Monday, December 10, 2012


Whenever we return from an extended stay in Alabama, it's a little rough getting our city feet back on.  The sudden need to organize daily field trips and the sudden lack of relatives streaming through the door each day combine to make me feel a bit lonely and frazzled.  Usually, getting to see the Mister smooths these feelings away, but he's been preparing so intensely for trial (which started today!  good luck, baby!) that we're missing him even though we're home.  So, I know I'm a bit sensitive right now, but the last few days have stung a bit.
Making gingerbread houses with friends helps.

So do candy canes.

And icing.  Icing makes everything better.
A couple of nights ago, I was taking the children down to the lobby to check the mailbox.  The elevator door opened and there was a woman inside, which is unusual for our floor.  I gave her a big hello.  No response.  Buddy Boy was in her path, so I immediately placed my hand on his head to guide him and said, 'Let's move to the side to let this lady through.'  He began to move, but she still looked down at him and gave a very pointed, 'Excuse me.'  I gave a sincere and hearty apology, to which she responded only with a look of utter disdain.  She was so nasty that tears were burning my eyes as the elevator doors closed.
All hail the Cheerio-eating champion.

The next night, I took the children down to the CVS in our building for a few items.  Little Guy pulled a cart out of the stall and Buddy Boy asked to ride in it.  I had Baby Girl strapped to my front, so I was being careful about lifting him into the cart, but it had only been a moment that we were standing there, when I heard a woman say from behind me, 'Children, people are trying to move here.'  Once again, I offered an apology and once again, I got only a disgusted look. 

The children were actually all behaving well at that moment {miracle of miracles!} and sticking very close to me.  The store keeps the carts in a congested area, but I had, in fact, pulled our cart to the side to load up my crew.  And we are four people.  Four people do take up a little space.

Our life downtown with all these little ones is pretty counter-cultural.  Out of respect for that and just on general principle, I do my best to teach my tiny urbanites the rules of the city.  They know to stand to the right on escalators, hold elevator doors for those behind us, move quickly through Metro stalls.  But they are still children.  And sometimes--just sometimes--it feels like there is no allowance for that.

The city is magical.

It's interesting. 

It's entertaining.

It's full of cool things and educational places and a lot of really great people.

And it's not getting rid of us anytime soon.

We love the city.

I just wish it loved us back.
Even when we resemble a dusty, roving gang of tumbling puppies.  Most especially, then.


Courtney said...

As a single gal living in the same city as you, I'm sorry you feel like that! Seeing well behaved kids almost always puts a smile on my face, even if I'm running late to work and they are standing on the wrong side of the escalator. :) Chin up and keep exploring the city w/those beautiful babies of yours :)

The York Family said...

Aw I'm so sorry to hear about all the rude people! You're doing a great job and you're and awesome mom and wife.

Family Snodgrass said...

Courtney, as I said, there are a lot of really great people of them being you!

Aunt Betty said...

Ah I pity not you but those two women! There lives must be terrible, so terrible that they are blinded from the most pure and perfect creations on the earth, children. You have to be heartless to not love the innocence of children even when they are misbehaving but especially when they are being good. Every time you run into someone like them count your blessings that you are able to enjoy happiness every day!

Anonymous said...

Oh my gosh you sweet bunch of WELL MANNERED" people. I am so feeling what you are going thru. We
lived there when our daughter was about 2-4. And,
yes, you are so right...I remember the tears, and the truly mean people. Coming from the south, it is so hard to understand why people cannot be LIKE us!!!! The best part was that our daughter has a double name, they just could not get a grip on that concept!!!!!!
With all that being said I still have fond memories and some wonderful friends. Our 2-4 yr old is 20 and we now have been living where home is ....Texas!! God bless you and those adorable babies!!!

The Demo Diva said...

Move to The Hill! People like us (the one's with kids) seem to outnumber everybody else! And guess what- when you say "Hello!", you get one back! AND- we're happily welcomed in all of the restaurants!

Sarah Baggs said...

You are so gracious to NOT respond as ugly towards them as they have been to you. What a great lesson you have taught your children! I will say one thing though, not one person reading this blog would blame you if a not so sweet smile was on your face in return ;)

Hope you all have a nice week!

Julie said...

I hope you encounter only nice people on your next outing! I still think they outnumber the nasty ones in every city! Hang in there - relatives will be there shortly!

Katherine {eggton} said...

Ugh. Stuff like this happened to me in New York, too, even without kids. I can imagine it's much worse with little ones. It makes me sorry for those other people. How unhappy must they be if they are so quick to be intolerant of the little inconveniences that children--wonderful, beautiful children!--cause.

Wanting What I Have said...

Hang in there sweet friend! You were so gracious not to respond unkindly. I pity those women. They are missing out BIG time. Keep that head held high! :) And oh...long days and nights without the mister...that is hard! Praying the Lord sustains you with an extra measure of grace and strength.