There are good, kind people in the world. My cynical nature makes me forget that sometimes, or, well, most of the time. But it’s days like yesterday that remind me that maybe human nature might be human after all.
See, the day before that I was having one of “those” days. You know, the ones where the harder you try to get things done, the less you get done. So, I was way behind on a deadline, which was stressing me out all day. (Lord knows I hate to miss deadlines, even though that’s more like the norm these days.) The dog also needed to go to the vet to get to the bottom of his GI issues.
So, I make arrangements with the nanny to come get the baby for the afternoon, so I can get my work done; we decide she’s going to keep him at her house, and I will swing by and pick him up on my way home from the vet. Now, being the city mom that I am, realize all this is happening on foot. Walking not only alleviates worrying about parking (or worse, a parking ticket), but the dog gets some exercise.
Everything goes swimmingly at the vets. The dog is rather well behaved from the time we get there right through when he gets what seems like a gazillion shots. Nearly $300 later and 90+ minutes later, we’re out the door, headed for the nanny’s.
When I arrive at the nanny’s, it’s well into his witching hour, but baby is giggling up a storm. That good fortune lasted about as long as it took me and nanny to get him and the stroller down the flight of stairs to the apartment building lobby. At that point, it was a zero-to-60 meltdown.
Fortunately, I live one block north and about four blocks east of the nanny, so we didn’t have too far to go. But when baby is screaming bloody murder, it can seem much, much further than it really it is. I mean, the dog could barely take a sniff at something before I was yanking his leash, telling him to hurry up. I assure you that to a mommy there’s nothing worse than her baby in full meltdown.
After what feels like an eternity but is in reality five blocks, I arrive in front of our house. I lug stroller with baby (and dog) up the front stairs–baby is still screaming, mind you–and get the keys in the door. Once inside, I turn the stroller around to take the little sweetie out. Ummm, where’s his blanket? And even more concerning, where are his socks?
At this point, I’m realizing that for at least a portion of our journey, if not the whole thing, my kid has been in his stroller with his bare feet completely exposed to the winter weather. And I’ll tell you it was cold. I was wearing hat, gloves, and quilted jacket, so I’m totally feeling like a negligent mother. How could I have possible missed the fact that he kicked not only his blanket but his socks off during his tantrum? I would have had to all but run over the darn blanket.
The thing that especially sucked is that this was one of my preferred blankets for baby. It wasn’t expensive–Circo for Target–but it was awesome. Super soft, velvety fleece on one side, and warm, cuddly, shearling-esque fleece on the reverse side. Damn, why did I have to lose it?
I’m not going to lie. This simple act of losing this blanket, which in all honesty was totally replaceable, nearly caused me to have a mommy meltdown. It’s hard to explain mix of emotions that I was having–I was pissed at myself for everything from not finishing my story to not realizing that the blanket fell off of baby; I was upset by the fact that my kid was screaming his head off, no doubt partially because his little hobbit feet were probably freezing; and I was feeling a little helpless because with it getting late and baby in full meltdown, I couldn’t just go back and retrace my steps. I was frazzled to the point where any logical suggestion as to how to remedy the situation seemed like it would take a Herculean effort. All this compounded by the fact that I was utterly exhausted after getting up at the ungodly hour of 3am to try and get a jump on finishing my story.
I resolved myself to just going to bed at 9pm, getting some much-needed rest, and buying a new blanket the following day, assuming that the Target had one in stock. For the benefit of all those who live in the suburbs, I’ll point out that in urban retail locations, it’s pretty much a given that the store will be out of whatever you are looking for. Literally, you will see bare shelves in a place like Target. For example, I’ve come to realize that it’s extremely hard to find baby socks at this time of year despite the fact that I probably pass by the Target at least three times a week to check.
After a fairly good night’s sleep, the situation seemed way less dire than it did at 8pm the previous evening. Baby was in a fantastic mood, so our morning routine actually was ahead of schedule. So, at 9am I realized I might have enough time to pop the baby in the stroller, get the dog on the leash, and get out and retrace my steps before my weekly 10am Tuesday conference call.
Honestly, I didn’t expect to find the blanket. But I thought I would give myself some peace of mind (and the dog a little exercise) if I just got out and checked. Four blocks from the house, I saw this:
That’s right, someone had seen the blanket, presumably strewn across the sidewalk, and hung it with some care on the fence. This is Washington, D.C., mind you. People aren’t that nice.
Or are they?
This is the second major baby gear casualty I’ve had–and the second one that has come back to me. The first was a bootie that was lost on the way to the gym and found as I retraced my steps home. I thought that was awesome. But I also thought it was a single-shot kind of stroke of luck. But being reunited with the long-lost blankie after it spent a cold, harsh winter night on a street corner? Never thought that would happen.
Needless to say, I’m glad I was able to get it together by the morning to get out and look for the darn thing. But even more so, I’m glad to know that I live in a neighborhood where people actually have the heart enough to make it as easy as possible to retrieve lost baby items. It’s like they can appreciate how hard it is to just get out of the house on time, much less make a special detour on the off chance that someone hasn’t snatched up such a lovely baby blanket. For that small courtesy in a big city, I am grateful.