Getting LittleBear home from school is something of a juggling act. I suspect getting most small children home is something of a juggling act, but this isn't about most small children, it's about LittleBear and me. I collect LittleBear from school in the car, as I come straight from work, even though he cycles to school every morning. So, on top of the normal school detritus of bags and coats and gloves and water bottles, I have to attempt to wrestle LittleBear's bicycle and helmet into the car and then out of it again once home.
And today, on top of the regular school stuff, and on top of the additional bicycling equipment, I also had an unwieldy thing made during "junk modelling". And a huge roll of paper on which one of his little friends and he had created a (more or less abstract) artwork titled "Spring". And an extra bag of books purchased at "Book Savings Club". And my own laptop and lab-book. And my own coat and bicycle helmet, which was still in the car from the morning's ride to school*.
Quite frankly it was a miracle I got it all home, and managed to get it all into the house once home, with only four trips to and from the car.
No parenting failure yet is there? Quite the reverse, a positive parenting success in being home, intact, with all our stuff by 3:20.
And no parenting failure when reading with LittleBear, or playing football, or building a dinosaur den in the playroom, or feeding him dinner, or bathing him, or putting him to bed.
And then I needed to pop down to the local shop for some bits for dinner. And since it was still light and the weather was relatively clement, I went on my bicycle. I was about to set off when I realised all my shopping bags were in the car, so I paused to grab a bag.
And here is where the parenting failure was identified. It had actually occurred at 3:20, but only revealed to me at 7:45.
I opened the car, and a little voice miaowed at me.
My poor, stupid puss had climbed into the nice warm car while I was unloading all our stuff, and I'd failed to notice him and locked him in there for four and a half hours.
To make me feel even more of a heel, my poor, stupid puss now loves me more than ever, and wants to be with me all the time, because I rescued him from his prison. I am trying to console myself with the fact that poor, stupid puss was happily curled up in LittleBear's car-seat and didn't seem particularly distressed, but the guilt was sufficiently overwhelming that I was forced to share my salmon with him. And now I'm hungry.
* I cycled to school with LittleBear, pelted home, hurled the bike in the bike shed and drove to work. Hence the bike helmet ending up in the car. It makes sense in my world.