Mommy Monday

mommy-monday2

 

Last week we finally had a few days of GORGEOUS weather. After months and months of freezing cold/wind/ice/snow/threat of snow it was actually feeling like spring! I was so excited and so were the kids. We had a few errands to run one morning and when we got back home, the kids were itching to go outside (and I was ready for them to run off some energy)!

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I had a few bags to bring in from the car and kids would NOT stop begging me to go outside. “Not without an adult,” I said, about fifty times. But then I realized: You know what? I can see them perfectly from the window AND the glass doors. I only have a few bags of groceries to unload and put away. Our gate is locked. I’m letting them go outside without me for a little bit. 

I told them to get their shoes, watch out for each other, and stay where I could see them. As I put away frozen chicken and yogurt, I could hear the kids laughing through the screen door I left open and saw them running and playing together. It was so sweet. I had a few moments of much-needed peace and they were enjoying a little independence. I wanted to take a picture from the kitchen, looking out the window, but then I stopped.

I couldn’t post it on Facebook.

I couldn’t show anyone.

Why?

Because they might judge me. They might write mean comments or say things to other people about me, calling me a bad mother. 

Yep, you read that right. I was too scared to take a picture of my OWN children in my OWN backyard playing without me for a few minutes because I thought I’d catch flak for it from someone.

Do you think any of our moms thought twice about letting us play in the backyard by ourselves when we were kids?

Nope.

We had monkey bars, a trampoline, and a POOL. My parents would say, “See ya!” and shut the door behind us as my two sisters and I ran outside to play. They knew we’d take care of each other and if we got hurt, well…we got hurt.

That’s when I realized something: these are my kids. And I’m going to raise them how I dang well please. I saw an amazing quote on Instagram the other day: “It is not my responsibility to make you comfortable with the choices I make for my family.”

Mic drop.

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Eventually, I went outside and joined my kids. I chased them, we laughed, we played on the swings, and blew bubbles. I’m not so naive that I think there is no danger, even in my own backyard, to leave my kids outside without supervision for too long. All in all they were maybe outside for 10 minutes. Probably less. But I decided that I am not going to feel guilty about letting them have some independence so I’m not a huge ball of stress. If my kids go all day without eating any fruits and vegetables well that’s just the way it goes. They may skip a bath a few days because they just won’t calm down and Huff the Hubs and I are just too exhausted to deal with a Shamu-show-like experience in the bathroom. And there may be days that they watch more television than I would like so I can catch up on housework. But ya know what? These kids know they’re loved, they know they’re cared for, and they know they’re safe.

So cut yourself–and other mommas–some slack, mmmkay?

A Truly “Crappy” Day

Today has been one mother of a day.

 

Shortly after Huff the Hubs left for work, me and Huff the Babe were at home, watching TV. I was cleaning up the breakfast mess and had just finished reading Hermione a book. I smelled that old familiar smell letting me know that little tushy sitting in my lap was in desperate need of changing. I changed the poopy diaper and tossed the soiled diaper liner (we use cloth diapers) into the toilet and flushed. I put Hermione back in the play pen and went back to the bathroom and gasped.

 

The toilet was overflowing. Poo was going everywhere!

 

I cursed under my breath and called Huff the Hubs.

 

Hermione was screaming her head off, wanting her Mommy, so I cleaned as much as I could, put my pajama pants back on (I took them off so they wouldn’t get contaminated with poo-water) and picked up the baby. I gave her my phone to calm her down when I heard knocking—or what I thought was knocking—coming from the front door.

 

Ugh. If you’re selling something, I am NOT buying, I thought as I looked out the peephole. It was not a Girl Scout. It was a man. A man in a white t-shirt, dark jeans, and he was taking the screen paneling off of the kitchen window. I also saw a newer model black Dodge Charger out in the street next to the mailbox.

 

I panicked. I grabbed the phone from Hermione and dialed 911.

 

“911 what’s your emergency?” the dispatcher asked.

 

“Someone’s breaking into my house!” I yelled frantically and said my address quickly. I peered out of the peephole and saw the burglar go off the porch and turn…to the side of the house that my sister’s bedroom window is on. I stepped quickly into the hall and saw the man’s face through the blinds. Still clutching the phone to my ear and holding onto Hermione for dear life, I called the dog to my side and we rushed to the garage.

 

When I got to the garage, I heard glass shatter. He was in the house.

 

I closed the door from the laundry room to the garage as quietly as I could. I didn’t want the guy to hear me; I didn’t know if he was armed. Thankfully, Hermione and Pinny Lane were quiet.

 

I told the dispatcher, “He’s in the house! He’s in the house!”

 

“Where are you?”

 

“I’m in the garage! Please, please send a cop!”

 

“They’re on their way. Can you arm yourself?”

 

“We don’t have any guns!” I cried, lamenting that I hadn’t taken a concealed carry class. I saw a hammer nearby and grabbed it.

 

I heard noises. I wasn’t sure if it was coming from the kitchen or living room.

 

“I hear him,” I said. “I think I’m going to make a run for it.”

 

I knew his getaway team was outside. I didn’t know if they had guns, but I knew I was not going to stay in the house and risk letting something happen to my baby.

 

“If you feel safer to run, then run,” the dispatcher said.

 

I hit the garage door opener, didn’t wait for it to open all the way, and bolted. I clung Hermione as close to me as I could, still holding the hammer in my hand. I called after the dog to follow me to the neighbor’s house.

 

I looked back and saw the driver of the black Charger. I looked him right in the eye. I saw a young girl in the backseat toss her hair. They seemed calm; like they were just waiting to pick up a friend to go to the movies.

 

As soon as I made it to the neighbor’s, a police car pulled up and the Charger drove off. I pointed to my house and called to the officer: “That’s my house! That’s my house!”

 

He drew his gun and went inside. (I later noticed that the front door had not been kicked in. The burglar had unlocked the front door so he could carry all the things he had piled up by the door to the getaway car.) As I stood in the neighbor’s lawn, I saw another police car pull up, then do a fast U-turn, and speed off the other way.

 

The first officer came out of the house and said the burglar had gotten away and other officers were in pursuit.

 

“How can I help?” he asked.

 

“Can you grab my dog, please?” I asked, crying.

 

He picked up Pinny and put her back inside. The officer advised that I go to a neighbor’s house because he was going to go look for the getaway car. I went to our neighbor that’s a SAHM who home-schools her sons. I was still talking to the dispatcher in between sobs.

 

When I got to the neighbor’s door, the dispatcher asked to speak with her, they talked, and then they hung up. Hermione and I stayed there until the cops came back. In the meantime, I called my mom (who works at the same place as my sister) to let her know what happened. Then, I called Huff the Hubs. They all sped home.

 

As I stood in my neighbor’s living room, watching Hermione toddle around, I started thinking about the 911 call.

 

Oh, crap. I thought. I really hope they don’t play this on the news. I’m pretty sure I said something about Pinny pooping and not coming when I called her. I’m going to sound like such an idiot!

 

Soon, there were 7 squad cars in the street, officers everywhere, and a news helicopter overhead. After about 30 minutes, my family was there and I was starting to calm down. Soon after that, an officer came up to me and said they caught they guy. He asked if I could ID the burglar.

 

“Is he here?” I asked, seething.

 

“He’s in the back of the car over there,” the officer said, pointing to his vehicle.

 

“Can I yell at him?” I asked, as we walked.

 

“Of course!”

 

We got to the squad car and the guy was leaning with his back to the door. The officer pulled open the door and said, “Sit up!” to the burglar.

 

“Yeah, that’s him!” I said. “How dare you, you *&^%$#?!” I yelled. “I was home with my baby and you just bust in?! Get your #$@%^&* head out of your %$^#&*( @##! Do something with your *&^%$#@ life!”

 

The man started to say something, to which the officer said, “Shut up!” and slammed the door.

 

My mom scolded me as I walked back onto the lawn. “Jessica Lynn!” she said. “You just dropped the F-bomb like five times!”

 

“He deserved it!” I said, throwing my hands in the air.

 

“He did!” the officer who escorted me to the car said. “He deserves a lot more!”

 

“They’re just lucky they didn’t let me in the back!” I exclaimed.

 

“It’s my car, I’ll let you back there,” the officer replied.

 

“Shh! Don’t tell her that,” my dad warned, smiling.

 

As of now, the people in the getaway car are still out there. The detectives came by earlier and let me look at some pictures. I’m fairly certain that I positively ID’d the driver. There weren’t any pictures of the potential female passenger, though.

 

I’m still a little shook up, and my adrenaline is still coursing through me, but I feel better that they caught the guy. He didn’t get away with anything (except my sense of security) and the damage was limited to a broken window.

 

I am so, so thankful for the officers and detectives that were here. They were all so helpful and very kind. I know cops can sometimes get a bad rap, but they were EXCELLENT. The detective–when I told her the whole story (poo included)–said, “Well you’ve really had a ‘crappy’ day, huh?” We’re now best friends.

 

They gave me some solid advice, too:

  1. Get a gun.
  2. Do NOT leave your garage door opener in your car on your visor. Thieves have been known to break into cars, grab your insurance verification (or something with your address on it), take your garage door opener and come clean you out in the middle of the night.
  3. Get a “key-fab” garage door opener and keep it on your key ring. (see #2)
  4. Get a home security system (thinking also about getting one from hiddencamerasforhome.org). Thieves stay away from houses with stickers or signs in the yard that say “Protected by ADT”.

 

You’d better believe I will be doing ALL of these things TONIGHT.