How I Failed at Parenting Today

A few months ago the Gawker servers were hacked and user logins and passwords were posted on a website somewhere. Mine was one of them and it led to me being locked out of all my cox e-mail accounts. It was a pain, but not really a big deal since I use my g-mail account almost exclusively now. A lot of my coupons and things like that go to my old cox e-mail accounts, so I wasn’t really worried about it when I lost the new passwords that I had written down on an envelope.

This morning I needed to access one of my old e-mail accounts since it is tied to my paypal. I called cox and had the passwords reset again and in my inbox was about 30 e-mails for Nordstrom, some other junk mail and two e-mails inviting Ian to birthday parties.

One of the e-mails was for a party this Saturday. That was a close one! I RSVP’s yes, he would love to go and then I saw the other one. One of Ian’s best friends. The party was on Jan 22.

We missed it by two weeks.

Ian missed an awesome karate birthday party for a really good friends because I was too lazy to check an old e-mail account.

I feel sick.

I sent an immediate e-mail to Phillip’s mother explaining what I had (or hadn’t done) and how terrible I felt, and I do. I feel awful. Phillip probably thought Ian blew him off and Ian – poor Ian, probably thought he wasn’t invited.

Parenting fail.

We will invite Phillip over and buy him a birthday present, but it won’t really fix it. Ian can never go to Phillip’s sixth birthday party and it is sort of all my fault.

This gets easier, right?

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  1. My daughter once missed a birthday party because I didn’t clean out her backpack until Sunday night instead of right after school on Friday.

    And no it doesn’t get easier – it just beats you down so you don’t care as much. I’m pretty sure. At least you aren’t the only parent failure. That makes is better right?

  2. Oh, I’m sorry. That sucks, but everyone will get over it. Honestly, probably everybody but you is okay now.

    My email system and passwords and various hacks here and there are all on such a shaky, un-rememberable foundation that if any of the cogs break down I am completely fucked. I feel your pain.

  3. You can’t beat yourself up. I watch my friends do this daily. And from what I can see from the outside, everyone is trying their best and sometimes slips. You’re correcting it as best you can. Stand up, brush yourself off, and remind yourself that there’s only so much that you can do. And you’re doing it!

  4. This is about as far from a parenting fail as you can get. This is a digital fail that’s endemic to our lives these days. We try to combine all our accounts into one handy-dandy place and then realize maybe we don’t want the school principal emailing to the same account we take blog comments. Then we do digitally schitzo and color code, highlight, re-calendar and promise to keep things separate and hope to heaven we don’t drop the ball.

    In the grand scheme of spheres to drop, this wasn’t even an M&M. Don’t beat yourself up. In three years neither kid is likely to remember the faux pas.

    However, the birthday boy’s mom? You’re dead to her.

  5. “This gets easier, right?”

    No. Sorry.

  6. On the other hand — if it didn’t come up in the last 2 weeks (and you actually had school on some of those days) and Ian never mentioned it to you, maybe it wasn’t a huge deal to the two of them so the make up will just be icing on the friendship.

    Also, if that is the worst thing that happens you’re doing great

  7. smart aleck says:

    First of all, if it was a paper invite the mail system could have swallowed it.

    Second, boys (and men) always “whatever” things…girls remember things 20 years later. So, better that it happened to the blue one instead of the pink one.

    Third, the kid gets a private birthday party thrown in his honor. As someone who believes in month long birthdays, I think that is pretty damn cool.

    I have to break something to you….you’re human (gasp!)…and we like you because of that, not in spite of it.

  8. That totally blows! You know, email invites bum me out. I mean, I totally get it, and it’s what I do. But remember how much fun it was to pick out your bday party invitations? I loved doing that. And it was so exciting to get an actual ENVELOPE. Sometimes I think it would be better to go back to envelopes. I really do. . . You don’t suck. It happens. I think the private soire will totally help.

  9. Sorry, Sarah. That really sucks.

  10. Not a fail.

    You are lazy because you don’t check an exraneous email account that you don’t use for your eleventy jobs and daily life management tasks? OKAY TRY AGAIN.

    I swear, sometimes the only thing that makes me glad I don’t have kids is that my self-loathing doesn’t worsen. Like, what, you were supposed to know an evite was coming? If Phillip was his best friend he wouldn’t have gotten a reminder? WHATEVER HAPPENED TO PAPER? Evite has a sucky interface and whatever e-mail the person has for you last is the one that is used. I had no idea of the time for Renate’s goodbye party last weekened (sorry, this is getting overly personal but whatever) because the snow knocked out our work email and that was the email that was used to invite me.

    Inviting Phillip over and giving him a present will totally fix it. Do you know how many people wouldn’t do that? And wouldn’t you rather have drinks with just me and have you bring me a present than hang out with the master who makes us do kicks and jumps with 27 other people? (Say yes or I repossess the Joan Jett Barbie.) Consider this the latest in my very loving kicks in your ass, but it totally WILL totally fix it. This is a blip on the screen of horrors. You will make it right, because you always do, and that is the thing that counts. Save the fail and the loathing for when you intentionally screw your kids over, which is never.

    (I’m sick of hearing my moms, especially you, down themselves. I’m adopting a tough love policy. Because I love you.)

  11. Also, I meant to say “have ME bring YOU a present” but clearly I switched it. Haha. Presents FTMFW!

  12. smart aleck says:

    Oh yeah, and I second everything Laurie just said. Plus, if Ian missed a 21st birthday with booze and strippers because of a missed invite, that would be a terrible thing. Six, eh….not so much.

    Of course if the mom was still emailing you instead of Ian when Phillip was 21, that’s where the true parent fail would be, for both moms–not letting your little boy have his own email account, at 21.

  13. I have done this too – not by email, but by failing to check my daughter’s backpack in a timely fashion. She missed her best friend’s b-day party and the sobbing was uncontrollable. Total parent failure! I felt just as bad as my little girl did.

  14. My daughter once missed a party because I thought it took place on Sunday afternoon, when in fact it was Saturday afternoon. We were just about ready to go to the party, when I checked the invitation one more time, and saw that we had missed it by a day!! I felt SO bad! My daughter was mad, but a trip out for ice cream perked her right up!

    She still remembers it, but more in a “Mommy’s funny!” kinda way.

  15. Oh man, that sucks. But you can’t be so hard on yourself. We all do things like this.

  16. Dude. No offense, but if that’s the worst thing you’ve done as a parent we need to throw you a party. 2 months from now no one will remember, and 20 years from now you’ll probably be saying, “Phillip who?” (No offense to Phillip either. I’m sure he’s a very nice kid.)

    Srsly. Give yourself a break.

  17. Don’t blame yourself. Totally the othe mom’s fault. For not doing invites via facebook.

  18. A communication failure perhaps but not a parenting failure! Inviting Phillip over is a wonderful idea for making the best of it.

    Does it get easier? Yes it does! At some point your son will be responsible for his own invitations and RSVP’s! My son is now 15 and it’s interesting to watch how the whole party planning process works … or doesn’t.

  19. smart aleck says:

    This post has bothered me (obviously, because I’ve stalker posted three times now).

    I think it was not a failure–instead, it was a good lesson to show your kids that no one is perfect, but here is how we pick ourselves up when we do make mistakes. No more flogging yourself–instead, pat yourself on the back for teaching your son (and daughter) how to make amends when crap happens.

  20. If that’s how you fail at parenting, you’re giving the rest of us a really bad name. :o)

  21. At least you had reasons. Multiple reasons. Ours was: we forgot.

  22. Apryl's Antics says:

    It’s no biggie. Been there. Some things get better. Some things suck more.

  23. I think my son was 11 or 12 and missed a friend’s summer birthday party because we didn’t clean out his backpack on the last day of school. Weeks later we found the invitation. Said son is 26 now, but didn’t take it too hard, even then. Even when you DO get invites on time, you can’t always attend, particularly when summer vacation plans are made months in advance.

    It never occurred to me to do any kind of official replacement event. But we realized our mistake so long after the fact that it probably would have seemed weird to try to make it up, imo.

    So yeah, these things happen. They did back before electronic invites, and probably will when the next wave of technology replaces e-mailed invites.

  24. Jamie @ hello kitty bags says:

    Don’t get upset, it happens sometimes.We
    can’t control the situation and things
    just happen..
    There still next birthday to celebrate.
    nice post!

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