Go Ask Mom

Go Ask Mom

Amanda Lamb: Three bad things

Posted October 10, 2010

"Mommy, I had the worst day!" my 7-year-old tells me over the phone.

"Why, sweetie?" I ask thinking this is an odd statement for a usually happy child.

"Three things: First I didn't get my lunch order so all I had was applesauce and those healthy crackers I don't like," she says with tears in her voice. I make a mental note to check the website where I order lunch to find out what happened to her chicken nuggets.

"And?" I reply.

"And, I left my water bottle in Jordan's car. But I haven't even gotten to the worst thing," she says, her voice crackling.

"What is it baby?" I say with honest concern.

"We played capture the flag in P.E., and because my team was so good at defense - you know there is an offense and defense, right? You know that?" She says momentarily slipping out of her funk to instruct me on the rules of the game.

"Sure, go on," I reply.

"Well, we were so good at defending the flag, that our team never got a chance to play offense. I never got to go for the flag," she says as if this last anecdote explains everything about her bad day - it is the icing on the proverbial 7-year-old bad day cake.

"Wow, that is a bad day," I stay, stifling a chuckle at her cuteness that is oozing through the phone. "But tomorrow will be better."

"How do you know, Mommy?" she says with a pleading voice.

"I know because I'm your mother, and I will say a little prayer for you to have a better day tomorrow," I say hoping I am giving her the right message.

"Thanks Mommy," she says after a few minutes of silence. "I love you."

As parents, we rarely ever get feedback on whether or not we handled a situation correctly. Children don't give us attaboys. In fact, we usually only hear about the consequences of our parenting choices when they turn out badly. But on this day I was blessed with an outcome that brought tears to my eyes. Apparently, my daughter's older sister helped her check her e-mail that night while I was at a meeting. When I came home, she rushed up to me and asked me if I read her e-mail. I told her no, but then quickly checked it on my BlackBerry. Below is the unedited version.

Dear mommy today was hard for me. But you made me feel better after what happened at school today. I love you. Love, Me.

Folks, it doesn't get any better than this.

Amanda is the mom of two girls, a reporter for WRAL-TV and the author of several books including one on motherhood called "Smotherhood." Find her here on Mondays.



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  • beaupeep Oct 12, 2010

    Thanks. Apparently everyone is entitled to an opinion except me.

  • oldrebel Oct 11, 2010

    Good blog.

  • NCMOMof3 Oct 11, 2010

    wow, kudos to a few of you that just can't see past the nose on your face and support a mom doing the best she can. I'm sure neither of you are perfect parents and all of our "bad" days are subjective to how we live. Young children can be taught slowly about those less fortunate but each child needs a safe place to unload their "bad" days

    Not all parents are able to stay home and even those that can may choose not to. Parents are better parents by being the best they can be, whether that is being a SAHM or a working mom. What is important isn't so much the amount of time but what you choose to do with that time.

    as an FCC provider, my parents call to talk to their children on a daily basis, I am always sending up to the moment pictures of their children and each parent is available if their child just needs to say hi

    Amanda, I think you handled it just fine

  • thinkb4speak Oct 11, 2010

    Hey MakoII - I am sure that when you have a bad day your husband/friend/or whoever you vent to tells you to quit your whining and be glad that you are alive and to go pray for those less fortunate! As for the rest of us, sometimes we just need someone to lend us a ear and provide words of encouragement. Amanda - I think you handled it great and it is obvious that it was exactly what your daughter needed to hear. Beaupeep - get over it. In an ideal world, all conversation would take place face to face, but that is not reality. I see you are using that computer thing to post on blogs so what makes you any different? Be happy that this mother and daughter are communicating and that this little girl feels comfortable talking to her Mom - regardless of methodology! When I first read the story all I could thingk was...AWWWWW HOW SWEET!!!! Thanks for sharing Amanda.

  • My3Boys Oct 11, 2010

    As adults we have so many other things that we worry about and things that constitute our "bad day". We sometimes forget things that seem trivial to us are so important to our children. Kudos to you for not making light of your daughter's bad day and for validating her feelings. No one's feelings should be brushed under the rug just because someone else feels they're not as significant as another's. And here's your "attaboy" for what you're doing as a mother. It sounds like you're raising two respectful and loving girls!

  • Killian Oct 11, 2010

    MakoII -- go troll somewhere else.

    Beaupeep -- not every parent has the ability to stay at home. Communication between parent and child may need to progress with the times, but it doesn't make working mothers bad parents. My own son was having a lousy day and needed a little reassurance today; he quietly sent me a text message (yes, during a "legal" time for him to use his phone), and I was able to fire one back before his next class to touch base. It was a quick exchange, but it was enough that he knows I have his back, and that I'm there for him, even though he's at school and I'm at the office.

  • NC-Mom-to-2 Oct 11, 2010

    Mako II - Lighten up. The child lives here, not in Afghanistan. This is a bad day in her world. Is she lucky for that, by comparison, yes, but it doesn't make it any less traumatic for her.

    Beaupeep - You obviously aren't a working parent. The fact that Amanda was available to hear about her child's day and make her feel better about it was the point of the story, not the method in which she found out about it. Some of us aren't lucky enough to be able to be there in person for our children all the time. At least we do make the effort to keep up with them in the best way we can, and I, for one thank God for the technology that allows us to do so.

    Amanda - Fabulous job!! This story made me well up, too. Those are the moments all parents live for.

  • katizs Oct 11, 2010


    I hope you remember to print out that email from your daughter with the date on it. What a moment from her innocent heart. I too cherish those moments, when one of my 3 kids in their imperfect writing and spelling will give me a note telling me they love me and thanks for what I have done for them. I have a memory box that I keep those special things in - I date them with their age and date and keep them in my treasure box.
    I learned this from my mom, for as she always says - they are only young once - now the toy room she has for her grandchildren is decorated with framed drawings and notes from my and my siblings as we were growing up.

  • beaupeep Oct 11, 2010

    Phone, email, crackberry..... I know you meant this story to be uplifting, but to me, it couldn't be more sad.

  • Lab mom Oct 11, 2010

    We should pray for everyone in the first place. Give her a break. She is 7.