Welcome to my Weblog!
Welcome to 1 Mother 2 Another! To read my most recent weblog entries, scroll down. To read entries from one category, click the links at right. To read my journey from the beginning, click here. To find out more about me, click here.
Top 5s
Short on time? Click here to go to my Top 5s Page - links to my top five recommendations in every category from Breastfeeding Sites to Urban Living Solutions.

A Blogworthy Bad Day

Since I’ve been blogging for over
two years now, I often find myself stopping throughout the day and
writing a piece in my head. I’ll see Maddie do something cute
or use a favorite baby product and think, “I feel a blog
coming on!” And occasionally, I have a bad day.

There are levels to bad days, only one of
which is blogworthy. There are those mildly annoying happenings
which, if you blog about it, just sounds like whining. Then there
are those situations that are so horrific you can’t talk
about it: perhaps time and distance will enable you to put it down
on paper, but for right now it’s too much.

And then there are the bad days that are
not life-changing, but so much more than mildly annoying that you
find yourself reaching for the Haagen-Daz. And even as you’re
cracking open the spoon drawer, you know that at sometime in the
near future you’re going to laugh about this, and perhaps
even dine out on this story that, with distance, will become funny
and not hair-pullingly distressing.

Or maybe you’ll just blog about

The end of last week (I told you, I needed
distance) started out grey and sullen. Maddie, Cora and I headed to
the park, taking a gamble that the big storm on the radar would
hold off long enough for the three of us (read: Maddie) to get some
energy out. Brian was heading off to a meeting but helped us out
the door; with a baby strapped to my chest and a loaded stroller, I
could use all the help I could get.

The park play was nothing memorable; Maddie had a good time with
Naomi and waved a contented, sleepy goodbye as we headed home.
They’d been playing so well that I stayed a few minutes
longer, which meant that as soon as we got home Cora would need a
nursing and a nap, Maddie would need lunch, and I would need a

Just kidding. Wishful thinking.

The first raindrops began to fall as we approached our house, and I
congratulated myself on having timed it perfectly; I’d left
the umbrella at home in an effort to travel light. I parked Maddie
in front of the house and reached for my keys.

Which weren’t there.

In our mass exodus, I’d left my keys behind: Brian’s
willingness to help us get out the door meant I’d not needed
my keys to leave. I tore frantically through the stroller and my
pockets trying to will them into being by simply searching deeply
enough. As the raindrops came faster and fatter, I began to panic.
To freak out. To feel the harried, “I can’t believe
this is happening” tears start to well up behind my eyes. And
then I realized:

I am the mommy. I have a toddler in the stroller and a baby
strapped to my chest. I do not have the luxury of a freak-out right
now. Get in the house and freak out tonight after they’re in

I allowed myself five seconds to resent the fact that I’m the
mommy, then focused and went to the Mommy Zone. Let’s get
this problem solved.

First, I rang our upstairs neighbors. We’ve got a spare key
hidden in the shared hallway for just such an emergency, since our
neighbors rarely leave the house. Bad luck number one: the doorbell
didn’t work. We’d discovered two nights ago that theirs
was busted and the landlord (me) had not yet fixed it. Undaunted, I
began to ring my own bell over and over, hoping they’d hear.
No luck.

Next, I searched for an open window to their apartment and
proceeded to scream their names for several minutes. Bad luck
number two: apparently they decided to finally leave their house.

I did everything I could think of: looked for an unlocked door
(right, in New York City); looked for an unlocked window (ditto);
searched for a magic hidden key on the outside that I knew
wasn’t there. As my kids patiently waited, I gradually
realized that the house – with its warm lunch, nice nursing
chair, toddler bed, and baby bed for naps – was, for the time
being, off limits.

On to Plan B. I keep a spare set of my mother’s house keys in
the stroller: only a block from the park, she’s the fallback
spot should a storm open up while we’re at the playground.
Thanking God, I called my mom and asked her where her set of keys
to my house was; I’d have to walk the mile each way in the
drippy rain, but at least we’d be back home soon. Bad luck
number 3: Mom had my keys with her.

Oh well, I reasoned, I could stay at mom’s place. At least
I’d have a dry place to wait for Brian’s return –
who cares if there’s no spot for naps. By this time,
everyone’s getting pretty wet and Cora’s craning around
to look at me as if to say, “Is it supposed to be like

At this point, thankfully, my luck changed. Whining to Brian on the
phone, he suggested heading over to our realtor’s office a
few blocks away; she had a spare set of keys! Having just gotten to
my mom’s house, I ran inside to borrow an umbrella and hit
the road again. A few blocks later, I finally had the keys in hand
and walked the mile back to our house. We finally dragged ourselves
inside an hour after we’d first stood on the front steps.

And how did the girls hold up during all this? I was humbled by
their good-naturedness, their ability to go with the flow. Neither
one cried the whole time, and in fact Maddie sang songs most of the
walk, entertaining herself with tunes that had “rain”
or “water” in the lyrics. If you’d looked out
your window and caught a glimpse, you’d have seen a
grim-faced woman, dripping wet and wearing a bewildered, shaking
baby, determinedly pushing a stroller occupied by a toddler holding
a wet Lovey and singing “Rubber Ducky” at the top of
her lungs.

Once we got inside, I stripped us all at the door and flung the wet
Bjorn over the shower door. Of course, as soon as I took Cora out
of the carrier she melted down; she was, after all, an hour late
for a nap and a nursing. I turned to my sweet Maddie, standing in a
t-shirt and diaper, and said apologetically, “Kiddo, Mommy
needs to go feed Cora and put her to sleep. I promise I’ll
get you lunch as soon as I’m finished. Will you be ok?”
She nodded quietly.

I swaddled my shivering baby and sat down in our undies to get her
to sleep. Fifteen minutes later, she was out and I was exhausted. I
walked out of the bedroom, wanting to simply curl up in the bathtub
and soak in privacy.

“Mommy, is it my turn yet?” my patient girlie asked

I looked at my two-year-old, who was displaying infinitely more
grace and good-naturedness than I was, and swelled up with love and
pride. Instead of wallowing in the bathtub, licking my emotional
wounds, I soaked in my daughter’s trust and was refreshed.

“Absolutely!” I smiled at her. “Now, what shall
we have for lunch?”


Post a Comment

House Rules

Here are the rules for posting comments on 1mother2another.com. Posting a comment that violates these rules will result in the comment’s deletion, and you’ll probably be banned from commenting in the future.

1) Register first. If you would like to post a comment, you must create an account with us. Check out the home page to do so.

2) Constructive comments only. If you cannot maintain a respectful tone in your posting, even in disagreement, your comment will be deleted. We’re all trying to find our way in this thing and are struggling to be the best moms we can. If you disagree with something I say, feel free to politely email me. If you disagree with another reader’s posting, you’re welcome to kindly post in reply. Vitriolic diatribes will be deleted. This site is about encouraging and supporting, not tearing down and chastising.

3) Questions welcomed. If an entry raises a question, you’re welcome to email me directly or post it. Keep in mind that postings will result in public replies by strangers and not just me.

4) Don’t steal. All original writings contained within this website are under copyright protection. If you link to us, please credit us as your source and provide a link back to our website. If you're interested in using an excerpt in published material, please contact us.

5) Share your photos! We'd love to have photos from our registered readers to show on our home page under "Maddie's friends". Email us a jpeg of your little one's best photo to photos@1mother2another.com. Please, no photos from professional photographers which fall under copyright protection.