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.

Gulp.

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.

Right.

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.