Opinion: Sub-par parenting

Commentary by Danielle Wilson

It’s a good thing I’ve already won Mother of the Year (2002, NNMTC, thank you very much), because lately, I wouldn’t even earn a nomination. Read on for a tale of poor parenting at its finest.

Our youngest has been sick or injured for what seems like forever. So when she complained of ear pain last week, I wasn’t surprised, just annoyed, and found it hard-pressed to give her any sympathy. After an hour visit to the Minute Clinic (what?), a double ear infection was confirmed. But since she wasn’t contagious or running a fever, I did what any sub-par parent would do: I drove her directly to a sleep-over. (Curse those baby blues; they get me every time!) Not surprisingly, two evenings later, she was almost in tears from the pain and sporting a fever of 102. My husband and I then made another questionable decision when, the following day, we left her at home alone. In our defense, she is almost 12 and we did put grand-parental reinforcements on call. Stop judging!

Of course, by the time I returned from work, her fever had skyrocketed to 104.6. Sweet Jesus! Naturally, she freaked out, and I calmly lied to her precious flushed face: “It’s normal. You’re fine.” Then I rushed upstairs and left a somewhat-panicked voicemail for the pediatrician. One hundred and four is high!

But here’s the best part: after I hung up, I jumped right into my car and drove to the gym. I abandoned my very sick child so I could work out. I know! Looking back, I can only attribute my monumentally bad judgement to the fact that she is child number four. I’ve pretty much seen it all. And to my credit, when the nurse called back and said to take her to the ER if the fever wasn’t down, I did try and reach my daughter by phone. I didn’t stop the elliptical, mind you, but I did make an effort to check on her.

In the end, she was okay. No harm, no foul. But still probably not Mother of the Year, right?

Peace out.

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