I failed her today
Monday started with me failing as a human being.
It's always a bit of a stress race to get Carter and Addison fed, dressed, their snacks packed, small bodies bundled into millions of warm layers, and out to wait for the bus ON TIME.
Addison always wakes up wicked early and picks out her own outfit and gets dressed before any of the rest of us are awake. Today she picked out the cutest striped pants with a matching white sweatshirt that said in letters (same colors as the pants) "One of a Kind". It was adorable.
Carter is a beast to wake up and drag through the process of choosing clothes and getting dressed, "Yes, you MUST wear socks!" "No, you can't wear the same pants you wore yesterday. YES, I AM SURE."
The other two wake up during this process and start demanding various things. "I NEED CHOCOLATE MILK." "I NEED CEREAL." "I NEED MY HAIR FRENCH BRAIDED WITH FRESH FLOWERS AND GEMS WHILE YOU LIGHT CANDLES AND SING ME THE ALPHABET SONG IN SIX DIFFERENT KEYS OF MY CHOOSING WHILE ENTERTAINING ME WITH A TWELVE STEP DANCE...RIGHT NOW. I SAID NOW."
Did I mention that the bus arrives at 6:50 sharp?
It’s a zoo. And requires 1,000 percent Mom Game.
This morning we were smoking through the list. I got sidetracked for a minute as Addison saw the strawberries I put in her snack and wanted them cut up and in a different bowl. I could see how cut up would be helpful, so I took the extra minute to do that.
She also had a bit of a snotty face, remaining from her cold last week, so I took the time to carefully wipe her clean. And brush her hair. And turn her snow pants right side out as they had been drying over the heater inside out. They were completely dry and slightly warmed. PERFECT. She wanted a different winter hat, so we found one that she approved of, and matched up her favorite water-proof gloves.
I bundled her up like a well-loved Russian doll with five cute warm, dry clean layers underneath. All ready for an awesome school day.
We hustled outside and waited in the freezing cold for a couple of minutes before I saw the bus pull down the street.
YAY we made it! Look at us, rocking out Monday!
It was then she said it.
"I have to go potty."
I looked at her layers and calculated the time it would take to remove them all inside. "1,000 hours." It was too cold to do a quick and dirty drop outside. The bus was RIGHT THERE. If I took her inside, she would miss the bus. There was no way I could get the other kids dressed, loaded, and drop her at school on time. This morning was packed full. She had to get on that bus.
"Can you hold it? Maybe once you're out of the cold the feeling will go away?"
"I have to go potty."
Desperately trying to make a decision, I dashed inside and grabbed a pullup. Maybe they could put this on her during the bus ride?
But as she loaded the bus, they explained they couldn't do that. And then the bus was pulling away. And I didn't know how serious Addison's claims were.
I was so nervous for her.
She had dressed herself (as she always does), and I didn't double check to make sure she went potty. She always takes care of it herself. But I should have asked her. I should have checked. Feeling super guilty, I texted her SPED. DId she get to school dry? Was she okay? I folded laundry as I waited to hear back. It was then that it occurred to me that I was folding....all of her backup clothes. That I had washed. That were no longer in her backpack.
I was getting chocolate milk and cereal for the other 2 and helping Morgan get dressed for the day when the text came in.
Addison had arrived at school...wet.
Tears flooded my eyes. I tried so hard. But it wasn't enough.
I wasn't enough.
I had failed Addison in the most basic of human ways.
She arrived at school with five layers of clothes covered in pee. And it was completely my fault.
I kept texting her SPED, apologizing, asking what I needed to bring in, discussing strategies to keep this from happening again.
The SPED, as always, was super gracious. They had it all handled, no need to worry. Absolutely fine!
I apologized again, saying I should have doubled checked, saying I will do this better, saying I will send in so many more backup clothes. And THANK YOU so much.
And just as I felt like the worst human being on the face of the planet....just as I felt like the worst mother ever, she texted back,
"Thank you for everything that YOU do!"
She could have berated me. She could have piled on the guilt or demanded that I come pick up Addison NOW.
But she didn’t.
She gave me grace.
They say it takes a village to raise a child. I’m convinced with a child with special needs this is more like a city.
Today, she was my city.
And I’m grateful. And feeling humbled. And grateful again.
And installing a new morning “Potty Check sheet” list for the entire family.
Won’t Aaron be surprised. (-;
But I’m also using this as a reminder. If I run into a situation this week where I could perch on my high horse and berate another human being….stop...give grace…assume the best of the other person.
Starting with my own kids.
Because having just been that “other person”, I can attest to the power that is found in such a simple act of kindness.
And Addison…she always forgives me. Because she is just absolutely the best.