Posted by Fitz

I get stressed out a lot – too much, really.  It can be over work, over the pile of laundry I have to do, over big decisions…like I said, too much, really.  You’d think that, based on this self-assessment, I’d have experienced stress to the nth degree, but I hadn’t.  Who knew?

Picture this: last week, I’m driving home from a client site going north on I95 in Fairfield County at 4:45.    I’m happy, because I’m going home earlier than planned to meet Beanie and my dear husband at home.  I give him a call to tell him I’m on my way, and as soon as he picked up I knew something was wrong.  “Fitz,” he said.  “I’m stuck on the Merritt Parkway in Norwalk.  I don’t think I’m going to make it to daycare on time for pickup!”

The terror in his voice made it clear that it was up to me to get our Bean before she was the last one left, in a dark school, with annoyed teachers who were going to charge us extra.  The problem?  I was also in Norwalk, as I mentioned, and traffic on 95 is a given.  We were on two parallel highways trying to get to the same place, with the same literal and figurative roadblocks in front of us.  Who would get there first?  Would it be on time?  Was our Bean distressed because we weren’t there yet?

This, my friends, was stress.  With a capital S. 

Let me tell you, I’ve never driven so aggressively (or with such road rage).  I weaved, I wove, I beeped, and I cursed, but manners didn’t matter in my quest to make it to school before pickup.  The 10 miles – and 40 minutes – that it took me to get there were some of the longest in my life.  It seems ridiculous to say that, but hell hath no anxiety like a mom and dad who are both going to be late for pickup and can’t do a frigging thing about it.  Our hearts were pounding.

I ended up getting to the school two minutes late.  She wasn’t the last one there, luckily, but she had been waiting for me.  “Mommy, what took you so long?” she said before she gave me a big hug around the neck.  That’s why, on occasion, I still harbor a bit of guilt for working.  It’s why I can’t stop wondering if my career and motherhood are not a good fit.  It’s when I remember, with a shot through the heart, that my top priority is three feet tall and sassy. 

Being late to daycare one time is certainly not the end all and be all for my career, obviously, but it felt like it on that particular day.   So when you’re driving home from work and see a man or woman driving like a crazy person with a manic glint in their eyes, just let them pass.  They probably have a cutie pie that needs picking up.

photo credit: http://blogs.cars.com/photos/mother_proof_december/roadrage500.jpg

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Posted by Duff

Fitz and I are honored (and quite surprised) to have recieved two awards from fellow bloggers during the week of our 100th post.

One from Lisa (who not only is a baker, but has met  and been photographed with Duran Duran, so both 34-year-old and 10-year-old me bow down to her). The other is from Binky, who recently guestblogged for us, and whose insight I emulate.  

It means a ton to us that someone, let alone two would find our experiences helpful and our writing at all entertaining , so we thank Lisa, Binky, and everyone who reads.

I for one, am not always appreciative of my own Momness – in my own head, I’m not always patient or understanding, and I can’t say I take every last opportunity to teach The Dervish at a time in her development when she certainly could benefit from constant constructive suggestion and learning opportunities. I fall short of my own ideals. How can I not?

When The Dervish was an infant, and a trip to the store was enough to give me heart palpitations, I stood in the grocery line behind another mom. The cashier was running produce over the scanner. “Excuse me,” she said to Good Mom. “Can you tell me what this is? I’ve never seen it before.”

“It’s a starfruit,” said Good Mom. “I like to expose my kids to a variety of fruits and vegetables so they can learn about them. Sometimes they like them.”

I was torn between wanting to get her number to be my Mom Sponsor and resenting her for making me feel Less Than. But that’s probably because I wasn’t getting much sleep at that time. These days, I think she had a pretty cool idea. But I should mention that her two or more kids weren’t at the store with her, and she had years of experience on me. So her blood pressure had probably regulated.

Honestly, it’s important to tell moms when you appreciate something they’ve done, or are impressed with one of their cool mom ideas. We all love it. I’m sure our moms love it.

And with that, I want to pass on the appreciation and bestow awards upon Amy and Erin for lovely, clever blogs that are honest.  And between moms, honesty is especially refreshing and as necessary as a Calgon moment in a whinestorm.

Yesterday, I was at the dentist. My hygienist, whom I adore, was about to tell me about the birth of her second child. Before she did, though, she had the presence of mind to ask, “Do you really want to know?”

Without hesitation, I replied. “Yes. It’s not just that I want to know. I need to know. I should know. Please, be honest.”

Honestly, that experience sounded better than the birth of her first.