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Bad moments in parenting

Less-than-proud moments in parenting that are best left out of the baby books. We’ve all been there; luckily Child Protective Services wasn’t.


RECOMMENDED: Things to do on Mother's Day

I came home drunk and, in an attempt to prevent a hangover, drank my sick baby daughter’s Pedialyte. It ended fine: Just had to get my hungover self (my strategy didn’t work) to the grocery store the next morning to get more. —Dehydrated Dad

When Ellie was a baby, my pediatrician showed me how I wasn’t bathing her properly—she pulled back her ears to reveal a thick, yellow, crusty layer on each side. Big law degree here and I couldn’t even keep a baby clean. But that wasn’t as bad as when she escaped out the front door and I found her crawling between parked cars in the street.—Mommy Genius

I was at a Dunkin’ Donuts with my son when he was two or three, and I really had to go to the bathroom, so I brought him in with me even though he was resisting. He screamed nonstop, and an off-duty cop heard the commotion and started banging on the door, demanding that I open it. He was definitely going to break the door down, so I had to frantically pull up my pants and get out. I still like to remind my son about that from time to time. —Small-bladdered Mom

My toddler son was whining about being scared to play on the monkey bars on his own and insisted that I hold him. I thought he was being silly, so I let go. Almost immediately, he fell and broke his elbow.—GuiltRidden4Life

My son complained and complained about not feeling well, but I insisted he was fine and sent him to school despite a fever and other symptoms. After two weeks, I finally took him to the doctor to learn that he had swine flu, and it had resulted in a collapsed lung.—“Mother of the Year” Candidate

My 13-year-old just informed me that the song I sang to her every night when she was a baby gave her nightmares.—No Mariah

My son always has more cash on hand than I do. So once, when I was cash poor for at least another week, I dipped into his piggy bank…to go in on a bag of grass. I replaced the cash later. I think.—Finacial Genius

My son’s teacher called in the middle of a school day to ask if my child had any shoes. Seems he had left the house that morning without any, and made it to school that way. On my watch.—Sleep-deprived in Lakeview

When you find a neon-pink sticker on your apartment building’s front door from the Illinois Department of Health reading “We need to talk to you about your child,” it’s not your finest hour. My twins’ checkup included a blood test for lead, and even though I never heard a peep from the pediatrician, that sticker showed up (turned out the results were a fluke). Bonus: It stayed up for a week because we’d been on vacation. I’m sure my neighbors were snickering.—Hyde Park’s Best Homemaker

On my first Mother’s Day, when my son was ten months old, I locked both him and my car keys in my car. The fire department had to come to get them both out.—Mortified/Psyched Mom

As a dad-to-be at the ultrasound, you’re supposed to stand in quiet awe. And I was in awe, but I forgot to be quiet. When the tech said, “He looks healthy,” I replied, “That’s good, because we’re having him for parts.” My wife was not pleased.—Aspiring Comedian

I always wanted my kids to feel they could talk to me about anything and told them so from the start. But when my firstborn asked, at age four, “Mommy, what’s the F-word?” I told him it was a bad word he didn’t need to know. I felt guilty later about not answering him, so I sat him down, taught him his first swear word and told him never, ever to say it. He lasted about 12 hours. The next day, he taught every kid at day care the F-word and taught me not to trust a four-year-old.—#1 Teacher

I plopped my two-year-old son in front of the TV to watch his favorite show while I took a shower. I came out to find he had retrieved a tub of frozen margarita mix from the freezer and was zoning out, watching the tube while spooning margaritas into his mouth. He had never gone near the fridge before, and it was the only time we ever had a tub of margarita mix like that (it looked like a sherbet container). My friend brought it over for a party I had the weekend before. I called my sister, who’s a nurse, since I was scared to call our pediatrician. Luckily he was fine.—Clean ’n’ Sober Suburbanite

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