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Bad MomJune 18, 2004

I may have received the sweetest present I’ll ever receive yesterday. It came in a shiny gold envelope from Wales. Inside were these:


Tiny leetle running shoes! With rainbow roving smokin’ from the heels! And a wee Italian flag to sew to something, probably my water bottle bag. I can’t even tell you how happy these made me. Can you imagine? Thinking of these, while I’m running? I could probably run all the way to Wales, just thinking of these. Well, there’s all that water in the way. Perhaps a cruise ship, then. I could run the track between meals.

I actually wondered for a few minutes, where would one GET such a perfect gift? Then I realized that Daisy-Winifred put the baby shoes together with the roving. Duh. And it made it even better. Sigh. I LOVE these.

Speaking of babies, can I tell you real quick-like why I don’t have one? I was writing to Maggi earlier about this week's trauma. You see, a while back, I decided Maggi’s Wee C needed the Frances books. You know, Bread and Jam for Frances, Best Friends for Frances.... A highlight of my trip was knowing that I would get to read them to her. She climbed up in my lap one night, and we read several of them, ending with Bedtime for Frances. There’s a scene in which Frances watches the crack up above her head, and in her insomnia-induced terror, imagines all sorts of creepy-crawly things wriggling out of the crack. Of course, she later realizes that nothing could fit through the crack, but that’s not what stuck with Wee C. She woke screaming several nights later, convinced cracks had terrible things in them.

I traumatized a three-year old.

Maggi said they worked it out, and she’s not scared anymore, and these things happen with three-year olds, but I KNOW it’ll come out in her therapy in thirty years.

And something even worse happened this week. My little two-year old love came over. Here Winter is with Adah (can you see her tongue sticking out?).


And with his fairy godmother:


He loves him some Adah. And Adah’s a patient cat, wanting nothing but to be touched, even if it’s by a two-year old who was built as a runner. They ran and played all over the apartment, and it was wonderful to watch. Then she slapped him in the face. True, he had pulled her tail, but I was horrified. My cat! Attacking a baby! I swept her up and locked her away in my bedroom (where Digit was already, being a rather bitey sort of fellow around small people). I apologized like crazy. I was a bad, bad cat mom.

And then? We were playing on the couch? You know, that “I’m going to bite your hand, look out, here I come....” *play bite, play bite* Then I looked away and closed my mouth, just as he stuck in his fingers.

I bit Winter! There were tears. He cried, too. I told Monica to take him home, to get him out of the bad lady's house where cats slap and people bite.

It was awful. In a funny, pathetic, weak "har har har" kind of way. It'll be funnier next week. Maybe. I may need therapy myself.

But hey, can I tell you? Drumroll, please.



Off for the weekend, see you Monday!


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call the department of social services!!!

I LOVE the Frances books! Man, now I want to go buy 'em all. And the Mary Rayner books about the family of ten piglets (Mrs. Pig's Bulk Buy, Mr. & Mrs. Pig's Evening Out)...

I don't think you're a bad cat mom. You're just not a people mom, with the experience that people gain from being one. I'm sure with the practice that actually being someone's mom brings, you'd be a great one. Regardless, you'd be a FANTASTIC Cool Aunt.

Oh, Rachael, I adore you so. I know you know this, but I'm going to say it anyway: Adah's slap was not your fault. But I do think it's funny that you BIT the kid. Rather cat-like, that.

Have a marvelous weekend, dear.

So let me see if I understand, the cat SLAPPED the kid and you BIT the kid? Not vica versa, no? Honestly, that's hilarious. He'll forget, and want to play with you and Bruiser kitty again. I mean I used to heat up my little goddaughter's mac and cheese up WAY to hot (i.e. more than luke warm) for her little palate and she kept coming back for more...she's an eater...

So, now that sweetie pie has learned that if the cat's tail is twitchin' it's time to back off, and never put your finger in someone's mouth if they aren't looking. You're on your way to helping him become a competent adult. Good work!

That child is adorable! Who wouldn't want to eat him up??

And could D-W *be* any cooler?

Heck, Rachael, I think you're an excellent mom. I've had lots of OH MY GOD!! moments with my child. Lots of moms have stories like yours, they're just too embarrassed to tell anyone. It's part of the job, be you mom or auntie or fairy godmother.

Now, if after the biting incident you told the kid to "suck it up, brat, and go get me another beer," well, then I'd say motherhood is not for you.

Your story made me think of the little horrible things I've done to my kids (I think we've had a similar biting incident, or the time I accidently turned off the light in the basement leaving my son crying in the dark for 5 minutes--that one still makes me feel AWFUL). All parents and caregivers have these moments. What matters is what happens after when you talk it through, give hugs and kisses and love each other.

Life can be SCARY...and it IS what happens after the fighting/biting/accidental trauma that matters. Someday when wee C is accepting the Nobel Prize she'll hug your neck and thank you for being such a great Fairy Godmother, and introducing her to Frances.
Winter will laugh about the time you bit him, or figure out a way to bite you back, and be more careful around cats, prolly. Or not.
Baby flaming running shoes. Now THAT is a GIFT.

OK. I know you didn't *intend* for this post to be so funny, but I thought it was hysterical. Possibly one of the best posts I have read in a long time. You are a great writer!

Don't feel bad Racheal we ALL have moments like that. I've done much worse to my son unintentionally...like the time I picked him up and lifted him in the air over my head (kids like that kind of WHEEEEE stuff) and promptly smacked his little head into my mother-in-law's low hanging chandelier. OUCH I felt like hell for days after that and still feel like hell when I think of it to this day! He was less than a year when that happened and now he's gonna be 13 this month! I think the gaping hole in the top of his head finally healed, by the way (I'm KIDDING!!) :)

When I looked at the first pic, I thought it was TROLLS hiding in running shoes! Do you remember those little plastic trolls with the freaked-out hair?!
You're touching readers around the world - you are awesome. The (occasionally tormented) children will someday realize how lucky they are to have you helping to show them the world. You'd be a great mom - c'mon, it's not like you dropped them on their heads or told them to vote republican or anything...

Kevin once broke Gracie's wrist wrestling. That trip to the ER was an interesting one. I am sure Winter has forgotten and, if not, he has a great story to tell his friends.

when my brother was a very *very* little baby (2 months premature), i was holding him while sitting on the bottom bunk of my bunk beds. got up and slammed his soft little skull right into the bed frame above us. i, literally, felt my heart disintergrate. he lived without apparent damage, but he paid me back. kid's been a pain in my head as well as other parts of my anatomy ever since.

anyway, i say winter, adah and digit are lucky to have you. as are we all.

We ARE all lucky to have you. And your story made me laugh my ass off. Little kids are so indestructible sometimes...I see tiny little kids doing things I'm afraid to do, like watching a scary movie or riding a roller coaster, and then I feel silly and they give me courage!!

So no worries....and winter and your kitties and the SHOES are all so freakin' adorable.

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Rachael loves it when book clubs read her work! She's happy to attend book clubs that read her books either in person or via Skype. Contact her at rachael@rachaelherron.com to make arrangements.


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