Missed Moments in Parenting

The culprit CAUGHT IN THE ACT of decorating the walls.

The culprit CAUGHT IN THE ACT of decorating the walls.

Vigilance is a word I think of a lot. I have to remain vigilant. I am, after all, responsible for 3 small humans. That doesn’t keep me from occasionally sneaking off into my bedroom with the stolen Halloween candy. Or taking a stealth shower while Dora the Explorer entertains the kids.

When I used to work from home, I would gate the kids in their room while they played happily with their toys. Sometimes I even did that when *gasp* I wasn’t working. Or when they were not playing happily in their room, but wailing inconsolably at the gate, waving dirty diapers at me while I ran off to grab a quick sandwich or cup of coffee.

Sometimes, being vigilant is something I fail at.


This, my friends, is how a toddler gets poop into a dryer. You thought I meant “indirectly” didn’t you?

Because keeping eyes on kids all day long isn’t easy. Let’s be honest. It gets tedious. Sometimes you have to make a respectful phone call without someone picking that moment to tell you about the poop they smeared all over the bathroom, or the booger on their finger. “Get it OFF! BOOGER!”

Yes, I know all the sweet little grandmothers at the park tell you to TREASURE every moment of it, and I know they’re mostly right, and I have made it my mantra to not miss the best moments, but there are moments I do not treasure. Washing peanut butter off the dog. Wiping poop off the wall, and the floor, and out of the dryer. Getting the mauve lipstick out of the living room carpet. Trying to erase the damage from a “love letter to Mom,” written in ballpoint pen on the sofa. Scrubbing off the sweet caricatures RockStar drew on the walls of our rental home, in red marker. I don’t treasure those moments, Grandma. I gotta admit.

We lovingly call these “missed moments” and, really, we wouldn’t MISS them if they didn’t happen. We laugh about them now. But when you walk in on a scene where a 64-ounce container of Cremora has somehow…exploded, spreading a layer of clumpy coffee creamer on to everything within a 15-foot radius of a beaming, evil, giggling toddler… well, let’s just say it’s funnier now.


Mom loves when I do art. But not when that art is on the new couch, apparently.

These are the moments we walk in on, in horror. These are the “missed moments” of our lives. When we weren’t being as vigilant as we should haveĀ been. These are also the moments I will always remember. I will possibly forget the way K smiled when I gave her daisies at her preschool graduation. The time L splashed in mud puddles and got delightfully soaked to the skin. The first time RockStar flew through the air like Superman.

Maybe that’s what Grandma is trying to tell us. Treasure every moment. Yeah, even the Cremora-encrusted, lipstick-smeared, poop-stained, peanuty-smelling dog moments.

Even these. NO. ESPECIALLY THESE. are unforgettable moments.

I shared this story because Tiffany asked. She writes for Dropcam.com. If you want to share your missed moments, check it out here.

About Terry L. Holt

Writer. Mother. Goddess. President of the Save the Dandelions Club. Climber of trees.
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