Thursday, January 27, 2011

Every Thundersnow Has a Silver Lining

Washington was hit by a momentous "thundersnow" 2011's answer to last year's Snowpocalypse. Consequently, my commute last night was horrendous. It took me almost four hours to get home. This was a terrible way to get adjusted back to work on my third day. Miraculously, for all the time I spent on the road, I didn't see a single accident. Our guardian angels were working overtime last night, especially our poor sitter.

My first two days back were lovely. It was hard to be away, but I was enjoying the comparative calm at my office. But when I picked Bennett up on Tuesday, the babysitter said she had never had such a fussy baby. I was devastated. I knew he was needy, but even a professional seemed overwhelmed by his demands. I started analyzing alternatives, new daycare options, new work schedules, moves across the country.

I called her yesterday, letting her know I was getting off early. Big mistake. Four hours later, I pulled into her parking lot. I tredged through the snow for the next four blocks in my leather shoes, fearing what scene I might find. Would she be upset? Would the baby be crying, hungry or fighting sleep?

She was calm, the baby was napping and her own children greeted me with smiles. She woke Bennett, encouraged me to feed him, and got me something to drink. She told me to take my time, take a breath, no need to rush. We sat in her living room and she told me about her husband's work at the embassy, moving here from Japan, and Skyping with her family in Pakistan. Her college-aged son walked me to our car, carrying my cooing child through the snow. He assured me that Bennett would be happy here and he's just getting adjusted.

The white knuckles and the extra hours spent in the car were well worth the time I got to spend getting to know Bennett's babysitter. I was able to get a glimpse of the gentle, warm, empathetic caretaker that gets to spend her days with my baby. She got to see the scattered, nervous, novice mom that is responsible for raising Bennett without her supervision. If it takes longer for him to get adjusted, maybe she'll take pity on the nutty mom who is doing everything she can to juggle work, baby, dogs, a house and a very important blog.

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