The scooter.

When something truly ridiculous happens, it often makes me feel better imagining that every parent must have a story that feels and sounds like the pilot episode of an HBO series.

I’ve had so many bad parenting moments, but, generally my laissez faire attitude about the job and the inevitable consequences of said attitude only extend to my immediate family. Until this week.

I give you my HBO pilot for Bad Parenting Moments – The Scooter Snafu. (Hey, call me sometime, HBO!)

On Sunday, I was perusing all of the school paperwork I’d neglected all week when I ran across this in the bulletin:

“MISSING SCOOTER – Did you accidentally bring home the wrong scooter with your child? A scooter with pink handlebars went home with the wrong family on April 10th. Was it you? Please contact the office with any information.”

And my first thought was, “Oh shit…I stole that kid’s scooter.” and my second thought was, “Oh shit…that was almost a month ago.” and my third thought was, “Oh. Shit.”

For about 6 weeks, we’d been giving eldest’s classmate a ride home after school. Four days a week, I’m wrangling 5 children into a minivan. To say that I handle it with grace would be a gigantic lie. I’m generally found on the front lawn of the school yelling at random children, mostly my own, saying, “WHERE IS (fill in the name of child currently under my care that is missing)?” and, “We have to go. Now. It’s time to go. Get in the car. We’re late.”

On April 10th, the scene was no different except that the child we were driving home informed me that he rode his scooter to school that morning. So, in my best impression of a flailing armed muppet, I ushered him quickly to the bike rack, had him point out his scooter, forcefully grabbed it, shoved it in my trunk and left.

When I dropped him off, he said, “Wait, this isn’t my scooter.” and I said, “You’re joking, right?” and he said, “No!” and I said, “OH no! Be sure you bring it back to school tomorrow!” and then I sped away toward my next school pick-up leaving a 2nd grader and a stolen scooter in my rearview mirror.

I then forgot all about the scooter.

Completely forgot the entire episode.

Until that fateful Sunday…

Oh. Shit.

So, I immediately e-mail the school administrator. “Oh heyyyy, I have some information about the stolen scooter.” and proceed to tell the story. And she returns my e-mail very quickly to tell me she’s so pleased there’s a lead because the family is very determined to get it back.


I then vow to replace the scooter if anything happened to it.

I then e-mailed the mother of the child we drop off and, long story short, have to remind her of that time I left her son with a scooter that wasn’t his outside of her place of business.

Thankfully, she had the scooter. In her trunk. Because she had forgotten as well. Because motherhood.

I e-mail the school, “Oh heyyyy, MYSTERY SOLVED!”. I try to make us look like Scooby Doo crime fighters and day savers instead of thieves and forgetful parents.

I then have to face the music the next day at school pick-up. I had to tell the mom I stole her daughter’s scooter.

The look on her face was a mix of surprise and confusion as I rattled off the tale of my abject laziness and dropping-of-the-ball-ness. It wasn’t until she said, “It didn’t look like you on the tape.” that I realized that there was surveillance of me stealing the scooter.


A bunch of school officials and these parents had been viewing this happen. I’m on tape stealing a scooter. At my children’s elementary school.

Let that sink in for a moment, folks.

The good news is, the scooter has been returned. The bad news is, I stole a little girl’s scooter from an elementary school.

Helpful pro tip: The mom uniform of black yoga pants, oversized black fleece and hat pulled over dirty hair makes you difficult to identify during a scooter thievery. The more you know.

Until next time, this is Bad Parenting Moments wishing you a lovely and theft-free day.


  1. Kristi White says:

    OMG I have tears streaming down my face. I would completely do something like this. Don’t feel bad, technically you were only an accessory. The kid was the thief (that’s my story and I’m sticking to it).

  2. That was great!

  3. PRO TIP – Yoga pants make you impossible to spot in a crowd of moms. Taking notes! Awesome, awesome story.


  5. Can we get a copy of that tape? I totally think of you as more of a Scooby Doo than a thief, but I’ve been wrong before.

  6. Sooo, should we be on the lookout for that video on America’s most wanted? Just imagining that is making me pee-laugh…

  7. BAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!! Oh this is awesome! Thank God I live in North Dakota where we have yet to install cameras around elementary schools (an also heat, and sunshine….)!! To know I am on camera wearing my baseball hat and pajamas, I mean sweat pants yelling “get OVER HERE!!! now! NOW! I mean IT!! we HAVE TO GO!!!” would be too much!!

    And that pile of papers from the school? Yeah… I got stacks about knee deep in my house!!

    Loved this!!

  8. Have you seen my stolen Garmin from 4 years ago? DON’T LIE.

  9. Holy HELL do I love this. I loved it, and then I LOVED it when they caught you on tape. Because you’re a badass.

  10. Wow. You’re like a real outlaw. It’s a good thing you came forward because I think the next step for the school would have been to hand you over to the BAU team from Criminal Minds. You definitely don’t want Derek Morgan breathing down your neck. On second thought…

  11. I’ve never done anything like this – but it so completely sounds like something I’m capable of.

  12. Monica says:

    I totally want to see footage 😛

  13. I knew my yoga pants would come in handy one day! Glad your Scooby Doo and Mystery, Inc gang skillz could help solve the case.

  14. Finally I have an excuse for never changing my clothes! And for never talking to the other parents. Or driving their kids anywhere. And for not allowing my kids to have cool stuff like scooters.

  15. I am laughing so hard. I would do this. This would happen to me. We could be in a line up together. xo

  16. That’s such a great story. I love it. The idea that all us mommies wear the same uniform we could beat any police lineup is really food for thought! There should definitely be an HBO show about a group of mommies who commit crimes. “PTA-team”? I do often feel anonymous pushing a stroller. “Oh, she’s just a mommy.”


    Scooters. Sometimes they end up stolen. Happens to everyone.

  18. At least you remembered to pick them up. I once forgot to pick up my child from school. How’s THAT for a BPM? 😉

    And yeah, so are they gonna release the video or what? That would be a super-cool memento.

  19. I’m just catching up on your posts – This story is priceless. So awesome – ha!

  20. Google is my king because it aided me find this great website!


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