It’s Not All Mary Poppins


Two o’clock. Naptime.

The house is tidy again, the floors clear, the table wiped down. The sun shines in through de-finger-printed windows, and the only sound in the room is the soft ticking of the clock, the ticketa-tack of the computer keys, and a low, gentle snore.


Yes. There is a child sleeping on the other couch. She shouldn’t be here. She was supposed to have been picked up between noon and twelve-thirty. They have a special outing planned. She was to be picked up right after lunch, so she could sleep in the car on the way to their outing. Her nap generally starts at 1:00.

Could I make sure she had a good lunch? (Of course. When don’t I?)
Oh, and could I have her in a fresh diaper, please? (Unnecessary even to ask. I always have them in fresh diapers when their parents are expected. I guess she thought all those fresh diapers baby’s been in every single afternoon for the past ten months have been one giant coincidence.)
I also always have them dressed in their outside gear if I know when the parent’s expected. Simpler for everyone. So don’t even ask.

Noon to twelve-thirty, I was told. But I know this mother. I put baby in a fresh diaper at 1:00. I put her in her outdoor gear at 1:15.

At 1:30, baby climbed up on the couch. And went directly to sleep.

I did not stop her. Mom wants baby to sleep in the car, she should arrive when she says she will.

She’s a lovely woman, smart, warm friendly, and completely in love with her child. I really like her. But she’s a terrible, terrible time manager. She always runs behind schedule. She’s reliably unreliable, so mostly I can work around the tardiness. Worse than the chronic lateness, though, is the poor communication. If you’re going to be late, you give a call. This has happened before, and there’s usually a long list of reasons why a call was impossible. I remain unconvinced. Anyone with a cell phone in a city can make a call at just about any time.

Why don’t I call her? She’s not at her desk. And it seems she doesn’t have her cell phone turned on…


February 23, 2007 Posted by | parents, the dark side | 12 Comments