When I posted about a “bus confusion” problem I was having in picking up Jesse at his bus stop and the little girl I’m babysitting, a friend of mine offered to help out by picking up the little girl and bringing her to the bus stop since her kids get out of that school at the same time. That has been working out pretty well. It has definitely meant less stress and anxiety in trying to be in two places at the same time. My friend is definitely awesome for offering to help out.
And while it has caused less stress, it seemed to have caused a bit of confusion.
My friend doesn’t have a cell phone for me to text her at, so we’ve been using Facebook to get in touch with each other. (And, yes, we both have email, but for some reason, we use Facebook instead of email!) We normally keep tabs on who needs to be where before all the kids are out of school. And, also, I explained to her what days are not a problem for me to pick them both up, since the times they get out on those days are different. But as it is with every busy mom, messages tend to get lost in the clouds somewhere.
That’s what happened today. Today, Wednesday, is one day I am able to pick the little girl up, because Jesse gets out of school before she does. So Wednesdays are no problem.
And so there I was at the school parking lot, once again stuck amid ALL of those cars, people and buses, WAITING for a chance to get closer so the little girl could see me. now, sometimes she’ll walk along the line of cars (rolls eyes) to find me, but she didn’t so that today, and I was curious about that.
Then I realized, uh-oh! What if my friend picked her up and they were ... gone? At the bus stop, wondering where I was??
But I had to move up closer to find out for sure. Sometimes my friend is busy talking with teachers or people and she doesn’t leave right away. So MAYBE there was a chance she was still here – along with the little girl.
Well, I FINALLY made it up closer to the front of the school (20 minutes after release! GAH!!) and there she was. Phew! What a relief! But I saw my friend’s daughters, too ... and not my friend. I wondered what was keeping her, but didn't dwell on it too much. So the little girl climbed into my car and we all waved/said goodbye as I drove off.
Then when we got to my house and Jesse and the little girl were settled in, I walked into the kitchen to make myself some lunch. While the food was in the microwave, a thought struck me: What if my friend HAD been at the school, and I just hadn’t seen her? Hm, that was something I had to take care of. So I walked back to the little girl and asked her about it. She nodded and said that, yes, my friend had been there and was busy talking with a teacher.
And I was like “oh” then walked back into the kitchen, took my lunch out of the microwave and calmly started to eat it – when a thought struck me and I almost choked on that first bite! Did I SERIOUSLY just drive off with a child my friend was PLANNING on driving to the bus stop WITHOUT letting her know I’d been there?? GAH!!
I ran back to the little girl and asked her if my friend KNEW she was leaving with me. She said she wasn’t sure but also said that I might show up to pick her up.
Well, yeah, I DID. But my friend didn’t know that! Oh my God! Did I just leave my friend in a state of panic, turning around and wondering why a child was missing??? Oh my God!
I grabbed my phone and pushed the button for Facebook to load. While I was waiting, I wanted to bang my hand against my head and yell at myself, “Idiot! Idiot! Idiot!”
Believe me, when you’re a parent, then even when you have a child who is not yours in your care, those parenting instincts take over! You watch that child like a hawk, just like you’d watch your own. You’d protect that child, make sure that child is safe and that everything is fine. And I’d just driven right off with ONE child under someone else’s supervision without so much as a fare thee well! Ugh! Epic fail!
Well, I got on Facebook, then messaged my friend an apology, explaining what had happened and how I hadn’t thought about finding her and letting her know the little girl was with me now. “I am soooo sorry,” I typed. “Please don’t hate me.”
Message sent, I tried to calm myself down, but it wasn’t easy. I finished my lunch, though I couldn’t enjoy it as much, then paced around the house while I waited to hear back from her.
And, finally, I did. My friend said everything was okay and that her daughters had told her I picked the little girl up. And she wasn’t mad.
Oh, phew! I was soooo relieved. But next time, I need to be a little more careful about that. I am glad my friend recognized I’d just committed a little faux pas and was so understanding and forgiving about it. The important thing is, no harm was done and all children were safe.