Other parents don’t let this happen

The text message comes. I thought you were getting her, no wait, I thought you were getting her. I grab my bag and run.

It’s 5.20pm.

I get to the car park and run to the lifts. The guy in front of me says “there will be a wait getting out, accident on Kings Way”.

I swear, then try to explain “my daughter needs to be picked up from aftercare by 6pm”. “I know your pain” he says, with a sympathetic smile.

Driving the 8 levels down through the car park, I call aftercare. The phone goes through to voice mail. I swear again.

It’s 5.41pm

I hit Kings Way. It’s almost dark, the lights of the cars in front of me are blinking in the twilight. In any other situation it might be pretty.

The cars just aren’t moving fast enough.

Finally I hit the tunnel. I hate that thing. The claustrophobic feeling it brings is too much tonight and when the voice cuts into the radio to tell me there are delays, I cry.


It’s 5.56pm

I come out of the tunnel and it’s dark. The freeway is busy but running smoothly and husband calls to let me know he is one his way. Do I want him to try to get there first, or go home and put the lights on? “Go home. I am almost there” I tell him between sobs.

“I am the worst mother in the world. Other parents don’t let this happen”, I cry. He tells me not to be silly. Drive carefully. Poss will be ok.

It’s 6.07pm

I hit my exit. There is a train. Of course there is a freaking train. My heart is quick and the phone to aftercare is still going through to voicemail. I am late. She will be worried.

It’s 6.16pm

I pull into the car park, grab my keys and run for the door.

There she is, waiting. The last kid there. She grabs her bag and hugs me. Says she was worried, but she was brave.

I said I tried to call but the phone was going through to voicemail. The aftercare girl tells me the phone is dodgy and needs replacing. “Thanks” I say, wanting to swear at her, knowing it’s not her fault. She grabs her keys and leaves us to let ourselves out.

I buy Poss Maccas on the way home. She is starving and it’s dinner time.

It’s 8pm.

She has just gone to bed, covered in kisses. It’s the least I can do.

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  1. All parents do this…
    And we all buy Maccas as an “I’m sorry” well I have anyway….
    You are not alone..
    Hannah recently posted..I Tell All The Kids…My Profile

  2. Oh you poor thing Renee!!! EVERY mum has done this before I am sure!!!! I know my mum did. Don’t be so hard on yourself lovely. Most important thing is to drive safely and get there in one piece.

    I can imagine how stressful it must have been for you though.

    Hope you can relax now that you’re all home together and Poss is asleep..xoxoxoxoxo
    Amy recently posted..Faux Mexican Lentil SoupMy Profile

    • Thanks lovely – it makes me feel better to know I’m not the only one! It’s funny, I was late to get her from daycare a number of times, always felt bad, but this is so much worse. She is so tired after being at school all day, that the thought of having to leave her another 3 hours just seems cruel…

  3. Carli @ Tiny Savages says:

    Oh Renee you poor thing. I remember those days of rushing to childcare pick-ups, feeling sick in the stomach because they were sick or you were running late. It happens to all of us, don’t be hard on yourself x

  4. On a positive note, it sounds like she handled it really well. She is a resilient girl, your daughter, and knows she is well loved.

  5. Renee this happened to my brothers and I on several occasions- and there wasn’t a maccas on the way home! You’ll feel bad of course, and she is going to bring up “you know that time you forgot me? I want another rabbit/Barbie/pair of shoes” line often. But she will get over it quite easily, even being her little aspie self. Probably because of a new Barbie arriving mysteriously from the guilty parent emergency funds… Or maybe just icecream for dinner. But really truly, she will get over it far more easily than you will!

    • I promise there will be no more bunnies!! Thanks Lucy – you are right though, while she will get over it, she will remember it for a long time – damn that excellent memory! xx

  6. All of the above.

    Can you add someone to the list so in the event something like this happens (or maybe not this but an emergency or anything…) there’s someone else closer you can call?

    Good on you for not crashing on the way! I probably would’ve forgotten my car wasn’t a dodgem and would’ve tried to ram people to get them out of my way…
    Kate Sins recently posted..Moments in time: unfinished postsMy Profile

    • Thanks lovely… by the time we realised that we stuffed up, it was too late to organise anything else, by the time they got there, we would have been there and it was right on dinner time, so I didn’t want to put anyone out either… πŸ™

      And yes, a dodgem would have been handy! Or a helicopter!

  7. Yes, yes indeed we have all done it! πŸ™ I left mine at sports day πŸ™
    Second what Caroline said, she knows she’s loved, she’s safe and you’ll be there πŸ™‚ you’ve done what most parents would do… Maccas makes up for most things πŸ˜€ xx

    • Thanks Jacqui! And you are right, there isn’t much that Macca’s can’t fix – they call it a Happy Meal for a reason! xx

  8. Not alone Renee, as others have said all parents do it sometimes.

    You’re a fabulous Mum, don’t beat yourself up xoxox
    katesaysstuff recently posted..Thankful Thursday: New BeginningsMy Profile

  9. I can feel your anxiety in this post but other parents do have that happen. There is always a child picked up last….every single night! Forgive yourself Renee. And how well did Poss cope? What a fab young lady she is! Xxx
    Cat recently posted..Le craft with le kids: m&m’s paintMy Profile

    • Thanks Cat – and of course, you are right! I know this logically… sometimes though I am not the most logical of people….! xx

  10. aww sweets, don’t be so hard on yourself, it happens to everyone and I know that doesn’t make you feel any better but at least she was somewhere safe, with an adult, she was fed and now tucked into bed feeling loved. Hugs. xx
    jody recently posted..Arkadia {giveaway}My Profile

  11. Catherine Triandafyllou says:

    *huggs* renee for you now my love. πŸ™‚

  12. sweetie, I left Moo at kinder EVERY SINGLE first Monday after school holidays.

    Cause I forgot and got used to my mother picking her up.

    kelley @ magnetoboldtoo recently posted..Competition in the blogosphere in words and pictures.My Profile

    • Is it wrong that I giggled at that? Not cause it’s funny, but simply because it’s so the sort of thing that I would do xx

  13. I think many people have had this happen at one time or another. It sucks and is sad but The Bugg knows you love her. Plus I’m sure the Happy Meal helped. I hope you have recovered.
    E. recently posted..First world vs Third World – inspired to do goodMy Profile

    • Thanks E – we have all recovered and the Maccas certainly helped!

      We have managed to pick her up both times this week on time, which made all the difference in the world for all of us xx

  14. Do not be too hard on yourself we have all been in the same position. I have no doubt she knows you were on your way and how much you love her. Maccas fixes many things!
    Nat – Muddy Farmwife recently posted..Make Hay While The Sun ShinesMy Profile

  15. Oh lovely… situation beyond your control handled beautifully. It’s not like you totally forgot to pick her up… like I forgot Phoebe once. I was convinced pick up time was 3.30 for some strange reason despite it being, and always had been 3pm. Guilt just didn’t cover it!
    Vix recently posted..Gogoi and the Lost Teddy. By Phoebe.My Profile

    • It’s funny how our mind works… it’s happened to me before too, but she was much younger. It’s like how I always convince myself that swimming lessons are a half hour before they are – even though I have it in the diary!! xx

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