The Mom Crutch

Is it possible I am devastated over the loss of Fi’s snack trap? The little Tupperware-like container full of cheerios that she shoves her fist into? It’s become an extra body part, like Captain Hook’s hook. It goes everywhere with us. And it costs $8.00.

3-Pack Snack Trap - Girl

I know where I left it: on a mom date at the Time Warner Center. I am actually debating going back to get it. It’s an hour each way, and the roundtrip subway ride is $4.50. Is my time worth more than $3.50?

Logic would say no. The fact I’m even considering this has me worried. Is it because I’m stubborn and/or cheap? Or is it because as a child I was never allowed to waste or lose anything? Maybe both? I once sat at the table with a meatball in my mouth for an hour, refusing to swallow while my father refused to let me leave (I ultimately won, thanks to my mom stepping in). Once, when I lost a flip-flop in a lake, they made me wade to get it despite a snapping turtle warning. Nice. I really could blame my parents for this quirk of mine. But I don’t want Fi to grow up the same and then blame me.

“Mom, I missed the train home from college because I had to walk a mile to the bank to save the $2.00 ATM fee”….

She is already headstrong enough. My entire motivation for the snack trap was the stress in Mommy-Tot Yoga. As soon as I’d settle into Warrior One, she’d dart across the room, stick her grubby little fingers in another child’s trap, and cart away with it. I’d run over, apologize and drag her away, screaming (so much for the zen of yoga)…only to have the scenario repeat itself throughout the hour, leaving me stressed and short of multiple Downward Dogs and Sun Salutations.

I had a similar dilemma about a month ago. Fi flung her favorite sippy cup (one that I can only find online) somewhere in the park, unbeknownst to the sitter who was strolling her. I actually paid that sitter an extra $15 to stay while I went out and scoured the area for the $6 cup. Forty-five minutes into my scavenger hunt, I saw it sitting on a park bench. I twirled around victorious, holding it like a trophy, then raced home to get the sitter off the clock. Yes, mathematically, it doesn’t make sense. But somehow the thought of buying a whole new one—and waiting for it to arrive– just irked me.

In the case of the snack trap, my good friend who lives near the store that sells them went and bought me two. As thanks, I bought her lunch.

I think it comes down to knowing where to draw the line. And what’s extreme. I need to teach her the value of a dollar and how not to waste, but without forcing food down her throat or making her wade into dangerous waters.  I’ll pick the ones that count. She’ll know that getting home to see her mom from college is far more important than saving $2. And in the meantime, for all my mom-crutch items, maybe I’ll just buy two. It will save my sanity and probably in the end, a few pennies too.

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  1. by Julia

    On June 14, 2011 at 6:47 pm

    Hah! I am like this too. When Caroline was 6 months old, her Sophie giraffe teether went missing. PANIC ensued. I retraced our steps and found Sophie in the road about an hour later. She had been run over by a car. You can bet I washed that thing off and handed it right back to Caroline. Bonus: being crunched by a car meant that the annoying squeaker was broken, so thereafter Sophie was silent. It pays to be a little crazy sometimes, is all I’m saying.

  2. by Stephanie

    On June 15, 2011 at 7:24 am

    Gracie lost hers last week and I’ve been throwing gold fish into little plastic bags…which are now found all over my house. I need to invest in Buy Buy Baby Stock.

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  12. by Kim

    On January 4, 2013 at 10:17 pm

    My two were close in age and closer in development, for a year I might as well have had twins. I stopped flipping about losing anything but shoes. My time was far more valuable by scarcity! However, I also kept all those expensive and hard to find pieces of gear for the next baby, who happens to be due next month. So long haul, I didn`t really lose any money. Just a small armory worth of storage space for a couple years.

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