- I laughed at the younger one too much. When he said things that were borderline inappropriate or did things that were almost over the line, I had a hard time keeping a serious face and calling him down on it. When he was about 4 he went through a phase where he loved to jump out and scare people. In particular, there was an older lady who took aerobics classes at the Rec in the mornings and he would hide and scare her when she came in to get a drink of water. I’m so glad she didn’t have a heart attack, but I was always laughing so uncontrollably that I couldn’t deliver an effective reprimand. In this world, there are targets and there are arrows. He’s an arrow. His brother thinks I should have laughed less and punished him more. (Clearly, his brother was often the target.)
- I often sided with the older child. Little siblings can be super annoying and I know this because I had a little sibling who was super annoying. I probably did take Justin’s side more because I felt his pain. When you punch your brother, you run the risk that he’ll punch you back even harder when he retaliates. Sorry, there’s no sympathy from me when you get what you deserve. Does that make me a failure as a mom? I don’t even care. (By the way, my little sis is grown up now and I like her a lot more these days.)
- I was unfair. When they broke something—and they broke a lot of things over the years—I made them pay according to a percentage of blame. Apparently, since the super annoying younger brother had to pay a greater share a few times, I was totally unfair. For instance, when we had to replace the glass in our antique bathroom door because Drew pestered Justin until he chased him through the house and then he slammed that door in Justin’s face, Drew had to pay a greater share. (I think it was a 70/30 split on the cost.) I really missed the boat on this one. I should have charged them each 100% and pocketed the extra for having to put up with their shenanigans.
- Sometimes I punished them unjustly. Once, I grounded Drew from his Ipod for a month and on the day he was ungrounded I wasn’t home. He decided to get it out of Ipod jail on his own, so I grounded him again. He thinks that was terribly unjust. Ok, even if this is true, there are probably twice as many things that they got away with that I didn’t punish them for so I think we’re about even. Now that the statute of limitations has run out on their petty crimes, both boys are more than happy to inform me of all the things they got away with that I didn’t know about.
- Once, I left the younger one at church. I really can hardly be blamed for this one, since he came and asked me if he could ride with his grandma and I told him it was ok. Apparently, by the time he went to catch her she had already left. Thinking that he had a ride, I left as well. The long and the short of it is that the kid got left at church by all of us and somehow I was supposed to shoulder the blame for it. It’s not like we left him on purpose. (Or did we? J)
I could go on, but I think that’s enough confession from me. What are your greatest mom fails? You can be real, we’re all friends here.