One of the downsides to working from home is that you don't ever really have to leave the house. Yes, this is actually a downside. It can become somewhat difficult to stare at the same four walls day after day while developing a blister on your ear due to conference calls. (Yes, really.)
However, it can also be a good thing. Especially when it is below 20 degrees outside with a windchill that makes it even colder! Unfortunately, this also means that I don't check the weather on a daily basis anymore which means that what happened today can happen.
So, what happened today? Today bad Mama, not knowing it was so ridiculously cold outside blithely sent Sammy and our nanny Sydney out into the bitter cold without gloves! Yeah, I know. Bad Mama hasn't gotten a new pair to replace the ones he lost. Note to self, next year buy a 10 pack and dole them out one at a time with mitten clips!
About 20 minutes into what I thought would be a rather longish walk and 10 minutes before a conference call I hear the door open and Sammy comes in just SCREAMING. His poor little hands were so cold they had turned red. He wouldn't calm down for anyone and wouldn't let me leave his side once he found me.
Now, the good news is that I have been doing first aid for so long that it is now second nature to me. I am typically the person my parents call when there is an injury and when I was working downtown I was on the first response team for my office building. That is to say, I was able to go into first aid mode and instantly figure out what to do to warm TLG up.
We got a cool washcloth to warm his hands to room temperature while Sydney quickly rushed one of his favorite blankets into the dryer to warm them up. It took awhile, two warmed blankets and a lot of snuggle time to get him to the point of comfort, but he finally got there. His hands are fine as well.
Regardless, it was scary. This alone takes me back to that guilty mommy feeling of "if I weren't working, maybe, maybe, maybe. I have lived my entire life without regrets - I make choices and I stick with them. Robert Frost's poem about the yellowed wood is my mantra - take the road less traveled by and don't look back. It will make all the difference.
Yet, when it comes to my son, I constantly second guess myself. I always feel that it was something I did, or didn't do to create whichever situation we are currently facing. Today it was the gloves (yeah - that one I will take on squarely). This morning it was because I had to make an appointment for Sammy to have a hearing test. Last week it was because a speech pathologist told me that it is possible he has developmental delays and has a cognitive problem. Next week it may be that I didn't put money in his college fund or find him a younger sibling. (That's a whole 'nother story.)
So, for those of you who have been moms longer than me - does the feeling of "I'm doing everything wrong" ever go away? I hope so. It would be nice to just be present in the moment with my son.
Now for a note on the Inauguration. If you or anyone you know is coming to DC for Inauguration weekend, here are some tips. Dress warmly! LAYERS! Make sure your hotel TV carries CNN because it is supposed to be cold that day, and potentially a little snowy. This weekend is going to be bitter cold warming up long enough on Sunday (day of the Inaugural Concert) to snow. Yep - I said snow.
For a lot of people this may seem minor - but add between 2M & 5M people, no parking, an antiquated metro service that is stretched, but never broken, by these events and everyone wanting to see a glimpse of the most famous family in the US it is a potential mess. Cold and snow are just going to add to it.
Us - well, we are watching the Inauguration at home and plan to toast the new president with a Hawaiian Chicago Style pizza for lunch (reminder to order it on Monday for Tuesday delivery.) I am also hosting a networking gathering in Second Life for bloggers, Internet professionals, and such - those of us who work from home, regardless of the job, and don't get to network much. The hearty breakfast is sponsored by Quaker Oats who has teamed up with Share our Strength to create an endeavor called Start With Substance. More on this tomorrow - but if you have ever wanted to try Second Life, this is the time. Drop me a line if you are interested and I will send you more information - or just check back here tomorrow.