum fail. But to help make myself feel better, I asked some of my parent friends to share their similar ‘dropped the ball’ stories.
And now, after reading them, I feel a bit better about mine. Hopefully, you will too!
“Surprise! No school today”
My friend Pip tells me:
“I have turned up for school drop-off on a pupil-free day. And pretended I was giving my kids a special surprise by driving past the empty car park and on to a cafe for a special treat. Surprise! No school today.”
My friend Nadarre also confessed to me that she’s done the same thing, only it was a Saturday because … mum brain.
Birthday party fails
It seems scatty parents and birthday parties don’t mix.
“I arrived at a birthday party a week late. Everybody hated me. I dragged the entire family to a park with the promise of a party,” my mate Penny tells me.
Don’t worry Penny, you are not alone. Shevonne can commiserate:
“I took my whole family to my BEST FRIEND’S son’s birthday (about 40 minutes away) the day before it was meant to happen. And you know how kids are when they think they’re going to a party …”
Oh yes, we do.
Wagging the school parade
“I’m the mum doing the night-before rush to Spotlight for Easter hat supplies.” My buddy Suze tells me, saying ‘scatty’ should be her middle name.
“And I HAVE let my kids stay home on book parade day because I ran out of time and didn’t want to send them with nothing to wear,” she adds.
Read more parenting posts:
- Hang in there parents! These are just our tired years
- Five things that are harder when you have a second child
- How to skip the ‘learn-as-you-go’ stress of early parenting
But these all seem tame in comparison to this revelation from my uncle:
“Your aunty left our first-born in the pram outside the country supermarket, drove home unpacked the groceries, then thought, ‘oh shit forgot the child!’ He was still there sound asleep.”
Phew. And thank gawd.
No Sushi for you!
My cousin Michelle recounts the time she forgot to sign the bloody permission slip. Now, who hasn’t done that?!
“When Kaiden was in year five, I forgot to sign his note giving him permission to try Japanese food at school. He was the only one in the class who didn’t get to try the food.”
No sushi for Kaiden.
Then there are times when our scatterbrain just takes over completely. Take my friend Ruth:
“Barney’s first day of high school last month and I managed to lock his new school computer in my office with the keys so he had to go off without it while I waited for a locksmith. I had arranged to pick him up at 3pm as it was his first day but got a call at 2.30pm asking where I was. Had got the time wrong. Asked him if, apart from these Mum Fails, if he’d still had a good first day and he replied, ‘Yes, apart from the fact you sent me in the wrong uniform.’ A trifecta of brilliance, I feel.”
“Quick, get to Auskick! Oh …”
The thing about mums and dads like us is that we are usually in a rush, which is part of the reason we drop the ball when it comes to dates.
My friend Richie gets it:
“One time – I hurried a job – skipped lunch – drove about 80 kilometres to pick the twins up for Auskick – yep – wrong day for Auskick pick-up.”
PJ’s when it’s not Pyjama Day
“My best ever effort at getting the date wrong was sending small children to school for Pyjama Day a day early,” my friend Ella tells me.
“It did sow the seeds of doubt with them – they always wanted to double and triple check the dates on these things after that incident.”
So not necessarily a parenting fail, rather a teaching exercise!
One day we’ll stop caring about the balls dropping
Then my sister-in-law and mum-of-four had these wise words for me:
“With my youngest, I wouldn’t have even known Harmony Day was happening.”
So yeah, if she can raise four lovely, decent human beings, three of whom are adults now (and I can vouch that she has/is). and still forgets Harmony Day, then I know all of us scatty parents and our kids are going to be JUST FINE.
Oh, and an update. Today when I dropped my boy off to school in his orange get-up – because I’d gotten the day right (yay me) – I found about 80 per cent of the kids wearing orange and 20 per cent running around in their school uniforms – no doubt the kids of scatty parents who forgot all about Harmony Day.
Fist bump to all the scatterbrain mums and dads out there who are just like me.