Today sucked for many, many reasons, but chiefly this:
At noon today, DD1 wanted to go to the neighbor's house. It's two doors down, and she and the neighbor kids have played together constantly all summer long. Back and forth, back and forth. She heads over. Around four (and I realize that's a long time, but they seriously play for HOURS - it's summer, and they love the swing sets and sandbox and what have you) I head over to check on her. The neighbor tells me she saw her at twelve, hasn't seen her in "a long time" and doesn't remember when she left! I PANIC. We have had conversation after conversation this summer about her letting me know where she is - she's only allowed at that neighbor's house and the one in-between our houses. I knock at the in-between neighbor's house - no answer. Load up the little kids and drive around. Don't see her. Call my husband and tell him I think we should call the police - I mean, it's been possibly FOUR hours since anyone has seen her, and I can't find her?
Long story short, the police come, and almost immediately find her next door. Don't know why they didn't answer their door earlier.
Then I get my butt chewed by the police about my lack of supervision. I try to explain that she's only allowed to go to those two houses - so the cops won't think I'm insane - and one of them says "Why don't you stop making excuses, and just do better?"
I also get a snarky comment from her about why I waited four hours. I thought DD was happily playing with her friends!
Another officer told me I should be physically walking her to their door every time. Which makes me wonder when they would approve of me not doing that, since there are tons of kids who walk home from school - a mile away - every day. And another officer told me that he is ALWAYS outside when his kids are. Again, at what age can I stop doing that? My oldest two are six and four, and I honestly thought they were ok playing in my yard or the neighbors' yard. (Please don't ream me if you disagree, I really can't take it tonight and I've already decided they have to be within my sight at all times for the foreseeable future). And while I can see the officers' perhaps telling me to increase my supervision (because DD HAS proven she's not ready for this by breaking the rule about telling me where she was) I don't need to feel like the worse parent ever, either. My kids are loved, they're well nourished, they're clean, I'm doing the best I can!
I thought I had this great village where we all watched out for each other's children and my kids were so lucky to have playmates, and now I'm wondering if all the neighbors think I'm a negligent mother.
I would call my mom and cry to her, but she died three weeks ago so that's no longer an option either.
I just feel so beaten down right now.