Irrational Mom Anger Part 2

Last week I wrote about my irrational anger at everyday noises. Anything that stands in the way of Fia’s nap sets me off. So I came up with a solution. She now naps  in our downstairs bathroom–in her stroller. It’s the only dark windowless room in our house. I turn on the ventilation fan, strap her in, and boom, she’s out within seconds. I can get anywhere from 1-3 hours.

I bank on this time. It’s how I get stuff done.

So it came with extreme irritation and fury when just 30 minutes into her nap Phil came downstairs and yanked open the bathroom door. I was on the phone and mouthed the biggest WTF???? my lips would do, throwing my arm in the air with exasperation. He of all people knows better. He mouthed something angrily back. I hung up my call to the sound of a cry.

?!$#?&%! YOU WOKE HER UP! I shouted, ready to spit I was so pissed.

“IT SMELLS LIKE NATURAL GAS IN THE UPSTAIRS BATHROOM!!!” (which is right above the one she naps in) he yelled back, as he gently picked her out of the stroller with a hug. “I WAS MAKING SURE IT WASN’T DOWN HERE!!”  We sounded like the Costanza’s.

Seething, I stormed past them both, went upstairs, and boom the smell hit me like a dozen rotten eggs. It was one of those moments where I knew he was right. And should be touched by his protective nature. For god’s sakes…you don’t mess with gas. It can kill.

Yet, somewhere inside, a voice was still saying, “But did you have to open the bathroom door so loudly??”

I sulked downstairs, knowing my to-do list would stay to-do. I couldn’t bring myself to apologize. I was still fuming. “I’ll call the management company,” I said tersely.

They told us to put a fan in the upstairs bathroom and call them back in 45 minutes if the smell persisted. (Great advice by the way. Seriously?)

Still incensed, I put Fi in the stroller and went to the park. Phil texted me three hours later.

Gas smell still here. Gas company coming.

I was home when they showed up. The guy walked in and in less than a second said, “Oh yeah, you got a problem.”

Turns out not only did we have a problem in our apartment, but in our entire building.

“It’s somewhere in the walls. A pipe is leaking,” he said.

A vision of a residential block in Queens annihilated by a fatal, natural gas explosion popped in my head.

At this point I figured I probably owed Phil an apology for my initial knee-jerk reaction. I mean, the guy isn’t an idiot. He wouldn’t knowingly barge into the bathroom and wake-up the baby. And thank god he was on top of it.

Here is where city living gets fun. Regulation requires them to do what’s called a lockdown. They shut the gas off in the entire building—all 36 apartments. This happened right at the dinner hour. A plumber then had to come out and find the leak. Within an hour he discovered it in the wall behind our neighbor’s stove. He fixed it. Problem is, the gas company then has to come back and inspect every apartment to make sure every stove and oven knob is turned off before they fire up the gas again. Try getting a building of that many people to be home at the same time or have their keys handed off to someone. This took another day and a half of coordination. (The local restaurants surely benefited in take-out that week). Eventually it was turned back on and life was back to normal.

So where does that leave me with my nap-versus-noise obsession? Nowhere except that it wouldn’t hurt me to chill out a bit about her sleep.  I was so crazy in the beginning with lack of sleep, I actually might have post traumatic stress disorder. In this case, I realized that if the length of her nap is my biggest problem, then perhaps I’m the luckiest mom in the world.

Add a Comment
Back To Fearless Feisty Mama
  1. by Michele

    On July 20, 2011 at 12:44 pm

    We had the same sleep deprivation to the extreme problem with our daughter. I’m almost the SAME WAY about her naps now as you are about your daughter. Having gone to therapy for the last year has helped me loosen up AND more importantly keep these PTSD-style overreactions to a minimum. I really, really know where you’re coming from. We live right outside from the subway near Queens Blvd. I can’t even hide her from outside noises. Super loud car stereos and car alarms drive me bonkers! Why are people so inconsiderate?? Sigh… Gladly she’s learned to sleep through it. But I still freak out a bit, in my mind.

  2. by hotels

    On September 20, 2011 at 7:42 pm

    Greetings from yet another Clark cousin. I descend from Christopher and Penelope this way: daughter Sarah Clark m. Charles Lynch Sr., their daughter Penelope Lynch m. Robert Adams, their daughter Mildred m. William Ward, son of Major John Ward and Anne Chiles (an FFV family line). Mildred and William Wards son John m. Tabitha Walden; their son William W. Ward married Elizabeth Adams. Their son, Henry Chiles Ward was my great grandfather.