Tuesday, February 22, 2011

The Mother Code

"It passed the Pottery Barn test," I said proudly. 
And my friends understood exactly what I meant. 
My otherwise ginormous jogging stroller was agile enough, and compact enough, to make its way through a jam-packed store without breaking anything... Meaning I didn't have to shell out a bazillion more dollars to get a smaller second stroller.  
This is nothing short of sweet victory for a new mommy... and only your fellow new mommies appreciate the magnitude of such success. 

Other proud moments include us getting out of the house with clean clothes and making sure to remember the baby as we zip through town running errands. 
There's something both haunting and delightful about the bond that forms among mothers.  I say haunting because it's somewhat unsettling to imagine that there's anyone else on the planet who's as neurotic and as chaotic as I am these days. 
But I've found solace in the fact that there are other moms out there who get through a day with the quirkiness that I do. 
Case in point - Last week we experienced beautiful weather here in the DC area and a few of us mommies went to lunch at Panera where we could sit outside with the babies and have a long, leisurelysomewhat relaxing, normal lunch. 
I admit that our lunch was neither leisurely, nor relaxing, nor normal.  But it was a fantastic combination of good food and good company and it was just what I needed to break up the day.  Plus, it kind of felt like that first day of nice weather in college, when everyone skipped class and drank White Russians played frisbee in the quad. 
Our lunch outing must have looked a little silly... four moms, four babies, and one huge-ass dog all gathered around a large table with toys flying in the air, food falling on the ground, and the occasional diaper sniff check, which - no matter how hard one tries - is never discreet or inconspicuous.  We had strollers, we had high chairs, we had sippy cups and bibs.  We had laughing babies, crying babies, farting babies, and burping babies.  
At one point I was carrying Mackenzie and a plate of food while one girlfriend managed to balance a salad, a bowl of soup, and two sodas so craftily that she was even able to open two doors in the process. 
We all laughed when one good-looking nice guy offered to help with the door and I made a joke about us being able to do "lots of things" with our butts (real slick, Dominique... reeeeal slick). 
But it wasn't so much that we were laughing at my ill-mannered attempt at humor (ok, maybe that IS why we were really snickering).  But it was sort of a sisterhood thing.  As if to say, we've all been there, this is who we are, and it's freakin' hilarious. 
Mothers have a way of just getting each other.  They've gone through the same hazing ritual and they've lived to tell about it. 
Tonight I found myself shaking my head in sheer disbelief, embarrassed that I had made such a rookie mistake when putting Mackenzie to bed.  
She fell asleep in my arms and was so knocked out that I could've screamed in her face and she wouldn't have woken up.  
But wait! I'd forgotten that her sleep sack was in the hamper. 
THE sleep sack!!!
The one that she wears every night to keep warm. The one she's worn EVERY time she's slept through the night. 
If she didn't have the sleep sack what would happen? Would she wake up at 4 a.m. all cold and cranky?
I couldn't risk it! 
I rescued the sleep sack from the bottom of the laundry and managed to wiggle Mackenzie into it without waking her... 
Until she started roaring like a bear.  LIKE A PISSED OFF BEAR! 
I put her down in her crib, waiting and waiting until she cried herself to sleep. 
Why I couldn't have just let her rest peacefully in bed without the damn sleep sack is beyond me. 
But I'm sure there's a mom out there with a similar story, and I'll take comfort knowing that she'll totally get why I did what I did, as stupid as it may have been.  

1 comment:

  1. Beautifully said, and so so true. My mommy friends are some of my best friends. That common ground is as strong a bond as the white russians, I mean Killians, I mean frisbee...in college! Love your writing Dominique!