Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Mother’s Little Helper 1963

Mother’s Little Helper 2007

Just yesterday I was told by two different people how well behaved and calm El Guille is. It’s true, most of the time he’s not particularly hyper or difficult. Then, like the normal three year old that he is, he can turn from sunny highs to black lows. This morning we were at Def Con 5.

I was trying to leave for work. Guille thought he should be able to watch TV. We disagreed. It turned for the worse. I thought he should put on some shoes and socks since it’s 34 degrees outside. He thought he should watch more TV. Specifically, he’d caught a glimpse of Barney before I could turn off the set, and as far as he was concerned anything else would be an unacceptable alternative. Soon, he was emitting those awful screeching noises and rolling around the floor like a drunken sailor.
The baby’s head is compressing my sciatic nerve today and I can barely move. There is no way I can wrestle a three year old—walking is almost out of the question. After asking, pleading, arguing, issuing threats, following through on those threats to no avail, I had HAD IT. I finished getting my gear together and opened the door to walk outside to the car. I told him to go ahead. Without shoes. I didn’t care. If he didn’t want to wear his foot gear and I could not force him to, he could walk to the parking lot in bare feet for all I cared. “NO MY SHOES, MY SHOES” Guille said. He’s no idiot and I figured this last resort would work, which it did. I told him to get to the sofa to put on his shoes. When he got there he decided to fight me again. I pinned him into a position where I could get his shoes on. He was livid and I wasn’t far behind.
We trooped out to the car. My neighbors got an earful from the air raid siren walking next to me. “I DON’T WANT TO!” I got into the driver’s seat (at considerable effort and with much pain) and remembered something. I dug into my purse, pulled out my iPod and plugged into one of my mixes—ahhhh instant blood pressure decrease. He’s still yelling and carrying on in the back seat. I’m blissfully listening to The Weepies* and relaxing. I cycled through the mix and even started singing out loud. Soon he relaxed too. So, yes, my kid is normal and I think my iPod is the best mother’s little helper ever.

On the way out of the office we have to cross a popular walking and cycling path. As I was driving to the intersection, I noticed an umbrella stroller and a woman with a baby sitting on the path. She was trying to hold the crying baby and make a phone call. Something wasn’t right about the situation. She had the universal look of distress and frustration. I’ve been there, I was there this morning, remember? I stopped at the road, started to go, and then stopped again. Something told me to help her. I got out of the car and asked if she needed help.

Now, just a couple days ago Other Half and I were talking about hitchhikers and people in trouble on the side of the road. I would never pick up a male hitchhiker, especially with El Guille in the backseat. I also just watched a really scary episode of Six Feet Under where one of the protagonists stops to help a guy who ran out of gas on the highway. The guy turns out to be a crack head who takes our protagonist on a pistol-whipped crime spree across L.A. Other Half and I agreed that it would be stupid and careless for me to ever pick up anyone on the side of the road. However, I took another look at her and knew that I had to help. All of this was going through my head as I got out of the car.

As soon as I asked she responded that she and the baby had gone out for a walk but the temperature had plummeted and the baby was crying from the cold and the wind. She asked if I could just take her to her car about a mile down the road. She had been trying to call her husband but he wasn’t answering. “Sure, hop in!” I said. I took them to her car and didn’t get pistol-whipped once.
It's sad that we have to weigh our personal safety with helping people in need. I wish we didn't have to make that choice. I still believe that most people are good, that we should help when we can, even if you're not sure of the outcome.

Now that I’ve helped a woman in distress, dealt with a raging three year old, and figured out my dryer is broken (oh, didn’t mention that? Yeah, it doesn’t have any heat, it’s just tumbling the clothes around) I’m going to spend the rest of the day trying not to aggravate my sciatic. You know, because I’m eighty. Someone hand me my iPod so I can listen to the Andrews Sisters.

***Update: The Weepies song is avail for downloading for a few days, so if you'd like a copy, click on the link


Tiffany said...

Well done on fighting off El Guille.

Well done on helping out a distressed lady on the side of the road. Way to listen to the prompting.

I know that internal debate all to well. I think I am at where you are on it - I wouldn't help a male hitchhiker either. But a lady wearing a neck brace, walking down the road from Macey's with 23 bags of groceries, pushing a stroller ? You bet!

Tori :) said...

I'm so glad to hear that other people's 3 year olds act like mine. :)
That was so nice of you to help that woman and the baby. Poor cold little baby!!
It was neat "meeting" you- how funny was that??

Bek said...

That would be mine at the store. I had hoped he would grow out of it by three.

Lets just say that today the firemen (who always seem to be in Safeway when I am) looked at me and said "we don't pity you". Remember that they run into burning buildings and they felt sorry for me. Frankly, I would run into a burning building if it would avoid a Jacob fit.... at least it isn't just my kid. Two is hard.

I am glad you helped that lady. I just watched that episode of 6FU...scary. I have a bunch of them tivo'd and needed to have a marathon....

b. said...

Ohhh...Hang in there, Good Sam, Hang in there!

Lyle said...

Kids seem to be able to pick the most opportune times to have fits. The way they carry on would lead you to beleive that you are torturing them....remninds me of a funny internet commercial floating around out there about "Kidstoned" vitamins [prosac for kids].

compulsive writer said...

Then and now. I remember growing up in the days when everyone hitchhiked and it wasn't uncommon to pick up hitchhikers. I still question the time when my mother picked up a hippie once on on our way from Oregon to Utah. My father wasn't there so it was just her and us six kids. And a complete stranger. For an entire day on the road.

I try to avoid picking up strange men, but do find myself giving women with children a ride from time to time. I agree--we should help when we can.

reva said...

I love this entry! I just got screamed at my 4 month old for half an hour and then treated myself to your blog and this just warmed the cockles of my heart. Thanks for understanding the universal mom HELP look - it made my day!

Julie said...

What a horrible day for you! I'm so sorry you're having to deal with the tyrannical threes. Age three is way worse than age two, I think. You handled it well.

If you need a dryer, you can come use mine. Plus, I have a massage chair that is to die for. It makes the perfect distraction when you're waiting for clothes to dry. Ten again, it may induce labor, so you might not want that.

Julie said...

I meant "then again..." Mom-brain has officially kicked in for the day.

c jane said...

Surely the karma that you achieved from your almost-impossible and daring services will insure that your baby takes a little time off from swinging on your sciatic. Surely.

This is me said...

I, too, use music to distract and pacify my kids. Sometimes when they are throwing fits and I am losing my mind, I just turn on music and start dancing. They can join me if they want to - and usually do. It is a great stress reliever for me and gets their minds on something else.

And good job helping that woman and her baby. Distressed mothers need all the help they can get!

metamorphose said...

My hero!

That episode of Six Feet Under has stayed with me ever since I saw it! Scary stuff!

This makes me wish that I had added a "Take the Pressure Off Your Sciatic Nerve" mix with the package I finally sent you yesterday. Le sigh. But I'm not going to make anymore promises that take months for me to follow through on. So I'll just give you two words: Sigur Ros.

p.s. sadness about your dryer not working.

Kiki said...

I'm really kinda dumb today, so when I read that your dryer was broken, I thought "hair dryer". Then you said, "It's just tossing the clothes around," I thought, "I guess we're using a different dryer for an analogy here. That's cool."


Azúcar said...

Kiki- that's the funniest thing I've read all day. HAHaha.

The washer and dryer are so old, I swear, we're lucky they haven't give up the ghost before. For now we're going to try to live with it taking 4 cycles to dry our laundry. Maybe we'll be able to afford a new set in a few months, but not right now!

cjaners -- indeed, imagine my surprise when Proximo moved that night at 7pm (magically, the same time as I needed to go to Mutual) and the pain suddenly went away. Milagros.

This is me--That's usually how I do it too, but I was so ANGRY I just plugged in the headphones so that I didn't have to listen to him. I'm a good mom. I think when I started singing out loud he really calmed down, so I guess it worked out.

Julie-- I'm pretty sure that a visit to the chiropractor was what sent me into labor with number one son, so if I get desparate, I'll be showing up at your door.

Meta- that package was SO AWESOME.

Reva! You're leaving the tropicale for northern climes again!?

CW- crazy how times have changed.

Lyle--the crafty offspring have sensors that detect your level of ability to handle a meltdown.

Bek--it's true, we deserve medals!

Tori--your poor Sei, haha, he was probably the most surprised!

Tiff--it's what you would have done, I know it!

compulsive writer said...

So obviously you are not in the hospital having the baby yet. All afternoon I've been thinking about you and how March 1st is a good day to give birth.

Keep us posted!

b. said...

I'm liking the weepies!

metamorphose said...

I'm slightly sad because my work computer won't play the weepies song. I'll have to download later.

Glad you liked the package! And I hope that things will go as smoothly as possible the next couple weeks.

Geo said...

Genius. You've just provided the most persuasive argument yet for buying an iPod (or something) to plug myself into.