Saturday, May 31, 2008

Been There, Chewed That

Or, "What Not To Do On A First Date"

Ethan has a new, erm, charming eating habit. He's developed a tendency to put something in his mouth, chew it for a considerable amount of time and then casually open his mouth and either go in for it himself, ever so generously handing it over to us, or he waits patiently for one of us to get the hint and pluck it from his mouth ourselves. This is not an attractive new table manner, obviously.

I don't know if he's part bird and acting out some ass-backwards instinct to provide US with his half digested food (let's take a moment to be grateful that he doesn't regurgitate, shall we?) or if he's simply trying to keep his lithe boyish figure and he's been watching too much America's Next Top Model for pointers, or what. Either way, ew.

I think the more likely explanation for this new "development" (and it's only occasional, really) is that in the last few weeks, Ethan's become more adventurous as an eater (read: is willing to eat more than frozen french toast and blueberries). In the past week, he's actually eaten entire sandwiches without stripping them for parts (meaning, the cheese) and leaving the rest. Thanks to his Monday and Friday mornings hanging out with Lilly, he's discovered a love of tater tots. There was also a mulberry picked off the ground incident (surprisingly he didn't try to get rid of that mid-chew). We have found that as of yet, there is no nasty reaction to peanut butter and he's a fan of salsa--apparently the spicier the better. He's also eaten entire plates full of steamed vegetables and last night our little shunner of all things meat took his first, second and third bites of a hamburger, to which Husband says, "Ha! Take THAT vegetarians everywhere!!"

So I guess it's not surprising that every once in awhile he's going to go out on a limb, chew something for a few minutes and think, "Um. Yeah, this is not food. Let's get this out of my mouth now." Think Tom Hanks in Big at the Christmas party, minus the frilly-shirted tux.

Sometimes, like tonight, I think he just gets a bit ahead of himself, now that he's also insisting on eating everything with a grown-up fork. On more than one occasion he's estimated the size of his mouth to be something just shy of Grand Canyon-esque and ends up with a bit more food in it that perhaps he should. So of course, some of it has to come out.

We're not encouraging it, but as long as there's more food making its way to his tummy than my hand (and he doesn't do it in public too much) I'm happy to wait out this food phase. I just hope it lets up before his first date--otherwise, can you say "awkward!!"

Friday, May 30, 2008

It Was the Best of Times, It Was the Worst of Times...

First, my sincerest apologies to Dickens for stealing his most famous literary line for my measly little blog. I have no doubt he is, as I type, spinning wildly in his grave that I should compare my week as a (somewhat) single mom (without that pesky supporting myself part) to the horror of the French Revolution, but truly there is no other way for me to describe this past week (okay, there are probably countless more appropriate, less over-the-top drama queen ways for me to express it; but that's who I am. Forgive me.), so there it is

First--let's do the worst of times, shall we?

The bi-polar baby I spoke of last week? Still here. I am seriously considering looking into some sort of exorcist to see if we can release the demon that is taking over my sweet little boy and forcing him to throw things at my face and grab hold of other toddlers' cheeks, squeezing until he leaves finger marks.

I can only say I am so relieved that the women in my playgroup have known Ethan since the days in which he was a red, screaming, shaking, swaddled mess in our "mom & baby yoga class" so they, in some ways, see him as an extension of their own families (as I do them and their kids) and therefore, they love him in spite of this new-found persona of Ethan the Destroyer. And thankfully, they don't look at me like a horrible mother or cluck their teeth in my general direction when my child, yet again, smacks one of theirs on the head. We sort of all accept that this is part of a toddler's quest to find boundaries and express frustration when the words simply can't come. We also realize that a toddler rarely learns what the boundaries are on the first test.

Unfortunately, random bitchmoms at the Thomas Train table in Barnes and Noble apparently have PERFECT toddlers who never misbehave and therefore they feel the need to humiliate us moms who dare to bring our imperfect spawn out into public. Yesterday, as Ethan played happily by his lonesome at the Thomas table, the 4:30 rush began and in a matter of moments, the room had all but filled up with wobbly toddlers looking to get their grubby paws on a train.

This is always a tough transition because imagine the bliss of having that train table all to yourself, 4-5 trains at your disposal, all tunnels and bridges yours for the conquering. Then suddenly, a bunch of kids you've never seen before come looking for a piece of the action. As much as I know Ethan needs to learn to share, my heart always breaks a little bit for him when a bigger kid (because if they're over a year old, they're bigger than him) walks up and claims dominance, and half the trains.

One woman (I will refrain from describing her, but let's just say she has good reason to be bitter at the world, based on her appearance alone) stood along side the table, ever vigilant and watchful (a Thomas table Madame DeFarge, if you will---see, Dickens?! I really read the book, so it's okay to use the line for petty little problems) as the kids played. I, on the other hand, sat in one of the tiny green adirondacks and chatted with Karen. I have made a conscious decision not to helicopter parent, so unless there is trouble brewing, I let Ethan have a fairly long leash to figure the world out.

At one point, I saw Madame D's child swat Ethan (unprovoked--just because I'm not on top of him doesn't mean I'm not watching...) TWICE in the head. Nasty ugly mom--does nothing. Ethan did little but look at the kid like, "Dude, what the hell was that for?" and he walked to the other side of the table, so I took a few deep breaths and let it go. They worked it out on their own. No big deal (although a little "it's not nice to hit. I need you to apologize to the little boy" would have been a nice gesture, right?)

Moments later my child is seized by the demon and he hucks a train in the general direction of another child (please note: not her child). You would have thought, from her reaction, that my child had opened up his jacket to reveal a bomb. Please imagine the biggest, most dramatic gasp you can. I'll give you a second. I swear, had the woman been wearing pearls, she would have been clutching them.

Given the rousing reaction he got from her, Ethan, amused, picked up yet another train and threw it. Again, NOT at her child. Nor did it hit anyone or anything on it's trajectory to the floor. But of course, Madame DeFarge lets out a "gasping back to life after an epi pen to the heart" gasp and CLUCKS her FUCKING TEETH AT ME!!!

Obviously I collected Ethan up, made him apologize to the little boy whose direction the trains were hurled in and I apologized to the kid's father before putting Ethan in the stroller to leave. Fortunately the man was sane and rational and said, "eh, no problem. It happens. He didn't him anyone," and let it go. Meanwhile Madame DeFarge is over there shaking her head; if she'd had her knitting, you can be damn sure my child's name would be on her list.

Every fiber of my being wanted to say something to her about her own child hitting mine and why the need to mortify and humiliate another mom like that? Aren't we, in some way, all in this together?? Did she not see (I know she did!) her own child swat Ethan on the head not once, but TWICE??!! But I was shaking with anger too much to form a thought besides, "BITCH!!!!!" and truly, that's not really appropriate talk for the Thomas table, now is it?

My heart breaks for Ethan because I know so much of this aggression is related to Husband's being out of town so often and sensing our stress about this move. And, you know what? He's two. It's tough being two with all the emotions and so few words to express them with. I know it's not "okay" for him to throw his hands at kids or to pinch or throw things. But I also know he is overwhelmed with everything going on right now.

So we start time outs and read our Hands Are Not For Hitting book eleventy billion times a day. He thinks time outs are hoot right now, but hopefully he'll catch on soon.

And now to the best of times. I have a few things in that department as well....

1.) He pooped on the potty!!! This will probably only be of interest to the grandparent-types reading the blog, so everyone else can feel free to skip down to the other items, but when Grandma's in Africa, this is the only way to spread the news. Last night, there was much pointing to the bum and pointing up the stairs saying, "poo poos. potty. poo poos. potty." This has been a regular occurrence for months with no poo poos materializing in the potty as of yet, so I put little to no stock in it, but what the hell, let's climb the stairs, go through the whole riggamaroll; it's almost bath time anyway.

So I got him ready for the potty, handed him his favorite barnyard animals book and went fold some laundry. Wouldn't you know it, he came running into the bedroom two minutes later, a piece of toilet paper hanging out of his bum (I may never stop laughing about that; gotta love him for trying) saying, "Poo Poos!! Poo Poos!" and sure enough, there it was in the Elmo potty.

I have never done a happy dance over poop before, but I figured it was in order. He was literally aglow with glee. I do believe that particular poop was his life's masterpiece, as far as he's concerned. We could not fall asleep last night until thirty minutes after our usual too-late bedtime because he had to keep telling me the story of how he pooped on the potty. (It's a short story..."poo poo on potty!" over and over again pretty much sums it up).

We shall see what else happens. I am not rushing to potty train my 25 month old boy, especially with the move coming up. He can use the potty whenever he wants and that's fine with me.

2.) Why I continue to love co-sleeping: Ethan, out of deep sleep last night, laughed. I was lying next to him watching Leno on closed captioning (see, I do still read before bedtime) and he gaffawed right out loud with a huge smile on his face. Then, without ever waking up, went back to wherever he was in dreamland. It was truly one of the sweetest things I've ever seen and I was so happy that even though he's having such a tough time during the days right now, that he is having happy dreams at night.

3.) And let's just file this under the "so funny I think I might have peed a little bit" category. Yesterday while standing in Starbucks waiting for my grande skim, no water, extra hot, six pump chai tea latte, I overheard this.

Scene: Two drinks sit on the barista bar. One, an white cardboard cup, complete with heat-absorbing sleeve and opaque white plastic cover. The other, a clear, plastic cup, with clear plastic lid, obviously containing some sort of iced latte. Make no mistakes, the ice cubes are visibly floating around in the latte.

Woman to barista: "Excuse me. Which one of these is the iced vanilla latte?"

Barista: "Um. The one with the ice in it."

There are no words, my friends. My two year old might beat the crap out of everyone at
playgroup, but you bet your ass he could figure out which of the two cups had the ICE in it.

That is all. Carry on.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Bipolar Baby...

Um. What has happened to my child? I'm not digging this whole "hey, check me out! I'm two!" thing he's got going on right now. Today I was slapped no fewer than two dozen times, one time so forcefully across the face that my contact popped out of my eye.

Good times.

See, I'm one of those "I'll never spank my kids" people. Just am. No need to go into the litany of reasons why Husband and I have made that choice, nor is there any reason for anyone to tell me why I *should* spank my child. It ain't gonna happen, let's move on.

But that doesn't mean I don't sometimes WANT to spank my child. And this new "I am toddler, feel me smack...and kick...and pinch." crap he's rocking is a true test of my resolve to keep my own hands to myself. It has not been easy in the past 12 hours, of which he was awake for...12 hours, as he solidly refused to nap this afternoon (attempt #2 at nap time is what lead to the face smack which send my left contact flopping from my eyeball).

I am taking more deep cleansing breaths than a zen yoga master and putting on my calmest "hands are not for hitting" voice---I could so utilize this voice for dj'ing on an easy-listening station, but instead I spend what amounts to hours of my day saying, "Ethan, we don't hit. Hitting hurts and we don't want to hurt people. Please say you're sorry." I have walked out of the room with my hands shaking and stared out the window, counting to 10...or 110, in order to regain my composure.

Yes, this is toddlerhood. It's not like I'm blazing some new trail. No one is going to read this, clutch their pearls and say, "Oh my god! This is brand new behavior! What a fascinating case study!" But, though the behaviors may be as old as the hills and deeply rooted in a toddler's quest to establish boundaries and find an appropriate means of self-expression, it is NEW to me. It shocks me when my child strikes out at me and I take it way too personally; like crying in the bathroom, "wh...wh...why doesn't he like me????!!!" personally (irrationality, thy name is Sarah!).

And then, of course, there is that moment when I walk back into the room, the room where mere minutes before my child has pummeled me, and there he is, smiling as innocently as the day he was born and says, "Hi, Mama." (cue: Mama melting into puddles of lurve). Then we talk about why we don't hit---we talk about how hands are for clapping and patting the kitty and hugging, but not for hitting. Then he says, "Sorry, Mama," and more puddles and melting.

I know ten minutes later, he's more than likely going to haul off and smack me upside the head again, or pull the cat's tail (for which he received some impressive war wounds yesterday) and that we'll have to do this whole thing all over again. I know he won't learn the first time, or the second time even (or the 100th??!!!), and there's a tiny little part of me that fears to my core that he's going to grow up burning ants on the sidewalk with magnifying glasses or finding some other way to inflict pain on vulnerable living things. But most of the time I realize he's just being a toddler and going through these motions is how he learns how to manueveur his way through this world and his relationships with people.

I just wish it didn't leave me searching for one contact lens on the bedroom floor.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

A Case of Mistaken Identity...

Apparently a two year old's brain is a busy place. Lots of circuits connecting and synapses firing and whatnot. Imagine the amount of information a toddler takes in on any given day. It's pretty staggering. No wonder they are such crabby pains in the ass half the time (and I mean that in the most loving way); they are still trying to process the phenomenon that is play-dough when they have to understand why banging on a toy drum is okay, but banging on the cat is, um, not.

o I guess it's not really a surprise that Ethan's got some confusion going in terms of the people in his life. After all, he knows a LOT of people. There's Mommy and Daddy, Lilly, Lily, Chloe, Chloe, Ava, Piper, Katherine (even though she went and moved away), Jacob, Grammy, Grampy, Grandma Judy, Grandpa Harry, Tio Pete, Tia Emi, Sofia, Mr. Skip, Auntie Karen, Sammy, Chris, Jackson, Izzy, and the list goes on.

It's come to my attention in the last couple of days that when he's happily muttering along about the people he knows (bedtimes are scattered with thoughtful commentary on our day--I generally hear a lot of "Lily" and "Piper" amongst the jibberish), he might not always have the right names associated with the people they go to.

I was excited at his birthday party when it seemed that he clearly "got" the difference between Grammy and Grandma. My mother is Grammy. Husband's mother is Grandma. Or so we thought. He knows the difference between my mother and Husband's mother. BUT he clearly has a tough time differentiating between Grandma Judy and Grandpa Harry.

This weekend we had brunch with said grandparents and Ethan decided to start calling his Grandpa, "Judy". Over and over again. Complete with pointing and giggling. Like he knew he was playing with us, but couldn't help himself because "damn it if those grown ups don't laugh every time I do it! They're too easy. Watch this....Judy!!!" (cue: adults crumpling into fits of laughter because we really are that easy).

For a nanosecond I considered being freaked out that it was some sort of developmental issue and Ohmygod, he used to know who Judy is and now he's not sure and WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN???

And then I had another sip of my mimosa and giggled at my kid.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Ethan Overload...

Okay, I realize this month has been mainly about me bitching and moaning about my own dramas and really, that is so not what this blog is supposed to be about.

But if you know me, you know it's a compulsion and alas, I have to give in; otherwise I fear one day I will be pushing a shopping cart down the street, full of plastic bags, pots and pans and a cat carrier with 4 mangy cats fighting over a chicken bone, muttering to myself about all that's wrong with the world. So trust me, it's better for all of us if I just bitch and moan here every once in awhile (read: daily).

But, having gotten all of that out of my system for the time being, how about a healthy dose of cuteness? We've got everything from birthday to Nashville this month--and we're only half way through....

A little tough to find the gas pedal when you're only 33 inches tall...

Excellent blind-spot checking...

A kiss for the birthday boy...

Ethan interrupts the festivities to take an important call...

There was much paper ripping...

Walk w/ daddy, Grampy and goldfish...

Rocking it old school with the sit 'n spin...

Ethan's new kick-ass scooter...

Sporting the personalized Sox cap (that he will apparently be able to wear until college)...

Cousin Sofia is ready for her close-up...

Ready for some communing with nature...

mmmmm, melon....

Cheeky monkey!

I've heard the kid's menu here is delish...

Ethan had some important shopping to take care of at Whole Foods...

Ethan & Tio JP

If there is a playground structure to be scaled, we will find it...

Tia Emi & Sofia
Husband & Ethan trying to escape...

Ethan checks out the newest gadgets in the Space Mall magazine...

Sunday, May 11, 2008


Remember when flying Southwest was fun? Not only did it cost mere pennies if you booked far enough in advance, but their federally-regulated safety shpiel was a veritable stand-up comedy routine, complete with flying packets of peanuts and sarcasm. It was good times.

Sure, if you were flying from Manchester, NH, to Baltimore, you could almost always be 100% assured that your flight was going to be delayed by no fewer than 3-4 hours due to "weather". But damn it, you just couldn't stay mad at them when they finally got you into the air, cracked you up in spite of your angry-ass self, and managed to somehow get you there 15 minutes earlier than expected because they are totally the wreckless drivers of the air highways.

I used to love Southwest. I was one of those crazies who go to the airport hours ahead of boarding so I could be NUMERO UNO in the A line. Pack some magazines, a bottle of water, and plant myself on the floor right at the head of that line. That was the only way I could tolerate their cattle call boarding process and being the first in line meant that I was basically their one and only first class customer. There is very little in life as irrationally and fleetingly satisfying as being the first one down the jet way and on to an empty airplane, any "leather" seat yours for the taking.

If I were in any way delayed (I'm looking at you, idiot in the security line who has been living under a rock and doesnt' know that metal detectors, METAL!) and found myself third or fourth in line in the A group, or God in heaven forbid, relegated to the B group, I can only use the word "surly" to describe my demeanor for the next several hours.

So you can imagine my sheer glee the first time we traveled on Southwest with Ethan and found that we got to board BEFORE the A group. This alone was reason to keep popping babies out like a Duggar if it meant I could always be guaranteed that "first on board" rush. I loved me some Southwest.

Until yesterday. Yesterday it all came tumbling down around us (okay, so initially I used the word 'crashing' and then I freaked myself out a bit, because you dont' really want to use the word "crash" about air planes--that's got to be bad ju-ju, right?).

We woke up a bit late (dear Husband, please stop booking us on flights that leave at the crack of dawn. Thank you, your loving--and sleep deprived--wife), and it was pouring rain out. If you've driven in or near DC, you know that when it rains, otherwise sane drivers lose all sense and go about 20 miles an hour. On I-95.

There were two lines at the SouthWest check-in; one was about 100 people deep, the other only a handful. As we approached, we were asked if Ethan was a lap baby; the correct answer to this question would have apparently gotten us into the tiny line. We gave the wrong answer and wound up standing behind 99 of our fellow travelers.

The line moved quickly because Husband and I proceeded to fill the time with a....erm, discussion about whether or not we should have lied to the gentlemen and said that, "yes, he's a lap baby,". This is what Husband thought we should have done. It would have gotten us into the shorter, faster moving line. However, the reason lap babies end up in that line is because they require birth certificates to prove that they're "under age" (2) and thus qualify to squirm on a parent's lap for the duration of the flight.

Husband assumed that were we to tell the little white lie, once we got to the front of the line, they would just roll their eyes at us, process our baggage and let us through with a "you crazy customers! ha ha ha!" shake of the head. He suggested that perhaps we say that gentleman just assumed Ethan was a lap baby and let us through to the short line without asking the actual question (which, in Husband's defense, Ethan is small enough to look under 2. It could happen). Husband like to, shall we say, "massage" the system.

I thought--A.) When we get to the front of the line and do not have the appropriate paper work to prove Ethan's "lap-worthiness", they would NOT shake their heads in 1950's style, "you crazy kids!" and send us on their way. They would scowl at us and sending us packing, back to the line 'o 100+. And then what would have accomplished but missing our plane due to all that extra standing in line? B.) I so did not want to screw the guy directing traffic by rolling him under the bus to his peers for a mistake he didn't even make. Please. I watch My Name Is Earl--I don't need karma kicking my ass, thank you very much. And C.) What the hell do we do with this hulking Britax carseat we're planning on strapping Ethan into on the plane if we are supposedly toting a lap baby?

So, long story long, we waited in the ginormous line, followed by the ginormous security line. We hustled our way to our gate to find them already knee-deep into the A group. My pulse quickens. I knew they would be at this point and I was prepared for it--we didn't even have A tickets. We've grown complacent about our online check in since Ethan, considering we know we will get to pre-board, so our tickets say "B" on them anyway.

We figure that we can just walk up and board NOW because "Look! Carseat! Fidgety toddler! We're a FAMILY WITH A SMALL CHILD UNDER THE AGE OF FIVE! Let me on the plane!!"

(Cue the sound of screeching breaks and breaking glass)

Southwest has changed their "family boarding" policy.

They now let families with small children under the age of 5 on the plane only AFTER the "A" group boards. So we had to wait until the rest of the A people got on board before we and 3 other families with squirming children were allowed down the jet way.

Of course, that means there was a back up on the jet way. Ethan squirmed to get down. Then we had to hold our breaths as we came around the corner into the plane in hopes that we'd find 3 seats together. Husband hit approximately three or four fellow passengers with aforementioned hulking Britax car seat before we found our family-friendly row and then proceeded to hold up the entire "B" boarding group behind us as we finagled the carseat out of it Go-Go Babyz wheel-set and into the window seat.

We were by far the plane favorites. When we asked the flight attendant what the deal was she said, "If you don't like it, you can write the company,". Okay, lady and what's your name exactly so I can be sure to express my pleasure at your attitude while I'm at it? Hmmmm?

Sure, they tried their little comedy routine on me before take off, but you know what? I'm over it. It was funny in 1999. Now? Not so much.

After settling in, I realize we've not had food or drink yet this morning and there is nothing on this plane but complimentary soft drinks and tiny packs of peanuts. Those of you who know me know that if I get too hungry, what Husband calls "the beast" comes out. It is not pretty, and nothing keeps her at bay.

So I was super thrilled when I learned of some of their other "new" policies. NOTHING can now be stored in the seat back pockets except SouthWest materials. No bottles of water, none of your own books, no sippy cups. Nada. So basically they are a giant tease of a storage space and don't touch, you dirty, stupid passenger. What???!!

Also? We had to turn the volume on our computer off when trying to let Ethan watch Bee Movie. Mind you I was sitting in the aisle seat while the computer was on Husband tray next to me. I could not hear the audio enough to even make sense of what Jerry Seinfeld was blathering on about. But the flight attendant came over and told me I could "look it up in our policy" and that I had to turn the volume completely off OR put headphones on my 2 year old. So I turned off the volume. And then noticed that I could hear EVERY LOUD OBNOXIOUS word and gaffaw of snorty laughter coming from the gaggle of women three rows behind us. And our Bee Movie on volume level 3 was what was going to disturb everyone on the plane.

After the whole "plane inspection?! We don't need no stinking plane inspection!" fiasco they just weather in the national press, you'd think Southwest would be bending over backwards to appease their customers and prostrating themselves in gratitude that people are still willing to fork over money, no matter how little, to ride in their heaps of tin (which shimmy too much for my liking, thanks). But instead, they are changing policies into utter nonsense and giving their flight attendants license to bitch-at-will to harried customers who just want to keep their kids from kicking the person in front of them by giving them a little entertainment.

Seriously, we are SO done with Southworst. And even though it is generally not in my nature to complain in an official capacity, I do think I will be writing a letter.

Friday, May 09, 2008

Wherever I lay my hat...

Well, it is officially official, if it wasn't already. Husband has found us a home to rent in Los Angeles. Actually, he found it last week, and there was a frenzy of uploading and downloading pictures, rental agreements, and scanned photo IDs. And then, **poof**! It was ours. Did I mention that I spent much of last week breathing into a brown paper bag? Again.

When Husband first went out to LA, when we were still in the "feeling out the situation" stage of this process, I told him to take a mental snapshot of our neighborhood/community and to go find it out in Los Angeles. And what do you know? He did.

Here, I can walk to Barnes & Noble and Starbucks. There, I can walk to Barnes & Noble and Starbucks.

Here, we can amble our way to several eateries with cute little outside patios. There, we can amble our way to several eateries with cute little outside patios.

Here, we have friends with a kid Ethan's age, right down the street. There? Can you believe I'm going to say it? We have friends with kids around Ethan's age, right down the street. One of Husband's co-workers found a home for his family in the same neighborhood.

I have to hand it to Husband--he did exactly what I asked him. The house itself is bigger, has a white-picket fence, thank you very much, AND a lemon tree in the back yard. I don't really know how a girl can ask for much more than that, right?

Monday, May 05, 2008

Two Years Ago...

This time two years ago, I was fairly hopped up on narcotics, going in and out of wakefulness, only vaguely aware that I no longer had a baby in my belly. I had yet to lay more than a cursory, bleary, weepy eye on Ethan, as he was holed up in the NICU. With Husband attending to and gushing over our newborn, and my belly, which up to this point had been home to my little one, empty, it was probably the loneliest night of my life. Go figure.

So tonight, as Husband, mom and I watched Ethan running back and forth across the living room, screeching at decibels that were making neighborhood dogs twitch, I was awash with joy at the fact that I'm as far from lonely as I've ever been in my life. How could I be lonely when I have this??

Friday, May 02, 2008

The One Where Mama Dials 911...

Well, we've had a good run, right? He'll be two years on Monday and we've had no late night trips to the ER, no major scares or anything like that. So that's something.

Today, however, that run came to an abrupt halt when I found myself separated from my child a layer of glass and steel. Because I locked him in the car. In 80 degree weather. Because I am AWESOME.

It wasn't intentional (duh), but that doesn't do much to assuage the "oh, how do I suck? let me count the waysiness" of it all. While Husband has been out gallivanting in LA (read: working and finding housing for us), I've been driving his fancy "buy this car and get a free iPhone" car as a treat. And it was a treat until about 3:30 this afternoon.

Here's the situation. Ethan's birthday party is tomorrow morning, bright and early at 10am and while the house was clean beyond reproach (no, I didn't suddenly learn how to keep house; my mom's been here for days), it was not festive-looking. It neeeeeeeeeded balloons. So I decided to put the child in "daddy cars", as he calls it (see? not a treat just for me), and head to the nearest party store specializing in garish plastic trinkets and mylar-coated elmo balloons. I needed my cell-phone charger from my own far less fancy car, so I put Ethan in his carseat, turned on the A/C for him and closed the door. Upon returning from my own un-fancy car, I found all the doors of Husband's Audi locked. locked. locked.

Each door handled I tried, and found locked, shaved easily 2-3 years off of my life. Good times.

I have a distinct memory of literally spinning in circles, trying to figure out what to do, and muttering "oh my god. oh my god. oh my god." I am so cool under pressure. I tripped on my own feet running back to the house to get the phone to call 911. Thank GAWD Husband insists on keeping his shiny car key separate from all other keys (Audi can't go slumming with basement keys, dearlord!), so my house keys were still in my bag and not dangling from the ignition inside of said locked car.

I considered calling the "non-emergency" number, but then I thought, "MY BABY IS LOCKED IN THE CAR AND I CAN'T GET TO HIM!" Nevermind that he was playing with his Elmo doll and jabbering away to himself, totally unaware of, secure, air-conditioned peril in which he was enmeshed.

After hyperventilating to the 911 dispatcher (I have NO recollection of that call), I went and tried all the doors again. Because, you know, perhaps by force of sheer will I had opened them with my Jedi-mom mind (Husband will be so proud of a Star Wars reference). No such luck, which is sort of okay in hindsight, because can you imagine the embarrassment if the fire department had shown up to me saying, "You know? It's the funniest thing...."

Fortunately my next door neighbor was outside in his back yard and came over to keep me calm and to make silly faces at Ethan through the window. I am eternally grateful for his calming presence, or I may have gnawed my own arm off waiting the 5 minutes it took for the fire trucks to show up. He suggested that perhaps I call the Audi dealership and see if they had any idea of how we might open the car w/out a spare key--some sort of Audi cryptex. Worth a shot, no?

I did indeed call the fancy Audi people. I explained the situation, and asked the man if there was any way to get into the car without breaking a window. I guess a car salesman is a car salesman is a car salesman because the answer I got was more of a sales pitch than a response showing concern for my child's well-being on an 80 degree day, trapped inside his product. While I cannot recall what I said to the 911 operator, I distinctly recall Smarmy McAudi saying, "Ma'am, our cars are so well-built and burglar-proof, you're just not getting into that car. You'll have to break the window."

I'm not 100% sure, but I think he was smug.

My response to him as I heard the fire truck pull up to the front of the house? "Awesome". Prick.

I shared that information with the four firemen who stroll into my backyard (and I can say in hindsight--what a bunch of hotties. Is there a calendar I can buy? You know, to support the force? ), and their reaction? "We will see your smug, Smarmy McAudi and RAISE to full-on invincibility." See, on them "smug" looks good. Not so much on the guy who's telling you it's a shame your kid is trapped in the car, but damn that car is well-built.

Tall burly fireman informs me with a laugh that perhaps the people down at Audi aren't familiar with them. I swear, all he needed was a cape and he would have been a super hero. Is there already a super hero equipped with every type of lock jimmie known to man? Because that could be him, if there's an opening.

After a mere 3-4 minutes of futzing around with this jimmie and that, Ethan's car window magically slides down. My blood pressure goes back down below the "red alert! red alert! Explosion emminent!" line. Fireman #2 reaches in from Ethan's window to the front door and unlocks and opens the front passenger door. I am finally breathing again.

After I fall all over myself gushing thanks to the firemen (again, don't clearly remember what I said, but definitely said stooopid things like, "You are such heroes," and other embarrassing triteness), I dared not even walk to the other side of the car to get into the driver side (yes, I still had to get balloons for my kid's birthday party!), so in front of my neighbor and the firemen, I got into the passenger side of the car and climbed over the gear shift (sexy!) to the driver side. At the time--seemed totally normal. Now? OMFG, how stupid did that have to look???!!!

So yeah. The first ever 911 call by Sarah, both a raging success AND embarrassment. Good times.

When Husband gets home from the airport, I tell him this story. He saunters over to the mail sorter hanging on the wall by our front door. He reaches up into a small compartment and the top. And pulls out the spare key.