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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?

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  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.

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