Wednesday, August 29, 2007

I am an UNFIT mother.

I have decided to share one of my parenting moments that would be much more comfortable swept under the rug, but I thoroughly believe that confessing ones sins is not only therapeutic but essential to ones forgiveness. so here goes...
We returned Sunday night from our vacation and on Monday afternoon the kids and I went out to run a few errands, first of which was the post office to pick up our mail that had been on hold for a week. We parked in front and since the kids were really enjoying listening to the same song over and over, (one of those unknown primary hymns called "Little Purple Pansies." It sends them into uproarious laughter every time they hear it. I think the reason can be found in the double "P" alliteration. It's just too closely relates to other double "P" words like "poo-poo" and "pee-pee," and we all know how utterly hilarious those words are to anyone under the age of 12. "Little purple pansies trimmed with yellow gold, growing in the corner of the garden old...."Hysterical!!!)

... anyway, I made a quick "no-brainer" decision and said "OK, you kids stay here- I'll be right back." ( I'm sure that a collective, horrified gasp can now be heard from many) And then I told Tustin to lock the door, (because there are bad people out there!)- and of course I kept the car running (because it's summer and I did not wish to cook my children.) I went in and got the mail, and upon my quick return was met by the angriest police officer ever. He proceeded to tell me I was "completely irresponsible" and tell me all the reasons why I was a failure to society and a horrible mother. Mainly, he made it clear that my children could have put the car into gear and driven themselves off into oncoming traffic and died. (now- I must say that he was completely right and of course I had done a stupid thing. I reiterate my "no-brainer" statement from earlier. Especially when you consider that Tustin was in the driver seat and not in his own seat where he belonged. Although he was there- not to try and drive- but to work the stereo control and make sure that "Purple Pansies" played over and over again.)

I could have told the officer many things to try and redeem myself, but the ones I did try turned out ALL wrong. I told him that my son was 8- (that's old enough to be left in a running car right...right? -OK, not so much.) Then I told him that I left the keys in because "I didn't want the car to get hot." Again, that reason didn't pan out so well and he yelled at me and in complete disgust told me to"get in the car." I decided it was in my best interest to keep my mouth shut. He angrily stormed around the car as he wrote on his ticket pad and, I'm sure, thought of all the reason why an awful excuse for a mother like me should be arrested. Meanwhile I was in the car trying to put on a pleasant face for my children. After all, I have always taught them that Police Officers are the good guys and our "helpers" and I wasn't about to destroy that belief. Unfortunately my positive, upbeat attitude worked against me. I think in the officer's mind I was I was "unaffected" and didn't care. ( Lesson: sometimes, smiles DON'T "make the world a better place. In my case they made the officer more irate.) Little does he know that I've hardly slept for days as I've punished myself for being such a loser. I'll be the first to admit that I used horrible judgement, and I'll be forever grateful that nothing bad happened to my kids

Soon, the officer finished his work and came to the window where he ordered me out of the car. (I have to admit that my good composure almost wained as I truly believed that now was going to be my personal Lindsay Lohan/Britney Spears moment. I was going to be arrested. I would get an ugly mug shot- I hadn't even showered for over 36 hours! My children would be forever tainted by their convict mother.....) Fortunately, I didn't get arrested- yet. He gave me another firm lecture where he said something to the effect of "I usually don't give tickets to women with their children, but I'm giving you a summons and you'll have to come to court." and he again repeated that I was "completely irresponsible." This is where I have to ask.. Out of all the law-breaking mothers this man has met in his career, am I really the worst and most disgusting? How can this be?

So, unfortunately, now I have to go before a judge and I'm a complete wreck about it. What will the officer say about me? Truth be told, we'd never met before this, so the only thing he has to go on is that moment of horrible parenting. I'm sure he's convinced that I do not love my children and that I could care less about their safety, when in fact most of the time I'm such a stress case about it that I have to constantly remind myself to step back and not hover!

There you have it. The story of why I am an unfit mother. I can't sleep anymore. All that goes through my mind is all my worries... Do I need a lawyer? What should I say? I know I am guilty as charged. Will they send Social Services to my house? Will I never be allowed to be alone with my children again? Will I get a scarlet letter and be prohibited from all future primary callings and PTA functions? I am in major distress over this!

Stanton keeps assuring me that all will be OK. In the grand scheme of things I know he is right. After all, I do have the comfort of knowing that they are my children forever, but I would like the opportunity to raise them in THIS life....My court date isn't until September 18th. I wish it were sooner, but I guess it's only right that I should have to suffer longer- because in fact, I did make a big mistake.

This has also been a lesson to me on discerning the spirit. Why is that? Well there was a brief moment in the post office where I thought, "I should go get Tustin out of the front seat." If I had followed that thought, this never would have happened. But, I didn't. I really, really wish that I had....


...Chalk that up to another Sunday School lesson.

10 comments:

laura said...

What an awful thing to experience. Amanda, you are not an awful mother. And aren't there people who are really a danger to their own children and many others who the cops should be worrying about? I hope things go well in court.

You know this never would have happened in good ol' Utah! My sister runs into the gas station for a "lovely beverage" everyday while her kids wait in the car!

FancyPantsMom said...

Thank You Laura! Hopefully my "friendly" police man won't now cross state lines and hunt down your sister. He seemed just the type...

lisapow said...

I am so sorry - they really don't know you. I have learned that you just apoligize and say it was a mistake (not try to make excuses - it doesn't work with cops). My mom had this happen with something similar in Rhode Island when I was a kid. They sent Social Services over a few times to write up a report. Of course, when they came my mom had "Joy School" and we were all perfect,quiet and attentive. It will be fine - even if they have social services come - you can show them how awesome and on top of it you really are! Then they will feel bad for the mistake.

Kim said...

Oh I'm so sorry Amanda! I have been tempted to do this all the time in New York since I used to do it all the time in Rexburg. Shake it off you'll be fine, and you also have a lot of people to back you up.

holly said...

I am so sorry! I no longer the police are our helpers, but are out to torture the good mothers like you! I had my own run in a couple years ago. Brian had the car with car seats, but I HAD to get Samantha to gymnastics, so she and Landon, 4 and 1 at the time, rode freely to Arcadia and back. I was almost home when I got pulled over for cutting into the left turn lane too soon (give me a break!), and then he sees the kids not in car seats. I felt horrible and he made me feel worse, followed by a huge ticket. Don't fret too much. You made a mistake like all mothers do everyday! It'll be ok.
You are one of the best people I know, and I know a lot of people! Good luck.

Lindsay said...

I read this post this morning. I have been thinking all day about what I could say to you. First of all I am so very sorry. I really can't imagine the feelings you must be having right now. And waiting until Sept 18th. Agony.

I have also been thinking all day at what a different world we live in than when we grew up. I remember waiting in the car all the time for my mother. I guess I don't remember exactly how old I was but I imagine I was around Tustin's age. I think I still figure the world should still be like that and I make decisions everyday that are probably rather stupid by today's standards. I guess I do live in Utah though so I'll count myself lucky. I simply can't believe you got summoned to court for this! I am dismayed, flabbergasted, and sad. Well, I'll be hoping and praying for you that you get a very understanding judge who will think this whole thing is ridiculous, like I do. I can see no reason for the outrage from the police officer. Maybe I am unfit and completely irresponsible too.

Ben and Laura said...

This is the most ridiculous thing I've heard of! That cop is a complete...well, you know.
Anyone who knows you knows you are the GREATEST mother...far from unfit. Don't listen one bit to him.
We'll be thinking of you on the 18th!

FancyPantsMom said...

Could a girl have better friends? You are all the best! I have had so many encouraging words and hugs from everyone since this happened. Thank You so much! Every time I sit down to read one of you make me cry. I love you all!

Chrissy said...

Oh, I'm so sad for you! You are such a great mom! Don't let this question your mothering! This officer obviously has never gone to the post office with three children before! Good luck on the 18th!

Denise said...

Ok, first -- I called Bryan Welsh and we'll get you some first hand village of mamaroneck advice -- so don't worry about that part. Second, I think you should listen to your husband on this one -- it will all be alright. The cop was trying to make you not forget how you felt so that you wouldn't do it again (even though I don't think it was that bad of a thing) and so he was worked up. But, time heals all wounds -- really. Having inflicted my share, I know this is true. In the heat of the moment, things are always the worst. The truth is, you're a great mom and that will come through. President Kimball taught in the Miracle of Forgiveness (the prophet we are studying this year, but since you are in Primary...) that you need to forgive yourself. Amanda, it's okay...let it go. You will not have your kids taken away etc. The judge will possibly fine you, likely lecture you, and then he'll let it go. Oh well. This will pass, but you can't beat yourself up over it. Every parent makes decisions they wish they could rescind. It's painful. But please, go easy on yourself. You are wonderful. I wish I would have listened to the Spirit 3 days before Emma was born, she might not have come so early. But, I've had to let it go. Otherwise, I would have spent the last 10 years assuring myself what a horrible idiot I was...really, don't let this weigh you down.

LinkWithin

Related Posts with Thumbnails