The Writing Mamas Daily Blog

Each day on the Writing Mamas Daily Blog, a different member will write about mothering.

If you're a mom then you've said these words, you've made these observations and you've lived these situations - 24/7.

And for that, you are a goddess.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008


Shouting in Public

I don’t know what got into me. I’m not someone who normally shouts at people in public.

But that’s what I did one Saturday a few weeks ago.

I was taking my son out for a walk in my family friendly neighborhood and decided to get him a cookie at our local café.

When we entered, my son immediately ran to one of two available tables, climbing up on the bench and putting his face to the window. My eyes swept the area: friendly faces, kids running around, and an unattended cup of orange juice at the table next to us. My subconscious deemed the environment safe.

I told my son to stay there, I’m going to the cash register (I pointed at it), and I’ll be right back. Now, I know a two-year-old is not inclined to “stay there,” but the register was four strides away and my eyes would be on him the whole time.

I watched him as I walked to the register and ordered. “Stay there, honey. Mom is getting you a cookie,” I said repeatedly. He was licking the window.

I turned to pay for the cookie. In those seconds, I heard a woman shout, “No!!!!!!”

Flipping back, I saw that my son had climbed off the bench and was reaching toward a cup of coffee that now appeared next to the orange juice.

“Julien!” I shouted. “Go sit down.”

I had to say this twice, but, reluctantly, he obeyed.

I took the cookie and settled down next to him, cuddling and playing.

The owner of the coffee sat down at her table and watched us. Then she spoke.

“You know, he almost got my coffee.”

“Oh, I’m sorry,” I said.

“No, no. I’m not worried about me; I was worried about him.”

“You know, I didn’t see the coffee there.”

“Uh-huh. Well, I’m a nurse and you know what the number one reason children come into the emergency room with?”

“Burns?” I tried, shamefully.

“Well, accidents. You shouldn’t leave your son near coffee like that.”

Functioning on little sleep, under all kinds of pressure, with my husband out of town, my son sick and refusing his naps, and my back wacked out again, the full strain of motherhood was upon me.

Suddenly, I had an edge in my voice.

“Look, I didn’t see the coffee, OK? Just the orange juice.”

“Well, you shouldn’t leave your child there…”

I snapped.

“I’m not perfect you know!” I shouted on the verge of tears.

“I didn’t say you were. I was just…”

“Being a mom is hard work,” I said, annunciating each word. Heads lifted and turned. I didn’t care.

“I, I, I was just alarmed, that’s all,” she said, and then lifted her newspaper to her face.

I went back to playing with my son, shaken but defiant. There it was. Me defending my motherhood -- flaws and all.

By Cindy Bailey


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there are entire swaths of marin i won't go back to because of similar reasons...
we've all been there. i know i have.
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