I had to call the pediatrician for my daughter, but couldn't find his number on the Web. I decided to call information from my office. The operator picked up and said, "Emergency services, what is your emergency?" After a moment of confusion, I realized that I could either hang up on this 911 operator, or shamefully admit that I mean to dial 411.
Of course, I knew that I couldn't hang up without having my call traced, so I admitted what an idiot I'd been. The operator made me give her all my information anyway -- and then told me that an officer would have to come to my office to make sure I didn't really have an emergency. I wanted to say to her, "Of course I have an emergency -- too work, too little time, too little competent help, too much laundry, and too little sleep!" When the cop came, I wanted to pull her into my office and put her to work. That or have her go grocery shopping for me.
-- Kathy, Annie's Mom
My darling infant son wakes me up at 4 every morning and has difficulty getting back to sleep; my school-age children get up at 7:30 for school. One morning, I overslept by about 10 minutes. So I was running around, waking up my other boys, throwing breakfast down their throat and clothes at their feet! My 8-week-old decided to have a meltdown at this point. I ran in and picked him up, and right on cue he threw up all over me.
Then the phone rang, and it was The Mother-In-Law. I tried to tell her I was in crisis mode but ended up offending her anyway. My boys ran out to get on the bus and I started the lovely process of bathing my baby and changing myself when the doorbell rang. I rushed to the door to find a policeman, who told me there was a criminal living at my address and that he needed to serve papers. To make a long story short, he had the wrong house. He left, and I got us dressed and started to do laundry.
Of course, my dryer would not work. I decide to just stay in the rocking chair the rest of the day. Too many bad omens!
-- Carmen, Braeden's Mom
My husband and I decided to take our daughter on an outing about five days after she was born. We thought we were so smart: I packed up the diaper bag, he packed up the camera. We loaded Maddy into her car seat, quite proud of ourselves, and set off, only to realize we'd left both the diaper bag and the camera at home. We backtracked, got them, and headed to the bank quickly.
Ten minutes after leaving the teller's drive-through, I reached over to turn on the radio. And in my husband's lap sat the bank's deposit container. We laughed the whole way back to the bank, and to this day giggle about how trying to figure out this whole parenting thing has definitely been an adventure!
-- Madison's Mom
At about 1 month, my daughter began to hate her car seat. When she fussed, I'd talk to her in a soft voice, trying to soothe her. One afternoon she had finally fallen asleep after fussing for a while, when I heard the bell going off that indicated my gas tank was empty. Instinctively, I said, "I know, baby. We're almost there." It didn't seem to quiet the dashboard!
-- Teri, Peighton's Mom
For my twins' 16th birthday, I took them to the DMV to get their driver's permits. While my toddler played with toys in the waiting area, I showed my older girls where to go for their eye exams and sign all the necessary papers. When the twins passed their tests, we were so excited and chatty and excited to let them take turns driving home... and we left my little girl in the building. We realized it when we got in the car and didn't remember putting her in her car seat. I ran back inside to find her standing by the door with her nose pressed to the glass. When I opened the door, she cried, "What about me, Mommy? Don't forget me!" I cried for about two hours.
-- Jess, Mom to Candra, Sara, and Austyn
One rainy Seattle afternoon, I had picked up my daughter Leah, 9 months, from my mother-in-law's house after work. I ran her out to the car -- both of us getting drenched on the way -- and quickly buckled her into her car seat and shut the door. As I scurried around to my side of the car I quickly discovered my keys were nowhere to be found! In horror I recalled setting them next to my daughter's car seat while buckling her in. I had locked my keys and my daughter in the car!
For the next half-hour, while waiting for my husband to come unlock the car, my mother-in-law and I ran around the car with puppets and bright colored toys attempting to keep Leah entertained. Everyone who drove by looked at us like we were nuts -- two completely drenched ladies prancing around a car with puppets! Thankfully, Leah was just fine when her daddy arrived to rescue her. I wish I could say that was the only "oops" moment involving the keys since I became a mom! What can I say? Welcome to mom-hood!
-- Hannah, Leah and Levi's Mom
I remember one particular early-morning feeding during the first few weeks after bringing our son home from the hospital. I was so tired I just could not keep my eyes open. When my husband found us, I had fallen asleep and the bottle had slipped out of my son's mouth and was now pointed directly in his ear. He must have known that I was seriously sleep deprived because he didn't fuss at all, he just looked up at me as if to say, "Mom, something's not quite right about this."
-- Deanne, Colin's Mom
I was fixing my 4-month-old daughter a bottle of formula and my husband a glass of iced tea. We were out of ready-made tea, so I pulled out the instant iced tea mix. I brought my husband the bottle for him to feed the baby, and told him I was about to bring his tea out.
He began laughing -- which infuriated me as I was sleep-deprived and cranky -- and said, "Don't worry about making a pitcher. Four ounces ought to do it." Turns out I'd filled my baby's bottle with the iced tea. I was confused, though, because I knew I had dipped two scoops of formula -- I could smell it on my fingers. I checked the kitchen and yes, indeed -- I'd prepared a pitcher of formula.
-- Novalea's Mom
My son hadn't pooped in two days. Usually when he doesn't go for a while, it's literally all over the place when he finally does. Going about my day as normal, I decided to throw on some new clothes -- a cute white shirt -- and take him to the mall. I was holding Isaiah when all of a sudden his poopy decided to show up...all over my new shirt. I went to the bathroom and tried to salvage what was left of my shirt, without any luck. A little boy came up to me and said, "Eww, did your baby poop on you?" I said to him, "Yes, and I wear it with pride!"
-- Jennifer, Isaiah's Mom
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Originally published on AmericanBaby.com, April 2005.