Friday, 17 July 2015
It's been a windy day here today. So there I was, doing my laundry duties, when a gust of wind blew the front door shut. We have a firsf floor flat with it's own front door - one of those doors that locks automatically when closed - and it wasn't on the latch. Now of course my OH has a key, and luckily only works 10 minutes walk away. But here's the thing: I was outside, but E was inside. On her own. You see, she'd gone to fill up a bottle of bubble mixture, intending to play with it in the garden.
Our neighbours were on hand if needed, but I managed to get E's attention. With directions she was able to take her stool from the kitchen, put it by the key hooks on the wall, get the keys, bring them downstairs, and put them through the letter box to me. Hey presto, open sesame. What a little star!!!
You see, I've already called the police on myself once, I don't want to have to do it again.....
When E was 1 year old, we went to the petrol station, and after putting my shopping in the car boot, I shut it. Problem was, E was in the car, the car was locked, and my keys, phone etc were then all locked in the boot as well. Shit. I borrowed a phone in the shop to call for help. Long story short: the police picked up the OH as he left work to get us a spare key, while kind strangers tried to force down the open windows of the car, and E and I both cried as I tried to sing "wheels on the bus" and other such nonsense to calm her down through the tears. Of course, some old biddies walking past us at the petrol station were very helpful, "There's a baby locked in that car!". Yeah, we hadn't noticed!
FYI, a 2006 Ford Focus won't allow the "open boot" button to ping open the boot of a locked car, even if you can reach it through an open window (open yet irritatingly shut too much to climb through).
Anyway, a fantastic woman managed to wind down one of the back windows by looping her handbag strap round the windy handle (before you ask...the front windows were electric). So by the time the police arrived with the OH, E was out of the car and getting cuddles. It all ended well, though I'm sure it's all on a police file somewhere.
My point is, I would never, ever, deliberately put my child in harm's way. I love her more than anything. It's just that accidents, or gusts of wind, happen. What happened today won't ever happen again. I like to think that I'm a decent Mum, my logic being that cruel parents would never call the police on their own behaviour! That, and E is loved and adored and that's not even doubtable for one moment. I guess I'm just human.
What I'm trying to say, is that no parent is perfect. We all make mistakes, but we try our best (in most cases). I once heard a therapist say that we try to give children "roots and wings" and that what matters more is not being "the best parent" but instead being "good enough". And if nothing else, I am that. I think that love counts for more than anything where parenting is concerned. So as we come up to E's 3rd birthday I will try to hold on to that.
Will I make more mistakes along this parenting journey? Certainly. Either through my eyes, her eyes, or someone elses. Will I be a good enough parent? Absolutely. E is loved and is perfectly imperfect, and whatever else befalls us, she will know it. Job done.