The Comedy of Parenthood

The 2002 publication of Allison Pearson's novel "I Don't Know How She Does It" proved -- contrary to my and so many women's earnest beliefs that "having it all" was possible -- that working motherhood is, in fact, a comedy gone haywire.

Like last week when my husband had an early morning meeting and, with the usual degree of chaos, I fed and dressed our three kids and myself and marshaled us all into the car and drove all the way to my youngest's day camp -- only to remember that her camp met at the park next to my house that day. Instead of grimly gritting my teeth and calling to cancel the meeting I was already late to, I could have (should have?) laughed. There are plenty of "laughable" moments. The once-a-week "accidents" my 4-year-old has all over her pants, underwear, socks, sneakers and our new carpet once I've finally gotten myself coiffed and all three kids dressed and (almost) out the door? Hilarious. When my friend Jennifer dropped her work cell phone in the toilet her son had just used (but not flushed)? Well, that's easier to laugh about because it happened to her, not me.

So, in that spirit, let's write the script for a comedy about working motherhood (dads and work-at-home moms are welcome to contribute, too, since the true comedy is parenthood itself). What is your funniest, most frustrating, most embarrassing moment brought about by trying (and failing) to balance working and raising kids?

By Leslie Morgan Steiner |  June 23, 2006; 7:00 AM ET  | Category:  Free-for-All
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My mom raised four children as a SAHM back in the 60's, and Fridays was her day to go to town to do the grocery shopping, bill paying, etc. She loaded me and my younger brother into the car and proceeded to drive all over town, making several stops until she only had one left.

As she was leaving that store, the clerk called her back, and proceeded to pull a white bra off the back of her black knit sweater she had put on right out of the dryer. She had made all those other stops with the bra prominently displayed on her back. She always said that was one of her most embarassing moments while raising us!

Posted by: John | June 23, 2006 7:24 AM

As an aside, I have to say that I didn't like the message of "I Don't Know How She Does It". I mean, she QUIT her job at the end to stay home! So, shouldn't the title be something like, "Ultimately, She Couldn't Do It"? I did laugh my way through the book, but I was irritated with the ending.

Posted by: Beth | June 23, 2006 8:08 AM

My three sons are in college now and I hopefully did a good job but even as a full time stay at home mom I had my moments. I remember packing up the kids to take a trip to Walmart. Trying to get all three of them in the van along with diaper bags, etc. Trying to get the neighborhood kids out of the van, because "No they were not going with us." I closed the van door pulled out of the driveway got partway down my street when I realized I was missing the middle child. I frantically turned the van around and raced back up the street pulled into the parking lot and there was my lovely little boy calmly sitting on the curb. When I pulled up he said, "I knew you would come back."
Motherhood is difficult even when your career is motherhood.

Posted by: LIZ | June 23, 2006 8:14 AM

Agreed, Beth! That book was an awful example to use for anything, as it's a textbook example of a woman doing her best not to do it all.

Posted by: Jayne | June 23, 2006 8:21 AM

I will try and recal an appropriate anecdote from my personal experiance as a parent, but the first that jumped into my mind is a of my parents regarding their experience with me.

Both my parents were attorneys in NYC and we were going on vacation to the CT shoreline back in the late 60's - by train. My brother and I were brought into the city by our nanny and were in a holding pattern in a stuffy conference room of a fat cat law firm in the Pan Am building. The Penn Central Merchant's Limited left Grand Central for its limited stop service to Boston just after five and there practice had been to calm us to sleep with a little bit of malt beverage, Rheingold I believe. (much in the same way that the pediatrician has suggested a little cold medecine can help smooth the circumstances on long plane flights in the 21st century) On this journey though I was "full of beans" and had no intention of nodding off - but the train did. The decrepit PC locomotive gave up the ghost somewhere near Stamford - and there was no air conditioning on this hot summer Friday. But then the baby in question made a discovery to lighten up everybody's Friday. The laughter was infectious and the surplus supplies proffered to the injured when that baby boy found out what happens when you shake that bottle.

Posted by: Fo3 | June 23, 2006 8:32 AM

I was driving from my parents house in Philadelphia making wonderful time (usually about 2.5 hours). It was just me and my then 6-month-old (now 9 months). There was construction on 495 in Alexandria - less than 10 miles from home and added another 3 hours to the trip. My son woke up from his nap screaming for food. I didn't have any water to make a bottle, so I tried feeding him baby food - reaching over from the driver seat to the rear-facing carseat. (we weren't moving at all) Two jars later he was still screaming so I used my melted ice from a soda to make him 3 ounces of formula. It either worked, or he just decided sleeping was easier. When I finally arrived home, his face and carseat were covered in babyfood. I guess my aim wasn't so great!

I remember a woman in a minivan next to me smiling in a "I feel your pain" kinda way. It was horrible, but now really funny.

Posted by: NewMomMoira | June 23, 2006 8:36 AM

My son likes to look at my work badge since it has a picture of me; he will routinely point at the badge as it sits on the shelf out of reach and say, "Look -- picture of Mommy!" The reason it stays on an out-of-reach shelf is one morning while I was brushing my teeth, he got into my purse and removed it, but in the interest of fair play, he put in one of his Scooby Doo dolls. I dropped him off at daycare and discovered when I got to work that Security did not accept Scooby as a means of identification. I went back home, ready to tear the place apart when I noticed a message on my machine: the daycare provider had noticed my son pulling the badge out of his bag and wearing it. She distracted him long enough to retrieve it and was holding it for me; ever since then, the badge stays well out-of-reach.

Posted by: CentrevilleMom | June 23, 2006 8:37 AM

Their they're there it's its hoos whose AAAAAHHHHHH.

Posted by: Fo3 | June 23, 2006 8:37 AM

I gave my mother plenty of funny moments, but the one stunt she continues to remind me about is the time I was imitaing her cleaning the house. My mom would Pledge all the wood furniture and wood work in the house, so what did I grab as a three year old? A can of Pam, of course. There I sat spraying Pam on the kitchen floor until my mom came in and nearly slipped and fell. She has never used or kept a can of Pam in the house since.

Posted by: Leroy | June 23, 2006 8:38 AM

I'm a SAHM, so here's mine from when my parents were working. My sister and I were at a babysitter's house and her concept of watching us meant that we went in the basement to play while she watched soaps upstairs and smoked. (That's benign neglect for you.) We smeared an entire jar of Vaseline all over each other and the wall. The babysitter put us in the playpen together until my mother arrived so she could see what we'd done. My mom moved us the next day.

Posted by: CKWA | June 23, 2006 8:42 AM

I'm going to out my husband's imperfections, which equals my embarrassment. I had to go into work early one day and left my daughter to my husband to take to school. It is not easy getting a two year old to school, it involves, blankets, clean underwear and clothes for the days potty training and her kangaroo.

Well, I picked her up that day and she was in a diaper. I ask what happened and the teacher whispered that my husband had brought dirty underwear to school so she had to wear diapers. I was really embarrassed, almost as embarrassed as the time my daughter pulled my shirt down in the grocery store and exclaimed, boobs!

Posted by: Scarry | June 23, 2006 9:03 AM

My funniest story from my own childhood has to be when I was in college, in Atlanta (family is from Florida). My sister had flown up to stay with me from Thanksgiving to Christmas break, and mom and dad were to pick us up in Atlanta (in the hotel we would all four be staying in that night, where my roommate dropped us off). Neither I nor my parents had been to this hotel before, and so my roommate stayed with us so that they could call the room (this was in the early days of cellular, and I didn't have my own phone) and get specific directions. The hotel was set off the highway, and mom was nervous and talking on the phone VERY loudly. As my patient roommate tried to explain that it was behind a restaurant, but you had to pass some trees to see it, my mom shreiks out, um, the name for a male chicken. Apparently she was trying to say 'turn here' and 'we found it' and 'hurray!' all at the same time, and profanity just expressed it all.

Wouldn't have been so funny had my roommate not heard it - for the next year, every time I'd get a call from my mother, my entire hall would start a chorus of said obscenity so loudly mom could hear it in Florida.

And then there's the time I let my stepdaughter go to school with a pair of my panties static-clinged inside her sweatshirt, bright red satin ones (and I'm not a small woman). She didn't discover them until she took OFF the sweatshirt in her first class, and had them stuck to her t-shirt, on her chest. YIKES!

Posted by: Rebecca | June 23, 2006 9:18 AM

Tuesday AM: we're in full rush mode -- baby boy was sick last week, I've got an impossible Friday deadline that I'm even further behind on after missing work the week before, daughter is the World's Biggest Putz, etc. -- basically, normal morning chaos with a bit more urgency. Dad is downstairs doing breakfast with girl while boy is bouncing away in jumper and I am showering.

Dad then appears at the top of the stairs saying "help." Apparently baby boy's illness decided to leave his body through the back end while he was in his jumper -- lovely explode-a-poo, all up the back, all up the jumper, just everywhere. What are you going to do? No choice -- I just started laughing, threw him in the bathtub, tossed in a wash (LOTS of bleach), and got to work 20 minutes late.

But I think my mom wins: the next day, she was juggling the two kids -- had just pulled into the driveway when my stepdad calls needing to be picked up from the train station, and right then baby boy decides to present her with the same gift -- all over the carseat, car, lawn, etc. Good thing the boy likes baths.

Posted by: Laura | June 23, 2006 9:24 AM

My biggest clash between work and parenting occured on the day one of my staff had a psychotic episode and while dealing with witnesses, attorneys, HR folks, and general freak-outedness, day care called to say my 4-year had pink eye, and could I pick her up immediately?

I called the doctor to phone in a prescription, raced home, stuffed every toy I could into a HUGE canvas bag, raced to day care, picked up my 4-year and her 5-year old sister, promising them a special treat if they stayed on their side of the room so I could stay on mine and get work done, and skidded back into my office in time to take a meeting with a two men from a major construction company, who were building a parking garage adjacent to my building.

Thirty minutes into the meeting, my sweet little girl appeared at my elbow. "Mommy," she whispered. "Just a minute, sweetie," I replied. She stood patiently at my side, while the men droned on. "Mommy," she whispered again. "Hold on, child, I'm talking with these men," I said, focusing my attention once again on demolition options. Finally, in a clear bright voice, my daugher said "Mommy, by any chance did you bring clean underpants?"

Posted by: Karen | June 23, 2006 9:40 AM

It is 3rd grade picture day and mom is on a business trip. I am wearing a purple tank top, my hair is in a ponytail that has beens slept in (hair falling out everywhere) and I am missing a few teeth (can't blame dad for that part). It is my favorite elementary school photo.

Posted by: Another DC mom | June 23, 2006 9:44 AM

Regarding disappointing comments about the end of the book -- she did quit the job she had but she I believe purchased the company that her sister worked for (think it was a company that made doll houses) and helped her husband get back to work (architect). She didn't want the job she had so she found a way to continue working but doing something different. I loved the book (and its being made into a movie with Nicole Kidman if anyone cares).

My funniest was when we were playing a softball game with my husband's office. I had picked up my son from daycare (he was about two) and just didn't think that there would be a need for extra clothes because it was only an hour and a half game. We got there and went over to meet my husband. As soon as I sat down with my son he "exploded" up his clothes and onto my clothes. I ran to the car to try to clean him up -- NO EXTRA CLOTHES. I then had to take him and myself over to the Walmart down the street and buy new clothes for both him and me -- I brought him in the store with just a diaper on and my clothes had his explosion all over so we smelled to high heaven. Lots of stares in the store!

Posted by: typical working mother | June 23, 2006 9:47 AM

"We got there and went over to meet my husband." then "I brought him in the store with just a diaper on and my clothes had his explosion all over so we smelled to high heaven. Lots of stares in the store!"

This may be an absurd question, but why couldn't the husband/dad run into Walmart FOR you two? It seems like a reasonable expectation.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 23, 2006 9:57 AM

Funny how it's the terrible, imperfect moments from childhood that we treasure forever. As parents we should remember this whenever we're trying to be "perfect."

One of my favorites is when my mom used to throw her high heels at me and my three siblings to make us be quiet when she was tethered to the rotary phone and we were making too much noise. The four of us were VERY loud kids (my three have inherited this lovely quality). Fortunately she had terrible aim. I bet she felt guilty about it but we LOVED dodging those black spike heels. Go figure.

About I DON'T KNOW HOW SHE DOES IT. To me, it was a ground-breaking book -- one of the first times someone really tried to protray how ridiculously difficult working motherhood is. The ending was a bit of a cop out, but I didn't take it as a feminist or other kind of statement. More just a writer who ran out of steam after writing a mostly great story that did not have a natural ending. I do know a lot of Wall Street moms who hated it -- because the idea of giving up their six-figure jobs to start a small business as Kate did is ludicrous to them.

Posted by: Leslie | June 23, 2006 10:00 AM

"This may be an absurd question, but why couldn't the husband/dad run into Walmart FOR you two? It seems like a reasonable expectation."

I'm thinking that perhaps the explosion happened on the way to meet the husband -- that would explain the desparation run into the store.

Posted by: CentrevilleMom | June 23, 2006 10:05 AM

to anon 9:57

Silly, the father OBVIOUSLY couldnt go buy clothes for his wife. He doesnt know her size and he cant match!

seriously - I dare say mommy wanted out of the dirty clothes ASAP - and the most practical, albeit fragrant, solution involved, "the shortest distance between two points is a straight line."

great stories - by the end of the day I predict an 80% poop concentration of stories.

Posted by: Fo3 | June 23, 2006 10:10 AM

Regarding why my husband couldn't run to store -- he hadn't gotten there yet -- we got there a little early.
It was really a yucky situation and I just didn't feel like sitting there waiting for my husband to get there and then wait while he went to walmart, picked out new clothes for both of us. i really really wanted to take my clothes off and get into clean ones and didn't want him to buy those moo moos that you can get there by accident -- from a time "management" perspective it was better for me to take my son and get over there asap. Plus it would have been more uncomfortable for me to sit there with his office mates who knew me very well than to dash into a store full of strangers. I was just mortified (more at how I looked than my son.
I didn't realize there was an outcry from Wall Street mothers about the book -- it was an example of one mother's attempt to "balance" her life (and she found her unemployed husband a unique job based on his skills -- that was a source of contention between them in the book. ITS JUST A BOOK OF FICTION!

Posted by: typical working mother | June 23, 2006 10:16 AM

My funny stories are probably not as funny as some of the ones posted (I laughed so hard reading some of them that my mascara ran...) The most funny one I can think off. Father's day two years ago. For some absurd reason I decide that my husband deserves a father's day brunch. I have just given birth to our second child. Our oldest has just turned two. We are in Old Town Alexandria (a 30+ min drive from our house). We are on the square that has a fountain. My 2 yr old proceeds to run around the fountain getting closer and closer to the water. 2 year old getting into the water. 2 year old getting soaked. We had a light jacket with us and a diaper -- the only thing that was clean and dry. He is parading around Old Town Alexandria in a diaper and a jacket. I am not thinking it's funny -- I am furious. Now do you think I have learned my lesson? Fast forward nearly a year. We have preview tickets to Toulouse Lautrec at the National Gallery. 5 min drive from the Gallery my son "explodes" all over himself, car, etc. No clean clothes in the car. Son is parading around the National Gallery pantless. Had to call our friends who were meeting us there to bring his clothes from home.

Re: book. Absolutely loved the book. My favorite parts -- how she is brushing her teeth so her husband will fall asleep, also how she is hiding in the bathroom from her son, or "distressing" the cake. Thanked my stars I am not a fund manager. There are full time jobs and there are full time jobs.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 23, 2006 10:17 AM

It was around the time when my first daughter was 10 months old. I called my wife from the office. I noticed that there was a different hello message on the answering machine. First I noticed a "bam, bam, bam" then my daughter cooing, babbling and drooling all over the answering machine a few inches away, and in the background, I could hear what sounded like a porn flick. I thought to myself, "What the hell is going on here? Why would my wife change the answering machine's message to something stupid like this?"
Then the cooing and babbling went away and the porn flick in the background became more prominent. It was unbelievable! The guy sounded like me. the girl sounded like my wife. Oh my gosh! The oohing and ahhing were me and my wife. To spare you the details, let me just tell you thatthe the episode ran down until the "I love you baby" at the end. I realized that what happened was that our baby had pulled herself up on our nightstand next to the bed and hit the record button on the answering machine while my wife and I were having a go at it. No wunder nobody had left a message for a few days. .
I immediately called my neighbor to ask her to take the phone off the hook. Her response was perfect, "Most people just say they are busy and can't come to the phone right now., but you guys..."

Posted by: Father of 4 | June 23, 2006 10:20 AM

My mother was a working mom, but this one happened on a weekend. I remember it vividly, though I was only 3. My mother was talking to our next-door-neighbor, who'd just moved in. She was beautiful, with long blond hair, and wore khaki shorts and a white shirt. I was standing by my mother's side listening and admiring this woman, who seemed very put-together.

My 5-year-old brother came out with a Minnie Mouse bucket he'd been tending all summer. It was full of anaerobic putrescence-- mud, fermented grass, dead things-- anything he could think of. He and I had kept it a secret from my parents-- he said he was "cooking it." At any rate, it now had the most foul odor one could possibly imagine.

My brother started swinging the bucket around his head and talking loudly to it. My mother absentmindedly told him to stop, and, for once in his life, he obeyed. The putrescent filth covered our beautiful neighbor from head to toe.

As my mother tried desperately to apologize, I was overwhelmed by the odor. For some reason, I didn't want to make a mess on the grass, so I cupped my mother's hands and vomited into them. Nothing I've experienced so far as a mom has topped that one.

For years afterward, the memory of that scent could still make me retch.

Posted by: Ms L | June 23, 2006 10:26 AM

FO4, that is the funniest thing I have ever read on this blog.

Can't possibly follow that, but here's my mom's probably most guilt-inducing moment: She and my stepdad both worked full-time, and he was going to law school at night, so Friday night was their date night. I was maybe 13-14 and insisted that I was old enough to stay home alone for the first time (I was absolutely petrified but wasn't going to admit it).

That night, around 9, I was nervously sitting in the living room and heard a noise from the fireplace (behind the metal cover). Then suddenly, boom-boom-boom and a cloud of dust. I jumped out of my skin, convinced someone was trying to break in through the chimney.

My folks came home 2 hours later to find every light in the house on, and me curled up on the couch with a death grip on my softball bat. The chimney had fallen in.

Posted by: Laura | June 23, 2006 10:34 AM

My mother was a professional viola player. One day while she was practicing and my brother was a baby, he was playing contentedly next to her, and she realized it had gotten very quiet. She looked down and saw that he had gotten into her viola case and eaten her rosen! He looked up at her all happily and said, "candy!" He got his first taste of epicac after that.

My funniest moment so far came when my son was learning to talk. He was trying to say the word "cracker" but due to his limited ability, it came out sounding like, um, the name for a male chicken (as Rebecca so aptly put it). Of course we couldn't help but giggle a bit when he would shout this out, and soon he started using it to mean food, much to our dismay. So when I took him to the grocery store with me he would point at all the packages of food on the shelves and saying his word in his sweet little baby voice. It was hysterical. I kept responding with "cracker, cracker" but we got an awful lot of sideways glances.

Posted by: Megan | June 23, 2006 10:35 AM

I had a couple of friends over one evening. My male friend went to sit on a chair in the diningroom, but it slide away from him on the wood floor. He feel down very hard right on his tailbone. Laughing, he said "I think I broke my coccyx bone". Shocked, my bright 6 year old son said: "I didn't know there was a bone IN there!"

Posted by: SR | June 23, 2006 10:35 AM

Ms L -- What a hilarious story. Reminds me of...

Once when my older sister and I were teenagers and were having a fight in our kitchen. My mom was minding her own business and washing dishes at the sink. I was drinking a glass of milk. As I raised the glass to take a sip, my sister grabbed my arm. Supper slow motion, all the milk went from the glass onto my mother's face. Fight over. My sister and I and my mother laughed until we cried.

Posted by: Leslie | June 23, 2006 10:36 AM

that was "fell" not "feel" oops

Posted by: Anonymous | June 23, 2006 10:37 AM

Father of 4 thanks for the laugh. I'm at work and I laughed so hard I cried. Hard to explain to co-workers that I'm shirking my duties by reading the Post. I'm going to have to share this one with my husband.

I'm going to have to add my funny baby poo story. It's Christmas and my son (now almost 3) is about 3 months old and sitting on Grandpa's lap. He manages to completely EXPLODE out of his diaper and not get a spot on himself. Grandpa, on the other hand, has baby poo on his thighs, knees, shins, and on my carpet. Yes, my son was wearing both a diaper and a onesie. How he managed to contort himself, we'll never know.

Posted by: WI Lurker Mom | June 23, 2006 10:44 AM

Early motherhood, my son "exploded." I put him in the tub in the onesie - I didn't know how to take it off without making a bigger mess. I take my shirt and pants off because they are covered, and in my bra and undies bathing him. (that picture is probably more scary than funny)

I get him out of the bath when my mom calls. I told her what happened and she said without missing a beat
"Welcome to motherhood. Your kids will stick you with s--- for the rest of your life."

Posted by: NewMom | June 23, 2006 10:49 AM

I have seen alot of non hilarious moments stemmed by working parents forgetfulness.

Most of what sticks out in my mind are parent's forgeting to pick their children up from the bus stop, or even from my child care program.

It's sad that in today's society, parent's are so rushed that children are often being muddled along in the process.

Some of these stories are quite funny, but I know in my heart that being home is the best placed for my kids.

Working in day care one finds little humour when dealing with a very young child whose parent's came home, fell asleep and forgot to pick them up. Very sad and very traumatic for the child.

We all need to slow down and realize that children want and need the home environment, hands down in dealing with school age kids most will say I want to be home.

A lightbulb moment for me was, when a young child of seven told me I wish you were my mom and day care was my home. Reason, - he spent more time in my care and less time in the presence of his parent's.

I am not starting a debate here, but people wake up and realize that your jobs will not be that important when your older, family comes first and your business meetings pale in memory as opposed to the memories' of witnessing your child's first steps etc.

And as far as buying fancy toys, one child told me who was 10, I would give up my Nintendo just to see my mom and dad more. How sad is that.

Posted by: Former Day Care Worker | June 23, 2006 10:49 AM

It's sad but funny. I was going through a very busy budget season at my job and was often coming home after the children were asleep and leaving before they were awake. My three and a half year old still craves mommy time while my oldest misses me but when I'm home just wants me to watch him play video games. So one Saturday I come home from work early but need to run errands, 4 stops, in an hour and a half and then we have to go to a family dinner with the in-laws. I offer to take the children with me since I haven't seen them awake in several days but the oldest one wants to stay home. So I take the little one who talks from the time we leave the front door until the time we return. My husband comes looking for me to say it's time to leave for the dinner. He finds me sitting in the laundry room hiding from the little one. We both have a good laugh.

Posted by: MBAmom | June 23, 2006 10:55 AM

My son was 4 weeks old and my daughter was 2 1/2...and I was trying to get the hang of being a mom of two. The baby had colic so I was trying to soothe him when my daughter asked if she could have some cheese - it was the shredded kind. In order to keep peace I said yes and continued to try to soothe the baby. I heard my dogs in the kitchen with her and asked what she was doing. She said she was feeding the dogs. So I got up to see what was going on. She had shredded cheese ALL over the floor!!! Everywhere. Luckily the dogs were hungry. So this same day she came to tell me she went pee -pee (we were training her). I said "You did? Where?". She said in the garage. Sure enough there was a big puddle in the garage. But the big laugh was a few minutes later when she told me she was "painting" in the garage. Yep, there were little footprints and handprints coming from her "puddle" that I hadn't had time to clean up yet. Straight to the bath with her...all this and a baby with colic...in one day!

Posted by: elleinad | June 23, 2006 10:55 AM

I'm an Assistant District Attorney and we used to live a few blocks from my office, in the courthouse. Once when my oldest was about four and too-sick-to-be-allowed-in-daycare-but-not-really-that-sick (you know what I mean: fever yesterday, but gone today) and both my wife and I had to be at work, I took him with me to court. Just a quick plea and sentencing hearing for a guy who skipped off to Texas for a few weeks vacation from prosecution. He sat there very small and quiet in the front row, listening to the judge take the plea, and then defense counsel and myself recitng the agreed sentence of 30 days with work release, and then the judge sending the man to a stay at the county hotel.

In the ensuing seven years there have been unending discussions brought on by questions about what happens when you don't show up for court, leg shackles and orange jumpsuits, that really tall guy lawyer, what would you get if you did something even worse? etc.

On crummy Saturdays during the winter I used to take him to the courthouse to run up and down the halls (exercising those large muscle groups) and play on the elevator.

Posted by: wihntr | June 23, 2006 10:57 AM

Back in the mid 70's when my parents were unable to get a babysitter, they would leave me and my sister in the van while they ate dinner at a restaurant. Their solace was that the van had tinted windows and they "parked close"

We had our barbies and dolls. Much better to us anyways!

Posted by: va | June 23, 2006 10:58 AM

Former Day Care Worker | June 23, 2006 10:49 AM

Prepare for the backdraft. By any chance did you take the opportunity to explain to the sad child that mommy and daddy love you very much, so much in fact that they are working hard to provide a stable home, plentiful food and save for your schooling? Alot of people rely on your mommy and daddy to do important jobs for them you know. They love you more than anything.

I hope you did.

By the third child I have finally received my poop prediction merit badge and can sense when a big one is coming. Especially helpful when in a public pool. With my first we wre in the pool at the Harbour Club in London, the late Princess Diana was a member there - very posh. But my son had full eruption well beyond the specifications of a swim diaper. Had to evac the entire facility for cleaning, royals and all.

Posted by: Fo3 | June 23, 2006 11:00 AM

"I am not starting a debate here, but people wake up and realize that your jobs will not be that important when your older, family comes first and your business meetings pale in memory as opposed to the memories' of witnessing your child's first steps etc."

Debate issue aside, where will this child be taking the first steps if not for our jobs? On a sidewalk next to the abandoned, parked car where our family is living since we cannot pay the mortgage or rent? Parked in the parking lot of a grocery store we cannot shop in? Running around naked because we have no clothes?

I don't understand why so many condemn people who WORK! Who else will pay the welfare for the parent who gets to watch those first steps of THEIR children, who live in subsidized housing and live off foodstamps.

You did daycare. That allowed you to be home with your kids, while others paid you to watch theirs. If they didn't work, you would be the one living off welfare and foodstamps.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 23, 2006 11:06 AM

"I do know a lot of Wall Street moms who hated it -- because the idea of giving up their six-figure jobs to start a small business as Kate did is ludicrous to them."

Actually, a good number of women give up their "six-figure jobs" to start their own businesses. In fact, most small businesses are started by women--for all kinds of reasons.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 23, 2006 11:10 AM

My father had died when i was quite young, and one of my mother's friends set her up with a nice man. The young man went up the stairs to the door, where my grandmother answered the door, I grabbed the man's leg and began screaming "Are you goign to be my new daddy" the dog had him by the other ankle and was biting frantically and shaking him, and my mother (who hadn't recieved flowers in years) had snatched the flowers and was shrieking about flowers, while my forbidding grandmother stared him down. To give the man credit, he still took mom out, but somehow there was never a second date.

-l.

Posted by: ljb | June 23, 2006 11:11 AM

I was almost home when my 18-month old started fussing and crying in his car seat. I rolled through the stop sign a block from my house.... and immediately heard the siren and saw the flashing lights! I pulled into my driveway and got my crying boy out of the car. The officer took pity on me and let me off with a warning. Phew....

Posted by: Crybaby | June 23, 2006 11:15 AM

OK Former Daycare Worker just brought me down. Its Friday, and the weekend is coming so it should be a fun day -- These stories are just about funny things that happen with your children, or stories about when we were children. These stories are terrific. I loved Fo3 and Fo4's stories especially. And, something about the poopy explosions is always a hoot!

I'm sure there are parents out there who are not great parents -- the world is not a perfect place but 95% of parents are doing the best they can no matter what their situation. And, its not just working parents who are the bad parents. There are bad parents who stay home too. Remember Andrea Yates?

Posted by: typical working mother | June 23, 2006 11:21 AM

When my son was a toddler, I would let him play in the adjacent family room while I cooked in the kitchen. We had just come back from the beach where he discovered the joys of sand. I was expecting company for dinner and had cleaned and cooked up a storm. I had given my son some tupperware to play with and he was being unusually quiet. I was so glad that he was entertaining himself so well while I worked. Then I turned around from the counter and saw him sitting on the floor behind me, happily sifting sugar through his fingers and spreading it all over the floor. He had gotten a hold of the sugar canister on a low shelf and was entralled. My kitchen was covered with it, and so was he. At first, I wanted to cry, but after a couple seconds, I laughed it off and called my husband to get him in the bathtub. And then I swept and mopped up the kitchen. I can still see my chubby baby playing in the sugar, and it is a very sweet picture.

Posted by: rockville | June 23, 2006 11:21 AM

I loved the book -- until the end, but it got me thinking and my girlfriends all talking. We all still work, but here is what we realized -- its fiction and we all "wish" for that ending some days :)

Funniest story that I can think of (between trying to work) -- kid was at home "and too-sick-to-be-allowed-in-daycare-but-not-really-that-sick" (yes I understand that oh too well), and had reported to work that I would not be in because of a sick kid. I had to take a call with a senior partner (I am a lawyer) and a client. Since I was at home with a "sick" kid, I saw no need to get out of my jammies (not a video conference) and in the middle of the call, my lovely daughter says "mommy, those are the jammies that daddy really loooovvvvessss (drawn out "loves"). They are really small." Mind you, they were flannel and by small she meant the pictures of the penguins on them. The senior partner was mortified and has never scheduled a client call when I am home again, and the client, who was a woman (who had children) laughed hysterically. She still teases me about it.

Another topic idea for another day that I would love to see would be how to balance work and family when your boss (male or female) has a stay at home spouse and has absolutely no clue what balancing means.

Posted by: Ann | June 23, 2006 11:21 AM

I didn't have a problem with the end of "I Don't Know How She Does It". I do fantasize about giving up my high-power Wall Street law firm job and doing something more low-key or staying home. What the ending told me is that Kate tried to do exactly that: give it up. But in the end, she remained true to herself by realizing staying home isn't for her and finding another outlet (the sister's business) for her skills.

Posted by: R. | June 23, 2006 11:25 AM

I hope (think) she is talking about those kids who are in a daycare for 12 hours. In a discussion a few days ago a lot of people thought it was excessive.

Posted by: in defense of a former day care worker | June 23, 2006 11:25 AM

I hope today will be a great day in the history of the Mommy Blog. Great stories already today. I predict many more, I've got a lot more, but I can't share them because I have to do my part to prepare for the family vacation, so this will be my last post.
If anybody has any "sex in front of the baby" stories, those are always fun. I figure that when the baby wants to join in, it may be time to start popping in the Barney and Sesame Street tapes, which are usually good for half an hour. Perfect!
Leslie, I don't care what anybody else thinks about you're attraction to that "bad boy" image, but just to let you know, I love the way you think!

Posted by: Father of 4 | June 23, 2006 11:26 AM

How many have gotten to work and opened lunch up to discover juicy boxes, pbj sandwiches, and fruit rollups - knowing that your child is not enjoying the turkey on rye with sprouts delight you prepared for yourself that morning ?

Posted by: brownbagger | June 23, 2006 11:27 AM

When my daughter was little, she sometimes suffered from "projectile" vomiting and diarrhea. I usually called in sick at work and spent the day with her in the bathtub when this happened. She owes me big time!

Posted by: June | June 23, 2006 11:30 AM

"I am not starting a debate here, but people wake up and realize that your jobs will not be that important when your older, family comes first and your business meetings pale in memory as opposed to the memories' of witnessing your child's first steps etc."

My business meetings will pale in memory, but my ample pension fund will not. My children aren't burdened will student loans and I will never be a financial burden to them. I'll swap the memory of witnessing a child's first step, which frankly could take place while I'm in the bathroom, for the financial security of my family. This is how my "family comes first".

Posted by: Mo | June 23, 2006 11:40 AM

re: the joy of witnessing a child's first steps. My child was in home-based daycare and I worked, but her first steps were taken at home. It was a joy, but my husband missed it. I found out later that she actually took her first steps at daycare, but the daycare mom decided not to tell me. At first I was disappointed, but then I realized that the joy I felt when I saw my daughter walk for the first time was no different because it wasn't the actual first step. My husband's excitement at seeing her walk for the first time was not lessened because I saw her walk before he did.

Take joy in everything you witness for the first time. After all, seeing the ocean or the Grand Canyon for the first time is no less awesome just someone else saw it first. For those who for some reason feel like they want to be the very first to see something, it would be nice if all daycare providers had a policy of not telling the parents about the first step, tooth breaking through the gum, etc.

Posted by: bjt | June 23, 2006 11:42 AM

Just have to interject a "downer" comment - it amazes me that there's an assumption (not just today, but during most discussions) that all parents make a choice of working over staying at home - many people DO NOT have that choice. I am the daughter of a single mother, who got no child support (I am 31 and my father still owes her upwards of $15K), who HAD to work three jobs in order to put food on the table for her four children (FWIW - my family was financially stable when we were born, but sometimes things change!)

No funny stories about my own children, but sister had to have a small discussion with my niece that lollipops on the ground are garbage and not for eating, when she tried to run and grab one - guess it seems like a perfectly acceptable thing to do when you are 3!!

Posted by: Too many assumptions. | June 23, 2006 11:48 AM

My oldest child is 35, and frankly, I can barely remember him taking his first steps.

These memories can fade, but a secure financial start in life can last a lifetime.

Posted by: Marlo | June 23, 2006 11:52 AM

"At first I was disappointed, but then I realized that the joy I felt when I saw my daughter walk for the first time was no different because it wasn't the actual first step. My husband's excitement at seeing her walk for the first time was not lessened because I saw her walk before he did."

BJT, that is so true. I missed my son's first step because I was in the kitchen scooping ice cream at my dad's birthday party. Grandpa, dad, and the rest of the family saw it and all starting clapping and hooraying. I was so mad! I came running out and we tried to get him to do it again, but he didn't. A little while later I went to the bathroom, and yes, you guessed it, he walked again! I felt cursed. But the next morning I saw him walk and it was still amazing. Now that he is talking and running around there are so many new things every day that it seems silly to worry about in whose presence they happen, it's just too much fun to watch.

Posted by: Megan | June 23, 2006 11:54 AM

Bravo, BJT.

Youu thoughts regarding "firsts" were both cogent and insightful.

Posted by: kpossible | June 23, 2006 11:54 AM

My wife is driving and I'm riding shotgun, kids in the back, as we take the family mobile out in heavy Saturday errand traffic in MoCo. We've gotten McDonald's french fries which I'm doling out individually to the kids in the back in exchange for peace and tranquility. (About 2 per child per red light.) A very angry driver pulls up along side the driver's side of our car and begins to berate my wife for not only merging into her lane without a "thank you wave," but yelling at me for having the nerve to "flip her off" on top of it. I'm now yelling across my wife and the other car's front seat passenger to the other driver explaining that I did no such thing. I then slowly raised my hand holding up a particularly long french fry and asked if it looked like "this." She laughed. I had inadvertantly flipped her the fry.

Posted by: dadeeo | June 23, 2006 11:56 AM

I was fortunate that I was able to wrok part-time all the way through my kids' childhood and still do... they're 19 and 20 now. Work kept me sane when I needed time away from the kids, and the kids kept me sane when I hated work.

Anyway, when they were 2 and 3, I had 15 cubic yards of topsoil delivered into an enormous pile in the middle of the yard, and immediately started to work moving the topsoil around to the various flower beds I was trying to establish, using a one-cubic-foot wheelbarrel (for the mathmatically challenged, that would be 135 wheelbarrow loads).

Of course, the kids wanted to help, but their idea of help was to climb to the top of the dirt pile and slide down on their bellies. After they'd done this for a few hours, I decided it was worth a try--they were having SO much fun. It was, in fact, enormous fun. So we rolled around in the dirt--literally--for quite a while longer.

This was nice, rich, loamy topsoil. The sun was hot, so now we get the hose, and we start playing in the dirt with the hose. That was a lot of fun too.

When we were all too tired to play any more--we left all our clothes on the front doorstep and went and got in the bath--all three of us--together. It took several times filling and draining to get us sort of clean. We were still kind of crusty, though, and we were out of hot water.

That was when the Jehovah's Witnesses rang the front doorbell. I had a filty towel wrapped around me... and the kids were still naked and still pretty dirty. And the clothes we'd taken off were still on the front doormat.

For once, they didn't want to talk.

Posted by: Diana | June 23, 2006 12:06 PM

My child's temper tantrum saved me from the Jehovah's witness visitor to our front yard. she stood there for what seemed like 10 minutes waiting for me to finish trying to sooth my child before giving me her pitch. I finally looked at her and said its not a good time. She left and I turned to my 3 year old and said "Good Job!"

Posted by: typical working mother | June 23, 2006 12:13 PM

Diana,
Excellent! I think it would be worth having a big pile of dirt in the front yard all the time just to keep the JW's quiet! (Plus, my boys would love it.)

Posted by: wihntr | June 23, 2006 12:19 PM

When my older daughter was 3, her child care was 2 blocks from my office so we would take the bus to and from home together. One evening the bus upset her stomach and she told me she didn't feel well. She immediately got that pre-barf look and turned toward me. My instinctual reaction was to hold out my hands to catch it--which I did. Of course, we had about 15 more minutes on the bus, me holding the barf in my hands the whole way. When we finally got off the bus I wiped my hands off on a bush as best I could, then washed them as soon as we got home. My hands smelled like barf for about a day, though.

Posted by: seattle | June 23, 2006 12:20 PM

It seemed like my daughter was poised to begin to crawl for months before she actually did it at 9 and a half months. We began to think she was never going to crawl and perhaps go right to walking. One random evening I met up with a friend for drinks after work. She was a friend from college and she just moved to the area. This was the first time I had gone out to happy hour with friends since before my daughter was born. And, I really haven't gone since (she is 13 months now)! When I came home, I discovered that my daughter had starting crawling when my husband brought her home from school. Now my husband likes to tell people that our daughter started crawling while I was out drinking! Maybe not such funny story, but it certainly makes fun of randoming missing those "firsts."

My mom has funnier story. When I was a newborn, the wife of the partner at my father's law firm came to visit my mom for the obligatoy "come see the newborn" visit. My brothers were almost 4 and just turned two. While the woman was visiting, apparently, the 4 year old came out of the bathroom with his pants down and said "look I can pull up my pants now!" right when the 2 year old bite him. I starting screaming. My mom said she just kept silently saying... "please go home.. please go home..." She was moritifed then, but we all get a huge laugh out of the story now.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 23, 2006 12:39 PM

Dear Happy Hour:

Great stories! I don't know how your mother handled the strain!

Posted by: June | June 23, 2006 12:49 PM

Former day care worker,

Geez, I doubt my child isn't traumatized because she had to wear a diaper instead of dirty underwear. However, I am traumatized because my mom and dad didn't have the money to take me to the dentist and later in life I had to have root canals. (not their fault, they did the best they could)

Why did you have to start this crap today, we were all getting along so well

Posted by: Scarry | June 23, 2006 12:54 PM

Scarry - You're so right!

I have zero memories of my diapers and their contents, but plenty of memories of what it is like to grow up in soul-sucking poverty!

Former day care worker needs to spew her "Good mother propaganda" today for some reason........

Posted by: June | June 23, 2006 1:03 PM

Yeah, my mom and dad always made sure we had new clothes, food, etc, but when my dad lost his job it got bad.

Funny story about my nephew who is 20.
When he was three he thought the left side of his body was someone else named "guy." As you can guess, guy spilt the milk; guy doesn't like green beans, etc.

Well, one day I went with my sister to pick up her check from work and one of her friends walked by and waved at me and my nephew. He said hi Branden, he waved with his right hand and then he said hi Guy and my nephew waved with the other. My sister was so embarrassed but I thought it was great, I mean what a personality


Well, one day I went with my sister to pick up her check from work and one of her friends walked by and waved at me and my nephew. He said hi Branden, he waved with his right hand and then he said hi Guy and my nephwew waved with he other. My sister was so embarrassed but I thought it was great, I mean what a personality.

Posted by: Scarry | June 23, 2006 1:13 PM

Just a couple of weeks ago on a Tuesday, I took my daughter to day care and went to fill out the info sheet for the day. On top of her clipboard was a small clear ziploc bag with something folded up inside. Upon closer inspection, it was a bra. One of MY BRAS! I quickly realized what must have happened--Each Monday, parents bring back a sheet, blanket and pillowcase for the child for use through the week. My bra had obviously gotten trapped in the sheet I brought to daycare and my daughter's teacher was returning it to me. Yikes. I just hope no one else saw it there, or realized what it was, but I don't think I was that lucky.

Posted by: AE | June 23, 2006 1:19 PM

I read DON'T KNOW HOW SHE DOES IT, but I was exhausted from just reading it. But, really, any parent who juggles multiple responsibilities--be it WOH, caring for multiple children, caring for an elderly parent, caring for a sick spouse, or even tending to themselves too much--gets stressed out. I grew up with a SAH mom and a father who retired due to health problems when I was very young. My own mother was always frenzied. My sister is a SAH mom, but is much worse than I am because her husband travels for work and she single-handedly has to run her 3 kids to all their events for the 4 days he's out of town. Even if my husband and I both work, we share the juggling. :)

The funniest thing that happenned --- I have a longer commute than hubby, so he usually drops off the kids at daycare near his office, near our homes. When my husband was out of town, I dropped off the kids one morning the same time as one of my husband's employees. I told my daughter to hurry so I wouldn't be late for work. She said, "Daddy's never late for work." His employee happenned to be there and spoke up, "Oh, I wouldn't say that." Hubby makes it sound like he's super dad and the kids are always on-time for him.

Posted by: Mom of 2 | June 23, 2006 1:23 PM

No kids (yet) so this is story is about me. When I was about 3 (guessing here), my parents were entertaining my aunt and uncle in our formal living room, when I walked in with my pants & underwear around my ankles, and announced it was time for my dad to wipe my heiny! Of course I don't remember this but I have heard the story often enough from the 4 of them over the years!

Posted by: Michael | June 23, 2006 1:25 PM

My mom says this was one of the most embarassingly funny incidents of our childhood:

My younger brother and I loved to ride with our father in his pickup truck. He would sit me in his lap and let me shift (this is early '70s--way before child restraint laws), sing songs, tell us about his time in the Marines (the G-rated version). And he would curse like a sailor if someone cut him off in traffic.

Anyway, one night my parents had friends over for dinner. My brother (about 3 yrs old) is sitting in his little metal Dodge peddle car, making the usually "brroommm-brooommm" noises. All of a sudden, he says in his little-boy voice: "F*^%99 you, ^(*(^&*@!" He even raised his little hand up, but he lacked middle finger coordination.

Needless to say, my mother was not amused. Though later, everyone thought this was totally hysterical and explained a lot about my brother's driving habits!

Posted by: Jennie | June 23, 2006 1:29 PM

My grandparents used to babysit me and my cousin; their youngest son, my Uncle John, was still living at home. One day he was lying on the floor studying while my cousin Kelly was playing with her Tommy Turtle (one of those pull-toys on a string). She got bored and started whirling it around her head. Let go. Knocked Uncle John out cold.

Fast-forward 20 years: Kelly's wedding day, sitting in her living room, in her elegant gown, surrounded by flowers, family, friends, opening up her wedding presents. Reaches for a beautifully-wrapped present from Grandad, opens it. Yep -- Tommy Turtle. So much for the mascara and makeup.

Posted by: Laura | June 23, 2006 1:39 PM

F04 - I knew you'd get it, even if everyone else didn't. Thanks. Have a great vacation. Try to find a computer while you're away so you can check in. Can't wait to hear some good vacation stories.

Posted by: Leslie | June 23, 2006 1:49 PM

Well, this was actually a rather funny fix on my ex-husband's part...

Easter morning, our three-year-old daughter woke up and wanted to go hunt for the eggs that the Easter Bunny had hidden. One problem: the Easter Bunny (AKA Daddy) had overslept, and he did not get up and hide the eggs. So, creative soul that he is, he told her, "Let me go downstairs first and make sure everything is okay." So he goes downstairs and yells back up, "Wait a minute! There's Bunny poop! Easter Bunny had an accident!" So he stalled for time and hid the eggs.

My daughter, now ten years old, and I still laugh about bunny poop...

Posted by: single western mom | June 23, 2006 1:50 PM

To Former Day Care Worker -

My 13 month old looks forward to going to "school." She was home sick all last week and when she got back on Monday she had the BIGGEST smile on her face. She loves her friends and her teachers. She is also finger painting (at age 10 months they started her on it), coloring, knows how to make motions to itsy bitsy spider and twinkle twinkle little star. She loves other kids and waves to children in the neighborhood.

I don't feel at all guilty for sending her to day care. Besides the obvious of reason that by working I can put food on table, (because anyone who has bought a house in Alexandria in the last 3 years knows that you need to have 2 salaries to keep a roof over your head)I feel she is having a good experience at school - probably better than what I could provide at home because the teachers are trained, have more and better teaching supplies, and my little girl gets to interact with a lot of other children her age.

Funny story -

We have 3 cats and bowls of water in strategic places of the house. When our daughter started to crawl we were diligent about baby proofing - outlet covers, baby gates, cabinet locks, etc. But we forgot about the water bowls. One evening after I had picked her up from daycare (before my husband got home)I left our little girl in the living room to play with her play wall while I went into the next room to load the dishwasher and get her dinner ready. I could hear her playing and would check on her every few minutes. All of a sudden I hear her giggling and splashing. I can't imagine what she got into. Just before I get into the living room I hear a crash. She had discovered the water dish and had been splashing in it, then picked it up, turned it over and water was everywhere. I grabbed her right before she started to slurp it off of her hands (yuck!).

Posted by: Allison | June 23, 2006 1:53 PM

Just remembered something my seven year old daughter did to me when she was about 16 months old and had those brand new razor sharp top and bottom teeth.

I was sitting in the kids' mini-chair at their mini-desk trying to hook up the computer their grandparents had gotten for them. My daughter said the equivalent of "move, please, mommy" about four times. I ignored her because I was engrossed in fixing the computer.

There was a long silence. I thought she'd gone away. Then intense pain in my right butt cheek...she'd crouched down and stuck her face inbetween the chair slats and bitten me HARD -- broken the skin through my pajama bottoms. A really effective way of getting mommy to move.

It REALLY hurt, I REALLY screamed, but it was the funniest thing she ever did.

Posted by: Leslie | June 23, 2006 1:57 PM

Once, my family took a transatlatic flight with our 16 month daughter. We took BA (which generally has excellent service for those travelling with children). We sat in the bulkhead which had a pull down table to put a cot/seat for our daughter. My daughter loved it as she could see everyone in the cabin.

Her big word that trip was sit and she proceded to scream "sit" for what seemed like most of the flight (she was sitting as was everyone she saw- I guess it made sense to her). Unfortunately the way it came out made it sound like she was yelling sh*t. Embaressing-- yes we rightly got curious stares from other passengers-- a profane toddler...
oh well.

Posted by: UP | June 23, 2006 1:58 PM

Let me start by saying I worship my mom!

She was a W/SAHM who ran an in-home daycare for most of my childhood.

Shortly after my youngest brother was born, she had the three older children help with chores, like getting the laundry downstairs to the laundry room. At some point, during one of our trips down the stairs, we found out it was great fun to slide down the stairs on our tummies on top of the clothes. So we would... for hours. It kept us occupied and she always knew where we were! My dad actually incorporated that into our family fire escape plan, learning how to slide down on his back, feet first with the baby on his chest.

As we got older we discovered the joy of sliding down the stairs in cardboard boxes instead. All went well until my youngest brother (5 yo, at that time) took header out of his box onto the concrete landing at the bottom of the stairs. He ended up with a mild concussion and a very scared mom.

Today we laugh about it and have taught my nieces to slide down the stairs on their tummies - all in the interest of practicing their fire escape plan, of course.

Posted by: Great topic today! | June 23, 2006 2:06 PM

Once, when daughter was 18 months, my wife was out of town for a mandatory training conference. I was on vacation for a few days, so we were having fun at home. Suddenly, she starts making a face, and the barfing soon follows.

Not a big deal, except--I had dropped the dog off at the groomer in the morning, and had to pick her up before the shop closed. Carefully timing the barfing incidents, I pack daughter into the car, whisk to the groomers, unbuckle her from the car seat, and swoop inside, hoping that the get-the-dog-and-pay dance will move quickly, so we can get back home before the next episode.

Of course, no such luck. Daughter leans her head on my shoulder and barfs down my back just as the ecstatically wagging pooch arrives. Fortunately, the dog didn't get drenched too, or the $30 bath-and-clip would have been a bust.

Posted by: Brian | June 23, 2006 2:20 PM

I should preface this by saying that my brothers and I were raised NEVER to call an adult by their first name until we had reached adulthood ourselves (or had graduated from high school).

My mom worked in our school cafeteria when I was in high school. It gave us some much needed income and allowed her to keep an eye on us kids at the same time.

One afternoon, several women were in the school/church kitchen prepping for a fundraising dinner to be held that evening. I needed to get Mom's attention to get the car keys to bring in more supplies. I tried calling her "Mom ... mom ... MOM!" No response. (It should be noted that most of the women in the kitchen were mothers). So I tried calling her by her last name, "Mrs. D. ... Mrs. D. ... MRS. D.!" Still, no response. As a last resort, I called her by her first name, "R!"

I have never seen my mother move that fast! She whirled around with fire coming out of her eyes, searching for the child that had just called her by her first name. "What did you just call me?"

I stared at her for a disconcerted second, then told her, "I've been calling you for the past 5 minutes! You wouldn't answer to anything else I've tried."

The other women in the kitchen laughed and acknowledged that they had all heard me calling, but since they all had children, they figured they'd wait until whoever was calling had identified which "Mom" they wanted!

After a few minutes, she had to laugh, too. After all, it was her fault!

Today, we're friends as well as family and we still laugh about it ... and I NEVER call her by her first name!

Posted by: Anonymous | June 23, 2006 2:23 PM

To UP

Thanks for that story! I can relate. My oldest daughter had the same cute way of saying "sit." Our favorite time was when she stated it loud and proud just after everyone sat down in church. We all just fell apart.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 23, 2006 2:24 PM

That's great. Still, I think I'd take a mispronunciation of "sit" over my daughter's mispronunciation of "fork." Several embarrassing moments with that one.

Posted by: Ms L | June 23, 2006 2:28 PM

To address some concerns, I quit day care many years ago.....it's because of the day care that I decided to stay home with my own children, my first son could print his name before he started nursery school at the age of three, had alphabet recognition and was well socialized.

My second son who is almost two can pick up his toys when requested and can understand what is addressed to him.

I did day care for seven years in a supervisory capacity, I was in charge of 75 children, and most would say that they just wanted to be home.

I took care of kids whose parent's had above average income, in a nice suburb.

It was because of this experience that I decided to come home even prior to having, oh and by the way, hubby and I own our home and still manage to get by.

Never would I succumb to food stamps or welfare.....

How sad...I was just trying to give you a child's perspective from a school age viewpoint- the facts were that the majority of children in my care just wanted to be home, and after hearing this over a seven year period it convinced me that was the right thing to do for me.....

I took care of children 5-12 years of age that were articulate, I cared for those children very much and of course I consoled the little girl whose mother was late- nor did I tell her it was because I had awoken her mother with a phone call after my centre hours were closed.

So before you working parent's attack me, please realize that I am just providing you with a back drop of information, it was actually the children who opened my eyes that I took care of.....

I was very good at my profession, and was complimented for what I did.....but schoolagers were once the preschoolers in the programs some parents profess to talk about.

I am lucky to be home with my children, and consequently a large number of day care providers would not put their children in formal day care settings.....

Posted by: Former day care worker | June 23, 2006 2:38 PM

Big family dinner - grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins. Mom in the kitchen making roast beef gravy. Little brother about 5 asks what she is doing. "Making gravy from the juice from the meat". Little brother asks Dad what the beef juice is. Dad tells brother that it is partly blood draining out as the meat cooks. Brother accepts the explanation.
We all sit down to eat and are passing the gravy. Little brother says proudly "I know where gravy comes from". Grandmother who is holding the gravy boat in her hand asks him to tell us all where it comes from. He says proudly for all to hear "it's cooked blood". There was alot of leftover gravy after that dinner.

Posted by: Silver Spring | June 23, 2006 2:40 PM

Doesn't it seem like it was more fun to be a kid before all parents got so concerned with safety and scheduled events? My husband and I would freak if our kids starting sliding down the basement stairs on dirty laundy or cardboard boxes or beach towels. How did we get so paranoid? I don't know any kids who slide down the stairs these days. Stuff like that what my childhood was made of. We've got to bring back "fun" despite the risk of an occasional concussion.

Posted by: Leslie | June 23, 2006 2:41 PM

"So before you working parent's attack me, please realize that I am just providing you with a back drop of information"

Bologna. You're trying to make everyone feel guilty and rain on our parade of funny tales from SAHM AND WOHM. We've had plenty of posts like yours on days where that's the topic, so save it for then and let everyone have some fun today.

Posted by: whatever | June 23, 2006 2:50 PM

The best and worst: New York's Upper West Side, commuting with thrice-pregnant Fed wife (we are raising four kids now, we fight terrorism abroad AND at home).

(A) Mega-prega spouse is hit with bladder urgency in stalled rush hour traffic. Only relief: The Just Minutes Ago GRAND OPENING of a new supermarket. Crazed, slightly rounded armed woman charges into supermarket, nearly at gunpoint inquiring "Where's the Restroom!!!!!!"

(B) Graphic Content Warning

Reverse commute Child Three, Upper West Side Highway, Passing Last Available Exit, which is coincidentally the scene of the last crime. Me: Can You Make It? Her: Yeah, I think I can make it. (125th Street Exit slipping by, onto the ELEVATED part of the Highway.) Traffic screeches to a halt 1/2 mile up. Executive Summary: No place to run to, no place to hide. BioTerrorism in the car. Yes, the worst possible outcome.

I can laugh now (to myself).

Posted by: FedDad | June 23, 2006 2:51 PM

Former -

And this relates to today's topic how? We're all enjoying a nice funny afternoon. While your thoughts may (or may not) be valid, they're certainly off-topic.

Back *on* topic...

I don't have kids, so this is from my childhood. We picked up our dog from the vet after a vacation, and they mentioned that they had wormed her that day. We put her in the back seat of our station wagon with me and drove home. Well, about halfway through the 15-mile trip, she poops all over the back seat. I notice, but just press my forehead to the window and keep silent. Well, eventually my parents noticed the smell and looked back....and promptly started shouting "Why didn't you SAY something!" And I, in my 9 year old wisdom, said "We were on the BRIDGE! What were we going to do - we didn't have anything to clean it up with anyway!" My parents looked at me, looked at each other, and immediately started laughing, then sent me inside the house for paper towels.

The dog has been dead for many years, but we still remember the story.

Posted by: AG | June 23, 2006 2:55 PM

WHen I was about two, I had spilled some apple juice all over myself and the floor in the playroom, so my mom took off all my wet, sticky clothes, plopped me down in the kitchen for a minute and went to clean up the playroom floor. When she came back to the kitchen, she found me sitting on the floor in front of the refridgerator, with the door open and a full carton of eggs in front of me. I had apparently smashed one egg on my belly and rubbed it all over myself, and proceeded to poke holes in the top of all the other eggs in the carton. When my mom found me I looked up at her with my very serious face and said, "EGGS IN THERE!!"

That's my mom's favorite baby story, she still loves to tell anyone who will listen.

Posted by: Megan | June 23, 2006 2:57 PM

This isn't exactly a working mother story, but I don't have any of those yet. But this story will having me laughing on my deathbed.

My Polish family has a big Christmas Eve dinner every year. Last year was my daughter's first, she was only 10 months. After a decent-length car ride, we take my daughter into a very loud and very bright house full of all my relatives. And DD starts to cry and fuss, which is remarkably uncharacteristic of her. I take her over to the 84 year old matriarch, but she's having none of it. So I take her back out to the foyer where there is a mirror to distract her. I'm pointing out the mirror to her, and as I turn to look at her, I discover a wall of projectile vomit heading right for my face!

Survival instincts kick in, and I grab her bib and throw it up in front of the vomit and save myself from the brunt. However, I accidently shoved the bib back into my daughter's face and literally covered her in vomit!! It looked like someone had hit her with lemon merengue pie! I had vomit all over my shirt, and a little on my face. So me and my husband go off and change her into the one spare clean outfit we had for her, and I change my nice party shirt into a t-shirt.

But it doesn't end there!!! After my husband gets her calmed down, he brings our daughter back to the dinner table and she sits on my lap. About half way through dinner, I realize my lap is suspiciously warm. Yep. She's pooped through her diaper, all over her clean outfit and my party pants! All you can really do is laugh helplessly. At least I didn't let the 84 year old hold the baby!!!

Posted by: tessajp | June 23, 2006 3:05 PM

Maybe the kids at your day care said they wanted to be at home because they hated the crabby judgemental old bat who ran the place!

Posted by: jw | June 23, 2006 3:08 PM

Curly-haired two year old daughter used the restroom near our departure gate at LAX, then walked out of the restroom (with me following her) with her leggings and underpants down around her ankles. Sure, her T-shirt covered most of her... And she shuffled proudly and quickly towards her father at the gate with dozens of Japanese tourists giggling as they reached for their cameras and me trying hard to conceal my laughter.

Posted by: Travel Momma | June 23, 2006 3:12 PM

If you don't feel guilty, then why do you all insist on calling it "school" or "camp" rather than daycare? It just kills me to hear someone announce that they've just dropped their 3 month old at "camp". Honestly, does it make you feel less guilty?

Posted by: Mommy Dearest | June 23, 2006 3:39 PM

"We've got to bring back "fun" despite the risk of an occasional concussion."

Well gee, you're right Leslie. Kids don't have fun anymore. Let's bring back head injuries, broken arms, poked out eyes...safety be damned!

Most kids still have fun....it's just different. Every generation longs for the "good old days". And the "good old days" are often better as remembered than they actually were.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 23, 2006 3:47 PM

*my first son could print his name before he started nursery school at the age of three, had alphabet recognition and was well socialized.*

In the big scheme of things, does it really matter if the child doesn't print their name or know the alphabet until he/she is 5 or 6? I don't think it really matters as long as they can do these things and others by the end of kindergarten. And I think this is true whether or not the child is home or in day-care. Socialization is probably more important so that the child can ajust easily to a school setting. But again, socialization can be taught/learned either at home or in day-care.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 23, 2006 3:50 PM

Can we have some more poorly timed poop stories please?

Today is not a serious day folks.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 23, 2006 3:52 PM

The former Daycare worker got me thinking...

My mother was a working mom and when I was 5 or so I went to a daycare center located in my school. One of my mother's favorite stories is about how she would sometimes feel this "working mother's guilt" and when she could, she'd rush out of work early to come get me and spend time with all 3 of us (I have two older siblings). It was pretty routine that she would come to daycare and I was having so much fun with my friends there that I would send her home! She'd have to come back in 2 hours when the daycare closed bc otherwise I wouldn't leave!! So, needless to say, I was not scarred by daycare. In fact, 20 years later, I am still best friends with one of the girls I shunned my mother for all those afternoons. It's a fabulous story and we share it often.

Posted by: not a mom but... | June 23, 2006 3:55 PM

One Easter, I was about 3, my parents decided we would go have brunch at the Officer's Club on base. They had set up an egg hunt on the lawn and a small pen with baby chicks in it for us kids to pet. Well, I decided that I didn't want to just *pet* the chicks, I wanted one for myself. Leaned over the short fence, over some more and finally flipped head over heels over the fence in my white easter dress and landed on the chick I was trying to grab. The wife of Dad's commanding officer reached in and yanked me out, but too late for the chick. She told me it was just sleeping, but the rest of the kids wouldn't play with me the rest of the day. This has now become The Easter story for my family, and I've met co-workers of my dad who knew all about the chick incident before meeting me.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 23, 2006 3:57 PM

First Thanksgiving at the in-laws after the baby was born. I wanted to impress them with how completely competent I was. Made sure there were several changes of clothing to accomodate any temperature, toys, changing pad, equipment, bottles etc. The only thing I forgot was diapers.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 23, 2006 4:05 PM

"If you don't feel guilty, then why do you all insist on calling it "school......."

We call it school becasue that's what it is, they are learning. What's the difference between what you call daycare and kindergarden? Nothing, you still put kids in an environment with strangers all day. I thought today was going to be different on the blog.

Oh and the peeing in the airport story was so funny.


Posted by: Scarry | June 23, 2006 4:08 PM

There are lots of funny moments in one's childhood, but one springs to mind. In the mid-70's, our family went to the Tampa, Florida area for a combination vacation/work trip for my father. My mother, brother and I (ages 9 & 11) hit Busch Gardens on one of the work days. We rode the rides and took the brewery tour (now gone). The tour ended in the Hospitality Room (aka tasting room), with samples for adults. In our goofing around, my brother and I knocked over Mom's purse - sending her change and lipstick scattering under the chairs. We all still laugh over the attendents promptly rushing over to inquire "Have you had too much to drink, ma'am?" at the sight of Mom on her hands and knees collecting her possesions off the floor.

Posted by: virginia | June 23, 2006 4:09 PM

I remember when my oldest (now 12) was about 4 and we were at Mass on Sunday. for the first time he was singing his heart out - loud and full of enthusiasm. I was so happy! until..I realized what he was singing!! it went something like this.."and the lady has worms in her hair". about the time I realized what he was actually singing everyone else around us did too. there was quite a bit of snickering and a lot of embarrassment on my part.

Posted by: professional engineer & mom of 3 | June 23, 2006 4:10 PM

As a special treat, Mom occasionally liked Dad to steam her a lobster (the rest of us would eat pizza). They bought the lobster live and brought it home for steaming. Once little brother insisted on holding the bag and dropped it on the way from the car to the house. He watched dumbfounded as the bag skittered away!

Another time, mom is thawing a big turkey intended for sunday dinner. When she comes down in the afternoon, turkey is nowhere to be found. She looks all over the kitchen and demands from us to know where is the turkey. We all insisted we hadn't seen a turkey. By this point, she's beginning to doubt herself -- did she imagine the turkey? Of course not! But then...where is the turkey? Days later we find the turkey in the same little brother's toybox.

Posted by: Raia | June 23, 2006 4:11 PM

The kids in our family have many funny stories from our childhoods, unfortunately most of them are about our mother, not us kids!

Posted by: Anonymous | June 23, 2006 4:14 PM

ok, I don't know about the 3 month old in camp -- are you making that up? but there is a difference between pre-school, camp, daycare, after school care, and so on. Preschools are great for overall development and kids have more fun there then running errands with moms and dads. They have professional teachers who specialize in early childhood development and who are much better equipped at teaching our children. We should all do what we do best. Summer camp is a necessity in my book because, again, they have a built in system of making our kids life fun. The only thing I would remotely agree with you and the "former" daycare worker is that early morning/late afternoon are times when young children would probably be better off at home.

Posted by: to mommy dearest | June 23, 2006 4:17 PM

Megan,

Your egg story is really funny. When I was about three everyone was sleeping and I decided I was going to make cookies. I climbed up the cabinet to get some flour, when oops the cabinet fell on me. Luckly it got wedged on the table and I was okay, but my mom came out and found me covered in flour! She still has the pictures.

Posted by: Scarry | June 23, 2006 4:18 PM

In the "unfortunate pronunciations" category: avoid teaching your three-year-old the word "thwack." It's problematic for the same reason that "fork" is. Fortunately, it was just family in the back yard when he exclaimed, "Mommy, did you $#(% the ball?"

And my next one doesn't have to do with work or commuting, either, but it fits nicely into the "pee" category. We were hiking with family and my younger brother brought some friends that I hadn't met before along They were cute, perky, very nice 20-somethings that made me feel--through no fault of their own, just me being too critical of myself--self-concious and like a frumpy old mom. I had to, uh, go, so I, uh, discreetly fell behind and did what you have to do when there aren't any outhouses. My son had gone back into the trees with me, and upon our return to the rest if the group, he announced proudly, "My mommy peed on the ground!"

Posted by: niner | June 23, 2006 4:19 PM

"As a special treat, Mom occasionally liked Dad to steam her a lobster (the rest of us would eat pizza). They bought the lobster live and brought it home for steaming. Once little brother insisted on holding the bag and dropped it on the way from the car to the house. He watched dumbfounded as the bag skittered away!"

Hopefully little brother learned that no living creature deserves to be boiled alive!

Posted by: Anonymous | June 23, 2006 4:21 PM

My Mom loves to tell this story about me....When I was young (5 or 6) I hated to have my hair washed. She would do everything from laying me on the sink, putting a washcloth over my eyes, etc. Well, one day she was really getting frustrated with me, so she told me if I didn't let her wash my hair she was going to smack me. (My mother NEVER smacked either myself or my sister.) So the next time I was to get my hair washed I said to my Mom, "Please smack me, Mommy!" She said she felt so bad she cried! Funny thing is now (I'm 32) rarely does a day go by that I don't wash my hair and it's a real treat to have someone else do it for me!

Posted by: Masochistic Child | June 23, 2006 4:26 PM

Ok, this isn't even about someone I know well, but niner's story reminded me and it's pretty funny. One of my summer jobs while in college was working as a conductor on a tourist railroad. The ride was a little over an hour in each direction through the mountains, and inevitably some child would need to go to the bathroom during the ride, but of course there weren't any restrooms on the train. One day a little girl, probably about 5, had to go sooo badly and I told her the only option was for us to stop the train and she could get out and go in the woods. She gave me a solemn look and said in a light southern accent, "No ma'am. I don't like to pee on nature." It cracked me up.

Scarry, too bad we weren't closer by, between the eggs and the flour we could have had a good time!!

Posted by: Megan | June 23, 2006 4:27 PM

In our family, usually I drop off the kids and my husband picks them up and everyone is home a few minutes before I get there. I almost always have a glass of water once I get home and my toddler daughter became aware of that habit. One evening as I came into the kitchen, she very sweetly handed me one of her plastic cups with water and said "here's your water mommy." I said thank you and drank the water, realizing at about the same moment that she can't reach the water. So, I asked where the water came from and she proudly replied "the cat's dish." Now I ask FIRST!

Second story, same child. One evening when baby girl was about 8 or 9 months old, my husband arrived home with her and simply handed her to me. Something did not feel right - no nice cushion-y diaper. He'd resourcefully fashioned a diaper out of paper towels when she had a minor accident on the way home and he changed her in the men's room only to find out that there was no spare diaper in the diaper bag. Fortunately 1)where we live there are changing stations in most men's rooms; 2) he's a creative guy and 3) baby cooperated and didn't have another incident on the way home!

The same dad survived trial by fire as he became accustomed to life with two toddler boys after we were married and there are many, many funny stories there - most involving poo and other body functions or parts ...

Posted by: SS | June 23, 2006 4:28 PM

Another good church going one- my brother at age 4 during mass (and in a quiet moment of reflection) stated very loadly that the man (the priest) shouldn't talk so much. The congregation got a kick out of that and probably agreed.

Posted by: UP | June 23, 2006 4:29 PM

UP reminded me of a story, not my child, but I witnessed it.

In the 80's, my church was given a large tract of land for a new building. We had the requisite ground breaking service one Sunday afternoon, to be followed with a potluck picnic. As the pastor was praying at the end of the service, both thanking God for the gift and for the food, he got a little long-winded. A 3-yo boy standing next to me decided enough was enough. He started quietly, "amen" (whispered), then got louder, "Amen" (spoken), then louder, "AMEN" (yelled). Those of us near him were dying trying to hold in the laughter and none of us were quick enough to grab him before he marched up to the pastor, tugged on his pants and announced (at the top of his lungs), "HEY, I said, 'AMEN'. You're supposed to stop now!"

I don't recall whether the pastor stopped at that point, but I know no one heard anything else he said, we were all laughing too hard!

Posted by: What great stories! | June 23, 2006 4:38 PM

I've enjoyed reading all these, even thought I'm far from being a parent. I was a sickly kid and I feel bad for all the days my parents had to take off work to stay home with me (yup, they both worked, and I went to daycare, and loved every minute of it).
Once in the car, either just arriving at or just leaving the doctor's office, I felt the urge to hurl, and even though I was very young I remember searching for something to puke in...Aha! my mom's purse. She even shot her hand out to try to cover the opening, but it looked to me like a fancy leather puke bucket. I just love her description of having to pull each item out and clean it individually, and then toss the purse.

Posted by: BL | June 23, 2006 4:58 PM

So you know, your days catching puke may never end. I was 29, 10 weeks pregnant with my first, and at a wedding with my mom. We were walking down the hall when she looked at me, pulled me into a corner, grabbed my head and bent me by the waist (to protect my clothes), and cupped her hands directly under my mouth, at which point I puked. She said "I haven't seen that look in 27 years, but I just can't forget it." Mommies are the best!

Posted by: A great day | June 23, 2006 5:09 PM

I have a good one from my cousin's childhood. She was about four years old or so, and it was the day before thanksgiving. Her family was a large one, with 7 kids total, plus the parents and a few guests, to feed on thanksgiving day. The turkey, you can imagine, was huge. Her mother had placed the turkey in the bathtub to thaw out (it wouldn't fit in the kitchen sink). And if you think a moment about children's very literal thought processes, you know what's coming next. Yep! You guessed it! She figured the turkey was "dirty" and needed a bath (why else would it be in the bathtun?) and proceeded to give it a wash, soap, suds and all! Needless to say, no turkey for thanksgiving dinner that year . . . (and we still ask her if she's washed the turkey yet . . .)

Posted by: Interested Party | June 23, 2006 5:11 PM

I thought of another one...

When we were all small, my brothers and I would hold tea parties in our screened-in patio. We didn't have fancy tea sandwiches or cookies and our tea was just luke-warm tap water, but we had fun. Mom was focused on our new-born brother, so didn't really pay us much mind unless we started screaming or got REALLY quiet (as any parent knows, that was generally a sign we were up to no good!) In any case, we had a cat and a dog at that time and we hit upon the brilliant idea of using their food for our tea party. Actually, that's unfair to my brothers, I think it was my idea!

Our mother was appalled, but figured there was nothing in there that was going to hurt us, so she let it go. We enjoyed the novelty for a short while, then discovered the fresh peas in the garden made better "tea" snacks. Mom couldn't figure out why her pea plants never bore any pods! I finally 'fessed up last year while we were discussing planting a small veg garden on my balcony.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 23, 2006 5:16 PM

You just reminded me of one of my own stories. When my son was three we were invited to a wedding. Since we are not church goers, he had no experience with behaving in churches, but he had been to the theater and sports events with us and we explained that he should sit quietly and listen like at the theater. He had no trouble behaving until the soloist finished singing the Ave Maria. Right as she finished, the church was silent, and then my son began clapping and yelling bravo, good job very loudly.

Posted by: What great stories | June 23, 2006 5:30 PM

When he was 2-ish, my nephew had pronunciation issues with "truck" that co-incided with an unfortunate fascination with tractor-trailers. The best story is was when he and his mother were stranded on the side of the road after their car broke down. A kind PA state trooper took them home and throughout the ride my nephew insisted on pointing out all of the semi's passing them. His mom was mortified and dutifully corrected him each time until she realized the trooper was shaking from holding his laughter in. At that point, she gave up. When he dropped them off, the trooper revealed he had a 3 yr old daughter who called her sister's pacifier "Nookie", insisting she wanted "Nookie", too.

Posted by: Anonymous | June 23, 2006 5:42 PM

When my mom was a teenager, she lived with my grandparents, her divorced older sister and her young nephew. One day, I think she was about 17 or so, a guy she really liked called her, and her dear nephew-- who was about 6 at the time and is now a 42-year-old mathematician-- told him she couldn't come to the phone because she was in the bathroom pooping! It's an infamous family story, and we all get a kick hearing it.

Posted by: JJ | June 23, 2006 6:19 PM

Speaking of missionaries and missing good moments, I missed this moment of my brother's preteens because he was at a sports practice, but heard about it later. Apparently a Mormon missionary approached my brother and started the spiel - then my brother said "wait a minute," turned to face another boy, and yelled "HEY FRED, THERE'S A BUDDHIST HERE TO SEE YOU!"

Anyway, wasn't I Don't Know How She Does It the novel about a rich character pretending to be middle class?

Anne Marlow's review was pretty good:
http://dir.salon.com/story/books/feature/2002/10/23/pearson/index.html

"...Money should play a leading role in "I Don't Know How She Does It" because Pearson has made her heroine, Kate Reddy, a hedge-fund manager at EMF, a prestigious investment bank in the City (London's financial district)....

"...The real Kate Reddys make 500,000 pounds a year -- around $750,000. The real Kate Reddys don't fake homemade pies at 2 in the morning -- they pay someone else to bake them..."

Meanwhile, of course many 12-year-olds don't want to be in daycare! That doesn't mean they all want their parents to quit their jobs. In many cases it means the preteen feels old enough to be home alone, or in an actual extracurricular activity, after school instead. Face it, "daycare" sounds far more babyish than "soccer practice" or "chess club."

Posted by: Cindy | June 23, 2006 7:07 PM

Former Daycare Lady --

Sorry, but your daycare just must have not been that good, if most of the kids would rather be home. My kids (3 and 5) love their daycare and frequently beg me to let them stay for extended day (they are there from 9-3). That's the only reason I can think of as to why the kids are so focused on being with mom and dad -- you were not doing enough to make their day fun and stimulating.

Posted by: WAH Mom | June 23, 2006 8:34 PM

I was taking a flight solo with my toddler and was confident that I had everything together and packed well--in fact so well that every diaper I had got checked through to Indianapolis! I had to go through the terminal and beg a mom I saw for a spare diaper because my son blew through his before we even boarded the plane!

Posted by: PTJobFTMom | June 24, 2006 9:22 AM

"That's the only reason I can think of as to why the kids are so focused on being with mom and dad -- you were not doing enough to make their day fun and stimulating."

WAH Mom, you forgot another possible reason why kids weren't have been happy in her daycare: some people sent kids as old as 12 to it.

If a 10-year-old got mocked by classmates for still going to daycare, an 11-year-old wanted to go to jazz band practice after school instead, or a 12-year-old had PMS then was that Former Daycare Lady's fault? Of course not.

Posted by: Cindy | June 24, 2006 1:12 PM

I still can remember my 2 yr old exclaim, "Bye Bye Ben's school" as I drove right past it on the way to work. Talk about being on autopilot...

Posted by: Driveby | June 26, 2006 1:17 PM

Here my poorly-timed poop story;

First day back at work after 12 weeks mat leave. Baby comes in with me one day per week (arranged with my boss), the rest is working at home. Meeting at 9:30. Want to arrive at 9:00ish to feed baby and get ready for meeting, but chronically late husband and one-car family make that impossible. Normally regular 7am pooper doesn't poop for some reason today. 9:25. Step off the elevator. Start feeding baby in my office, she grunts once and this morning's very runny poop ends up all over her outfit, and straight down my beige pants. Change her in the bathroom (and every woman on my floor comes in to coo at the baby while I'm mortified of course). I brought two spare outfits for her, but didn't think of bringing the same for me. Wash my pants in the sink and put them back on wet! Then into the meeting 20 minutes late with a baby who hasn't been fed, so under the nursing cover she goes.

She's been nursing in meetings ever since. Not usual I know, but my co-workers are great about it and she won't take a bottle so it works for us (for now).

Posted by: Kirsten | July 5, 2006 11:35 AM

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