Some days are rough. Teeth are cutting, naps are interrupted, and Genevieve is growing at a rate that boggles the mind. Growing pains are a real thing. So, we rock the routine and roll with the punches.
And roll literally, in the stroller. The fresh air does us both good, and it gives her a chance to decompress while she has her snack. We take a toy along for the ride, and the toy gets to model good behavior.
We had One of Those Days last week- parenting fail, after parenting fail, after parenting fail. I decided to try a walk to reboot our afternoon, and that day, she picked Bert as her ride-along buddy.
opining as to what is the *best* way to raise children. Then the opinions turned into an argument that has no winner, with both sides digging their heels in and shouting "I AM RIGHT, AND YOU ARE WRONG! YOU ARE A HORRIBLE, SOCIALLY IRRESPONSIBLE MOTHER!"
There is really nothing as incendiary as discussing parenting choices.
I stayed out of the discussion, but my stomach was churning over the whole mess, and taking a quiet walk helped soothe my troubles, too.
As we wrapped up the walk and came home, I went to pull Genevieve out of the stroller to find Genevieve... but not Bert. I had stopped partway during the walk to tuck my jacket into the basket underneath, gave Genevieve a kiss, and Bert had been there. And now he was noticeably absent.
In my mind, I saw Genevieve's heart break over the loss of a favorite toy. The tears. Not understanding WHY Bert was gone. Worst of all- how would we tell Ernie?
Obviously, at some point, Bert had gone overboard, unnoticed. I turned the stroller around, intending to retrace our steps, and I realized that (based on the timing of the last diaper) Genevieve - likely - needed to be changed. We went inside, I asked Mom to change her and keep an eye on her for five minutes while I took the car on a recon mission.
I knew, intellectually, that if I couldn't find him, it would be simple to replace Bert. But it wasn't about that. It had been a horrible day, and if I could save Bert, I could have gotten at least that part of the day right. No toy left behind.
When I came home, I didn't quite get the hero's welcome I had expected. Genevieve didn't really seem to care much, or notice. It didn't matter. I brought Bert home.
You can add "Special Ops Mom" to my resume. Officially.