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Unsuspecting Stowaways

When my oldest son was 6 months old, I had to go back to work and we put him in an in-home daycare. Pause as I think of the weeks of tears I shed at this tough decision.  In order to limit his time in daycare, I would go to work early and get off early, while my husband would keep later hours.  My husband would drop him off at 9:00 in the morning and I would pick him up at 4:00 in the afternoon.  This was our routine.  I like routine.  I need routine.  Without routine, things get… messed up. I am eloquent, aren’t I?

On my husband’s first business trip post-baby, we had to adjust the routine.  I would go to work a little later, drop my son off and still go back to pick him up.

The first morning started so smoothly.  I set my alarm early to allow time to feed him, change him into a onsie that looked just like the onsie he slept in, but was clean, and still get myself ready for work.  It was a little cold out, so being a model new mother, I added a pair of socks with adorable bears that rattled.

I loaded him in the car, carefully buckled his 5 point harness (these days I pull out of the driveway like a bat out of hell, yelling, are you buckled!?) and headed out.  It was a beautiful sunny day, and I saw a couple of neighbors out jogging.  That made me smile.  No, not because I was proud of them or because I love to run, but because I thought better you than me suckers.  Then I frowned, realizing the joke was on me, that they were fit and I was… a new mom.  I realize some new moms have babies, then look like Giselle two weeks later.  I was not that mom!  I was the one who was so enraptured with my new baby that my self-identity no longer mattered.  I thought I would never care about hair, make up or clothes again.  Okay, I still don’t but I pretend to.  Or vice versa.  Not sure.

Anyways, I continue driving thinking about how Dr. Spock would be so proud of my newly acquired parenting skills.  I’m nursing, I’m pumping, I decorated with primary colors, I…

What is that noise?!

Oh my gosh!  The rattle of my sons socks…

I forgot I was taking him to daycare.  I was halfway to work on autopilot.

What would have happened if I hadn’t heard the socks?  Would I have parked to car and gone into the office?  Would I have been one of those mothers on the news?  I am thankful that I never found out.  I am also proud of myself for shredding the post-it-note that said ‘Don’t forget the baby’ that was taped to my steering wheel, before my husband returned.

Secretly, when I see one of those mothers on the news who forgot about their kid, I think to myself, shame one you, but I feel ya sister!

What have you done that was, or almost was, newsworthy?

  1. May 2, 2012 at 6:21 am

    Sometimes, when I’m in the shower, I completely forget that I have children. I get so absorbed in the arm water, that I completely forget. Until one of them comes barging in screaming that is.

  2. May 2, 2012 at 7:05 am

    Have you read Gene Weingarten’s work in the Washington Post about this?

    Whenever I drive anywhere with my kids, I take my left shoe off & put it in the back-seat . . . sure, I might drive to work instead of taking the kids to wherever I was supposed to take them, but I’m not getting out of my car without realizing that they’re back there.

    Scary to think about. Very.

  3. May 2, 2012 at 2:42 pm

    My son (now 14) loves to tell the story about the time I forgot to buckle his infant carrier into the car – I just placed it in the back seat. Don’t ask me how or why.

    When I got to his daycare, I turned around and his car seat was upside down and backwards, wedged between the front and back seats.

    I don’t remember the seconds between discovering this and flipping him upright (he was sound asleep and fine – his face might have been a little purple, though!) but I do remember punishing myself afterward. A lot.

    Bottom line: I was sleep-deprived, distracted, and deeply in love with my baby.
    Those things are not mutually exclusive.

    This I know.

  4. madwomanbehindtheblog
    May 10, 2012 at 11:31 am

    Not news worthy but seared in my brain nonetheless:
    My first born was maybe 10 months old. I was desperate to get her to sleep through the night so I gave her a bottle of formula (one of her first bottles, she was breastmilk baby). Just as she was falling asleep, I smelled the delightful scent of a very full diaper. I put her over my shoulder to burp her on the way to the changing table and she blew up, from both ends. It was everywhere. And she was inconsolable.
    I felt so guilty for putting her through it all that I cried and cried. Sure, she was actually sick from something else but in my exhausted brain, I had done this to her. I still shudder when I remember the mess.

  5. June 19, 2015 at 8:40 am

    My mom did this, I survived just fine! It was a bit of a laugh however. Surprisingly one morning my sister and I weren’t arguing in the backseat yet, happily gazing out the window when we both realized, we don’t normally take the freeway to school. Now, sometimes we ask mommy, “Why are we going this way ?” Only to get the all too common answer, “Because, I’m the mom and I’m the driver. When you’re old enough you can drive your own car and go the way you want.” ( I’ve used this line many times( yet nanny, not mother )So we decided to stick quiet, let’s not distrb mom today, it probably won’t be the best idea.

    We did make it to the entrance to her work parking lot, luckily old enough to speak up when we realized she totally forgot we were there. I’m sure it was a deviststing moment for her, as now her plans are scrambled and we’re late for school. But now it is just a laughable memory in realizing that it was only a minor mishap in her life and a memory helps me as a nanny remember, ” we’re human, it’s okay to make mistakes” and, ” I need to stop talking like my mom!”

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