Monday, May 3, 2010

Bad Mom Day

You know how you can have bad hair days? Well, I've had a bad mom day.

I am not always a very prepared mother. I'm not a prepared person, for that matter. My food storage consists of 3 cans of Spaghettios and an expired box of powdered milk. I never think to buy tampons ahead of time, so I'm rushing to the store in an emergency once a month. And my emergency savings? Non-existent. (Though, I blame the adoption for that one.)

So why should I expect more of myself? Why in the world should I expect myself to have a thoroughly prepared diaper bag on hand? When I know I am going somewhere, I pack a diaper bag that morning and have it with me. If I don't think I'll go anywhere after work, I often don't bring it.

At least today I brought it.

While I was at work, I saw that the photos from Jocelyn's 1 year session were ready to be picked up a Sweet Pea Photography. I was so excited. I decided to rush over to the photographer and get them right after work, even though I didn't have a perfectly packed diaper bag.

And that was the first mistake.

To back-pedal a bit, Joci hasn't been napping all that well at daycare lately. For some reason she awakes after 30 minutes instead of sleeping her usual 90 minutes like she does at home. Which means she's pretty grumpy when I pick her up at 5:30. Normally, I feed her dinner at 6 pm, right when we get home.
We get out of daycare at 5:45. I drive across town to the photographers. Joci is already cranky because of the napping issue and the fact that dinner time is approaching. She keeps throwing her toys out of her reach (and mine) and getting mad. She finally throws them so far that I can't reach them during my normal red light retrieval period. So she's without a toy. And she gets mad.

I dash into the photographer's home. I am standing on the front porch, so I leave Joci in the car, right where I can see her.

Mistake number 2.

Five minutes later, I go back to the car and see that Joci has been bawling the whole time. Now she's worked up. A worked up baby is never a good thing. Plus, I feel horrible.

I search the car for a pacifier. There is supposed to be one in her car seat. There usually is. Not today.

Mistake number 3.

ALWAYS have a binky!!!!

She really starts howling as I'm driving away. She is simply miserable. With my newly mastered one-armed driving technique, I reach behind my seat and pull out the partially-packed diaper bag. I feel in the "binky pockets." Nothing.

The bottle pockets are empty too.

Mistake number 4.

Oh, I have formula. But no bottle. No sippy cup. But I do have Gerber Yogurt Melts. I open the gusset bag (has a zip-loc type opening) and hand it to her. She reaches in and grabs one and happily pops it into her mouth.


Mistake number 5.

Not that easy. The gusset bag's natural inclination is to close. And she doesn't have the dexterity to get back into it. She's way angrier than before.

There has got to be a binky in this bleeping diaper bag! I frantically empty the bag (as frantically as I could, seeing as I was driving and only had one hand to take things out of the bag). I had diapers. Wipes (like, three). Two plastic spoons. A diaper changing mat. Baby powder. Sunscreen. (I have sunscreen but not a BINKY?) A dirty diaper. Fabu. Oh, and a jar of baby food.

I pull over at a gas station to feed her.

Mistake number 6.
It's baby lasagna.

Slipping into the back seat, I pop open the lid of baby lasagna and begin to feed Joci. She reluctantly eats half the jar without stopping crying. Then she decides she's done. And this is how I know. She has a mouthful of lasagna, but apparently doesn't want it, so she spits it into her hand and tries to get rid of it. I quickly reach for a wipe. It's a game of speed. Can I wipe her hand before she gets it somewhere bad?

I got it!


I got most of it.

Just a tiny bit remains on her fingers. A tiny trace of orangey Italian sauce. And she wipes it on my snowy-white-dry-clean-only-pea-coat.


I know it will come out, but it was seriously like the last time this season I was going to wear it (if it would stop snowing already!) and I didn't want to have it dry-cleaned again.

Now, I know it seems like a lot has happened, but we are seriously maybe 2 minutes away from the photographer's home. We still have a long way to drive.

I get back in the driver's seat and start hauling. Jocelyn's content for maybe three miles. And then the crying starts again.

I take a less populated back road, hoping to go faster and avoid traffic.

Mistake number 7.

End up behind a slow truck sauntering along at ten under the speed limit.

Finally, he turns and I step on it.

The back roads are set up like a grid system with stop signs every mile. It's a seventeen mile drive back to my home. At each stop sign, I screech to a stop, quickly check for oncoming tractors and livestock, then punch the gas pedal, accelerating at jerk neck speeds only to slam on the breaks ten seconds later. The speed limit on these roads is 50. I make it up to 75 at this reckless pattern.

Mistake number 8.

It's a windy day. Winds here were forecasted to be up to 50 mph. I don't know what they actually were at, but I do know that driving at 75 mph among farms with no windbreaks, I was blown across the road. My stomach lurched. I may or may not have cussed under my breath. I slowed down to 60 and finished my drive.

Then I got home, let Joci out to play, got her a sippy cup and she was happy as a clam. She's sleeping soundly now. I guess I didn't do too much damage.

What a bad mom day. None of this would've happened if I would've just had a bleeping binky with me! I solemnly vow from this moment on to have a fully packed diaper bag with me at all times.

Feel free to ask me how I'm doing.

So, now that I went to so much trouble to get these gorgeous pictures, I better post them. :)

P.S. Now Blogger is being weird with spacing. Deal with it. I am no mood to delve into HTML.


Mom on the Go said...

I've had those days! I have been known to run into the closest store, pay any price for a pack of binkies and rip it open in the store before I get to the register so my kid would calm down. A few weeks ago at church we had no sippy cup and no crackers.......not fun! I'm sure it has happened to the most prepared mom- don't stress out too much!

Liz Smith said...

phew! wow, that is a crazy day! i'll admit though that i laughed at the part of you driving fast and then having to stop regularly to check for tractors. i can honestly say that i have never had to share the road with tractors. lol. anyways, the pictures are awesome. definitely worth the craziness. :)

Groff Family said...

I have had many drives like that. Difference is that with my babies this happens from the newborn stage on. You're finally getting a taste of why I refused to EVER go anywhere! Oh, and for me, the binkys didn't help. Audrey throws them back at me and with Camden, if he was mad, forget about anything but a boob in his mouth.

And seriously, that tiny smudge on your coat? Just spot clean it, it will be fine. I have a couple of dry clean only pea coats and I have never had a problem with just spot cleaning them. It'll be fine.

Jill Elizabeth said...

I was thinking that I'd had a bad day ... I take it back. You win.

Joci is so photogenic! She looks like a baby model :o)

Shellie said...

beautiful beautiful baby! You are a GREAT MOM! oh but I'm feeling you on that pea coat!!!

I have been desperate enough for binkys in the past to give my kids the nipple of a bottle :) They were not fooled and looked at me after one suck like I was a complete wack a doo!

I'll let you know on my book. I have to do 4000 words today because I was sick yesterday. Good to know its possible. Love that you finished a novel. I can't wait for the day. Its been long enough (I've been trying to do it for 3 years now and clearly suck at time management :)

Alexis Belcher said...

I've been though many a day like that. don't feel bad. it happens to all moms. believe me sometimes nothing works and they just want out. those are the worst drives home. its just part of life.

Groff Family said...

I also want to let you know that a screaming baby in a car is never fun. It definitely frazzles the nerves, and I'm sorry for whenever anyone has to deal with it. It totally sucks.
Camden still has a little scar on his cheek from when he was only a few weeks old and had one of those long car ride home episodes. He scratched his face to pieces during his rage. I look at that little scar, that probably only I can see, and still feel guilt. It is also a reminder to me of why I rarely go out when my kiddos are little. Too much rage and stress!
I'm sure that you handled it fine and she will never remember it. She loves you and you comforted her the second you got home.

Vanessa said...

We all have those days...even when we THINK we are prepared. I love reading your writing again, Lara. I've missed having that privilege. What a beautiful girl! Looking at the pictures you'd never guess such a litle sweety could cause so much stress. :) I don't know quite what it is, but I think she looks like her Daddy...if I didn't know better, I'd say she has Justin's genes. She was definitely meant for you guys.

Frederick Family said...

A good nap helps one to feel much better. (Assuming the baby will sleep so you can.)

Hays Family said...

The pictures are sooo fun and gorgeous. I was sad to see that cute lady bug cake all messed up. You worked so hard on it. But it served its purpose. I rememeber bad days with my children as well. What I do hope is they don't remember too many of my mistakes and poor judgement. Love, MOM


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