I’ll never forget you … maybe

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You know that moment when you maybe, sort of, forget to pick up your child from soccer practice, and maybe do that two days in a row? That is when you know your Parent of the Year award is probably not just lost in the mail.

On the other hand, you know how you have those days where you’re full of self-recriminations about what a terrible parent you are?

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I think we all owe a huge debt of gratitude to Allison Niemeyer. The Ocala, Fla. woman was recently approached by store security for allegedly shoplifting from a Florida Walmart.

Already on probation and under house arrest for a variety of crimes including, but not limited to, a violent home invasion, Ms. Niemeyer was understandably reluctant to find herself hauled into court again. So she did what any right thinking mother would do. She fled the scene leaving her one-year-old child sitting in the shopping cart — alone.

The story really gets good when you learn that police caught up with her the next day. When found she was partying in a nightclub apparently unconcerned that she had abandoned her baby at the Walmart the night before.

The act alone was bad enough, but 24 hours later she was not the least bit concerned about having left her child? You read something like that and your heart sings. In comparison to this woman, you’re good.

Recently, in the space of two weeks, Mr. Wonderful and I forgot our son. Twice.

Miss

Checking in to a campground recently, I returned to my family waiting in the parking lot, hopped in the truck, and Mr. Wonderful began to pull away. We had only gone a few feet when Girl Wonder piped up from the back seat “Where’s Matt?”

Mr. Wonderful slammed on the brakes almost as fast as my head spun around to see that our son was not in the vehicle. As it turns out, he had clearly announced to his father that he was going to hop into the camper (towed behind us) to use the restroom. His father forgot and I failed to notice he was missing.

Technically he was with us the entire time. Fortunately we never left the parking lot.

The second instance came just a week later when, leaving Girl Wonder’s soccer tournament, Mr. Wonderful put the car in reverse and begin to back out. Again, his sister piped up “Where’s Matt?” Again, we slammed on the brakes and shook our heads.

Clearly that boy goes to the restroom too much. We need to have that kid’s kidneys checked. Love you son.

Mr. Wonderful is not alone in this travesty of parenting. Twice in a row our son has called me after soccer practice. “Mom are you coming to get me?” Yes I am on my way (Just let me grab my keys, purse, and shoes). I’m practically there already (no I wasn’t). Oops.

In my defense he is 15 years old and quiet. He’ll tell you once what he’s doing and if you miss it, too bad for you. His sister, being a girl, will tell you at least one half dozen times, then text you just to reiterate. Losing track of her would be like misplacing your own personal live grenade or lit firecracker.

Never fear, I have my own therapy induction for her. I have twice called her the dog’s name and on numerous occasions called her “boy” or “Bud” (the nickname for our son). She is neither a boy nor a “Bud” so there is no excuse for that.

Humble

On the upside you can never get too big headed with me as your mother. No matter your level of awesome, you can count on me to cut you right back down to size — generally by forgetting your name — or forgetting you at soccer practice, apparently.

I worry these little mix-ups will be what they remember most. What if all their “when I was a child” stories end with “then they left me there?” We have certainly taught our son to watch his back if he leaves the vehicle, and our daughter that a name tag may be in order. Still, these kinds of stories kind of restore your perspective.

I’m firmly convinced that people like Allison Neimeyer exist solely to make the rest of us feel better about ourselves. Here’s to hoping that “well there was that one time when I abandoned you when I was fleeing the law” never comes into play.

About the Author

Warm, witty and just a wee bit warped, Kymberly Foster Seabolt is a native of Kent, Ohio, who survived childhood exposure to disco and grew up to marry and move to the country. Her column weaves her special brand of humor with poignant, entertaining, and honest portrayals of parenting, marriage, and real life. She currently lives in northeastern Ohio with her husband, two children, two dogs, two cats, and numerous dust bunnies who wish to remain nameless. More Stories by Kymberly Foster Seabolt

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