Friday, December 18, 2009


Why are my bad parenting moments always in front of an audience?

This week was The Evergreen Spiral at the six year old's school.
It's a truly beautiful event. The children walk through the spiral, light their candle then place it on a log on their way back through the spiral.
There is some beautiful music playing and the mood is 'quiet reverence.'

This in itself is a Christmas Miracle. There are fifty, six to eight year olds. It takes an hour for them all to walk the spiral. It is a truly beautiful moment in the rush and hustle of the holidays.

Of course we all want to see our children walk, so the hall is also filled with parents and siblings.
I debated having a sitter for the baby but I wanted her to be a part of it so I decided to take her. She was being a trooper - very quiet, if a little fidgety. After half an hour she is no longer content in our laps. We head to the back of the hall so she can walk around. There are some steps up to the stage. Perfect! She LOVES steps. We ascend and descend waiting for the six year old to take her turn in the spiral.

With one child to go - the baby makes a misstep. She falls off the stage and disappears underneath in a pile of poinsettias. There is that silence before the scream - I wrench my back trying to grab her out of there before the cry.

The entire half of the hall near us is gasping, staring and is turned around in our direction. In my head all I can hear is quiet reverence, quiet reverence.

We make it out of the hall just as the howl is emitted. I am so torn. I'm checking the baby for injury but in my mind I know the six year old is stepping forward for her candle.

Why? We have been there half an hour - why does the fall happen just at THAT moment?
We calm the baby, she seems uninjured, we insert a pacifier and scurry back in.

I am tearful when I see that another child has gone and the six year old is still in her seat.

We didn't miss it. The six year old steps up. She carries her candle with six year old reverence and after lighting it - sets it carefully on a log. Then in a nod to her inner pageant queen - takes her dress in both hands and holds it out to the sides. She then does something that can only be described as sashay back to her seat. That's my girl!

I am still getting emails and calls asking if it's true that my baby fell of the stage at The Spiral. At least everyone in school knows who we are now.
There is no such thing as bad publicity right?


  1. Things like that happen there is nothing you can really do about it.

  2. I think the baby was just trying to upstage her sister. It starts early, the competitive drive.
    (just kidding, of course. That was HILarious)

  3. If that's the worst of your "moments" I think you're in pretty good shape!

  4. First off, wow, I've never heard of that Christmas spiral thing. Very cool.

    Secondly, it's not like your baby screamed "Mommy, stop hitting me!"

    THAT would have been a moment to remember... or a reason to move to another state. :)

    Have an Extraordinary Day!

  5. LOL! Something like this happened for me during Halloween...the front door was open - but the clear storm door was closed - and I noticed a great photo op...I sat the babe on a stair next to the huge bucket of chocolate...alas, the babe can't sit up for a long period of time yet...just as I was about to take the picture, she started to fall over - I reached down to grab her and was able to snap a picture of my hand and her face as she was falling. Right then I looked outside and noticed a group of parents following their kids around - looking in my door - and sipping from Solo cups. I wanted to look out and yell - really, you're drinking alcohol - who are you to judge!! LOL!


  6. A beatiful comical evening, even in the most serene of settings. I think that's as good as it gets with kids!!! Glad the baby wasn't hurt and you are able to appreciate the moment now!

  7. It's not bad parenting if you were able to retrieve the baby from under the stage. Focus on the positives!


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