Category Archives: postpartum jackassery

LAX to JFK

I am currently 30,000 feet in the air, heading home to my family after one long and luxurious week on the west coast.

My jaunt began in Northern California and ended in my old Los Angeles stomping ground where this blog was conceived, along with my children and all the turmoil a 30 something’s crisis can muster.

The trip was for work, although I hardly think singing musical theatre tunes in the middle of glorious wine country could be qualified as such. None the less, I do have my paycheck tucked in my purse, safely stowed in the overhead compartment above me because items do tend to shift during flight.

Santa Rosa, just outside of San Francisco, is breathtaking, along with most everywhere else in Northern California, and my time there was scrumptious. I got to meet naptimewriting and her spouse for the first time after a year of cyber-bonding through writing, and all of us chatted over cocktails and snacks in the hotel wine bar after the performance. We could have talked for hours, but some of us had to get home to put babies to bed. Some. Myself not included. That was strange and amazing, wrapped inside a tortilla of guilt.

I spent the next day meandering through wine country with another dear friend, wondering whose life I quantum leapt into. It was surreal and odd with a devilish splash of Sauvignon Blanc and a side of Brie. Ok. Enough with the food and beverage references. Clearly I’m hungry and they don’t serve food on flights anymore. (I was given a blanket which I haven’t seen in years and I wonder how many got laid off for that cuddly perk)

Once all of my friends had left, I had an evening alone in the hotel before heading off for the second leg of my trip. It’s ironic how much we ache for this alone time, compiling mental lists of all we could accomplish if we had it, but find ourselves rather lost when blessed with silence. Mommy brains must undergo some scientific process of evolution, rendering them useless outside the midst of madness, mess and chaos.

I got nothing completed that evening, other than ingesting entirely too much food off the hotel restaurant menu while emailing a friend about how much I missed my babies.

It occurred to me at that moment that a week is an extremely long block of time. Four days might be the max for mommy-child, bi-coastal distance…just from my experience. But Los Angeles awaited, and the children were in the amazing and quite capable hands of Mr. Mom.

I landed at LAX and immediately felt like I was home. My time there would be brief so I told very few that I was coming. There were girlfriends on my list that had priority. Three of them, all of whom helped me through the insanity of being a new Mom, witnessing first-hand what I now recognize as postpartum anxiety, became pregnant before our move back east and would deliver just after we left.

“Thanks for all the help in supporting me through these couple of years and loving me in spite of all my batshit crazy, guys! Good luck! Peace out!”

How kind of me.

But these cherubs were calling, and had to be met and held by yours truly, If even for a brief moment. I was amazed and a bit humbled by how easy these ladies made it look. One was kind enough to say she learned from me, but I am quite certain I never exhibited such grace and ease with motherhood during my time in LA. A tornado, frantically spinning through the town with no clear path or direction, wreaking havoc on all who meet it, is the only picture that comes to mind.

That said, the juxtaposition during this trip was surreal. I visited all of the special hideaways that brought me peace during emotional and confusing times. I made my way to what we have named “Kennedy’s beach” and had a brief moment with our first-born. But, oddly I didn’t feel any closer to her than I do on a daily basis. It became clear yesterday, that that place was for us, to give us something symbolic to think of and visit. But our actual physical presence there isn’t necessary for her closeness.

I hiked the hike that pulled me, on a daily basis through every step of healing from her loss, trying to conceive again, and finally to a place where hope throughout my pregnancy with Zachary was allowed. If I had left a grain of sand for every agonizing thought and emotion processed on Fryman Canyon, it would be veritable trail of quicksand.

These sacred places, along with every nook and cranny surrounding them, right down to our neighborhood grocery store, brought flashes of specific moments all having to do with these emotionally dense and soul-shaping years.

As I now have some sort of direction, with a new career that invigorates and gives me purpose (I know I haven’t yet told you anything about that. See blogger’s note at the bottom) I feel like I’m visiting these places with a new set of eyes. Everything seems slower. More deliberate.

A long exhale.

So, while a week is too long, and I miss my family like the dickens, this trip was priceless in every way.

And necessary.

California will always have a substantial slice of my heart, but now it’s time to go home. My babies are waiting at JFK.

Blogger’s Note:
I will share more about the job, but it didn’t fit in this post. However, I feel it’s annoying to be so cryptic. Especially if I am going to drop off the face of the blog world for months at a time. (Which it seems I may do)

The short version:
I have been offered a performing arts teaching position at a remarkable charter school in Newark. As the top charter school in the country, it is overhauling the face of urban education. Stay tuned for more details, but I am so honored to have been chosen to be a part of this school that is literally changing lives daily…for good.

#couldn’tresist

Advertisements

A Call To All Licensed Psychotherapists

Quick!

What are two things that mix as well as water on a scalding pan of oil?

Ok, I’ll tell you…

Paralyzing Need for Order and Toddlers.

I am a self-proclaimed control freak.  A quality that is excellent for paying bills on time, but not so excellent for fostering the young, developing mind and it’s need for self-exploration and independence.

I’m working on it.  Every day.  I promise. My children wouldn’t have it any other way.

My son is potty training.  Actually, as far as I’m concerned, he is “trained”. He lasts during outings without the need for a restroom much longer than I, but still, it’s tricky.  For weeks, maybe months, (although the whole body-cast thing put a five-week hiccup in his progress) he has been asking us beforehand if he can pee.

“Sure!  Do you want to go on the potty?”

“Nope.  Just my diaper.”

So, we haven’t pushed it.  But recently, he has started wearing underwear and taking the initiative to take himself to the potty at home.  Amazing!

However, he seems to have an extreme past-life traumatic recollection involving anything other than liquid being added to a pot of anything – porcelain or plastic.  This is a huge issue, being that he starts preschool in two weeks and there are “rules” for such bodily functions. But that’s a whole other blog entry. Don’t you fret. You’ll hear about my son’s fecal accomplishments in full detail another time.

Back to the impeding emotional wounds…

No. Not the ones from this post. Those we won’t deal with until middle school, and by then I’ll have enrolled all of us into the witness protection program.

We had just arrived from a fun-filled day at the Zoo.  (This particular outing was chosen after one of my anonymous readers alerted me to the fact that I had published a photo in last week’s “Wordless Wednesdays” of my Amex and my Zoo membership.  Naturally, I had to rush off to the Zoo to make sure my membership had not been tampered with.)

See how much blasted fun we had?!

“I will get a happy picture of this God-forsaken day if it kills me! Now spin, carousel, and give me a two-minute reprieve from these tiny urchins who refuse to run off in the same direction, leaving me with the intense pressure of making a snap ‘Sophie’s choice’ of which child to save from swallowing crowds of strangers!”

While unloading the multiple items a two-hour Zoo excursion requires, Isabelle ran off down the sidewalk and Zachary proceeded to pull down his pants in the front yard, facing the bushes. Reacting with a jerk of my knee, I yelled,

“Zachary! Wait! What are you doing?” He jumped, startled by my abrasive tone.

It startled me too, quite frankly. We have had no problem with him peeing in the backyard.  Right now, we are just aiming for him to be aware of his body and what it’s telling him. Is this really all that different?

But, he allowed me to pull up his pants, and stood patiently on the porch steps while I fetched four bags from the car, his 19 month-old sis from the road, and the house keys from my purse. As I turned the key, I looked down to see urine pouring down his leg from under his shorts.  Chin down, eyes up, staring at me through thick blonde lashes, he pouted

“Accidents happen Mommy. It’s OK.”

In addition to the two children, four bags, purse and keys, I then had to collect the teeny, tiny shards of my heart from the cement steps.

I spent the rest of the evening explaining how Mommy is doing the best she can, that she makes mistakes, and what a great job he did by holding it in for that long at the Zoo.

“It was Mommy’s accident! Not Zachary’s!”

Whatever. Damage done.

All Licensed Psychotherapists:

Please send your pro bono offers to

The Padded Room.

Where I once again reside.

Although, the child seems less affected by the incident than the Mother, so be sure to specialize in post, post, postpartum jackassery.

Have a click!

The Night I Did My Darnedest To Give My Child Nightmares

Suffocating temperatures showed us mercy today, allowing some breathing room and glorious fresh air. Zachary’s cement block of a cast causes itchy discomfort at the slightest drop of perspiration so we have been held captive in our home as July’s hostages.

But at last, a perfect 82 degree day offered endless possibilities for curing a stifling cabin fever.  A full day of Zoo-ing, strolling, outdoor reading and crafting made for a guilt-free post-bath Netflix cartoon viewing.  I scrolled through the kids section on my TV screen and got excited to see Babar on the list.  We have a 1970’s hand-me-down Babar book to which Zachary took a special liking at age one.

“Look, Zachary! They have a Babar movie!  What about that one?”

Happily agreeing with my suggestion, he lay on his tummy, pillows positioned just so, in his current couch station, (one of three current spica cast stations in our home) while Isabelle and I cozied ourselves into the glider next to him.

My daughter and I were busy giggling over sloppy zerberts and weren’t really paying attention to the movie. Ten minutes in, my son was silent. Transfixed.  I looked up at the screen to see the barrel of a gun pointing at a herd of baby elephants frolicking gaily in a pool of water.

I will give you a play-by-play of what followed, knowing full well that it’s more than slightly odd that I didn’t jump up and turn it off immediately. Bear with me, if you can.  But I have yet to come up with a defense that even I can buy.

“What’s that, Mommy?”

“Um….its a hunter.”

“What’s a hunter?”

“I….Uh….I’m not sure this is the best movie”

(But not yet making a move for the remote)

“Why’s not the best movie?”

“Well….”

The Mama elephant shouts,

“Save the herd!” as she charges at the gun, allowing for her family to escape unharmed. The gun goes off into an explosion of smoke and her baby starts screaming “Mama? Mama!”

The next thing we see is a herd of elephants circling their fallen member and a baby climbing on top of his unconscious heap of a mother, sobbing,

No! Mamaaaaaaaaa! Noooooo!”

I sat there waiting, thinking surely Mama Elephant would open her eyes and allow the herd’s doctor to bandage her superficial flesh would. This is a children’s movie for heaven’s sake!

Zachary stared at the screen, equally confused.

“Why’s his Mama not waking up?”

“I don’t know…..”

In my head, I finished with,

“….how to explain this or at what age I should introduce the death topic.  Surely not at just shy of three?”

As I finally came to my senses and reached for the remote, he slowly whispered,

“I watch another movie”

“Yes. I think that’s a good idea.”

Settling on the old, familiar stand-by, Blues Clues, I quickly checked the episode synopsis to make sure this was not the one where Steve, (the host) holds a rifle to blue’s head, violently threatening for a clue. Once fully convinced, I slipped away to put Isabelle to bed.

Twenty minutes later, Zachary and I were choosing his bedtime story from a new stack of golden books I bought at a garage sale.

Disney’s Hercules

Not well-versed in Disney movies that came out later than 1990, I was unaware of the content of this “children’s” tale.

By page three, I had introduced my toddler to the concepts of Hades, the underworld, demons, baby-napping and  poisoning. Announcing before page four  that I did not like this book and we were to choose another triggered a blazing siren of fits, and one that could NOT be waited out due to:

A.) a sleeping 18 month old sharing his bedroom wall

B.)A lack of energy and desire at this point in the day to commit to a fierce and stubborn teaching moment.

Retrieving the book from the floor (and solidifying my son’s understanding that throwing a screaming tantrum gets him his way) I continued to read in the most monotone, flat, uninspired voice I could muster, leaving out words like “monster with many heads” and “giant cyclops”.  Of course however, I was unable to turn the pages quickly enough for him to miss the detailed drawings of these lovely creatures.

Strike two.

Off to bed now, shall we?

“Nighty Night! Sweet dreams!”

Surprisingly, he did go right to sleep with little fuss about an hour ago, but forgive me for any errors in this post. I can no longer dissect it for editing purposes.   His baby monitor, sitting next to my laptop is now glowing red and screeching,

“Mammmmaaaaaa!”

I must run off to assure my son I have not been shot and then catch some Z’s myself.  Tomorrow we are rushing to Target bright and early to fetch Bambi and Finding Nemo.  While I’m there, I may as well grab a copy of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.   Let’s see how far I can take this, shall we?

I’m Not Paying That When I Can Make It Myself!

Zachary has been obsessed with locks and keys recently.  So I decided to google “lock and key toys for toddlers”.  I came upon this:

$75

What?  75 dollars?  OK.  I can make something like this.   It will be a fun Mommy-Zachary woodworking craft activity.  My son does love a power drill.

So, off to Home Depot we went!

Three cans of spray paint, eight locks, a block of wood and four sheets of sand paper turned into this:

Zachary and Mommy’s Project

And how much did this masterpiece cost?

Nearly two fingers, one eyeball, more probable cause for lead poisoning,            99 percent of my patience, and…

$89.16

Please feel free to contact me for more brilliant DIY ideas

Wont you please click?

Sleepwalking across the Border

I arrived home at 1:30 this morning from a business trip in Vancouver, Canada. I’ve been doing some concert work lately which has more than slightly softened the blow to our dwindling savings account. Gratitude abounds!

The shows went well, but the time was almost uncomfortably quiet. I find that on these few nights away from the kids, my body does not quite understand the rare beauty of uninterrupted sleep, and insists on tap, tap, tapping on my temple every two hours just to check in and give an obligatory hello.  So, occasionally my solution to this pesky visitor is to put a prescribed “Do Not Disturb” sign across my mind’s door in the form of a tiny pink pill they call Ambien.  As my pumped breast milk is sadly discarded on these trips, I worry not about poisoning my liquid gold and seize the opportunity to knock myself out.

At the indulgent hour of 9 am, I awoke yesterday feeling refreshed and all aglow with excitement about returning home to embrace my hubby and little cherubs.  I hopped out of bed and bounced into the bathroom to prep for the long journey back to the US. Being routine oriented (if not borderline obsessive compulsive), I follow the same ritualistic steps each morning, beginning with a daily dose of a calcium supplement.

I popped the vitamin in my mouth and as I reached across the sink for my hairbrush, my calcium bottle caught my eye. Wait..didn’t I just take……(Insert audible gasp)

(Bloggers note – the two pills look nothing alike, but let’s all attempt to look past the utter stupidity of this mishap and move on)

I reached inside my mouth as if my pointer finger and thumb were those of Elastigirl and instantly realized the pill was beyond my reach.

“Ohmygodohmygodohmygodohmygod”, I droned as I paced around the bathroom. It is strongly advised that one abstain from taking this medication unless there is a span of at least 8 hours with which to lie down and conk out.

Ok.  My flight was 6 hours in duration, but didn’t depart for another 5, and I needed to pack, call a car, check out of the hotel, check in at the airport and get through US customs.

“This is a disaster.”

I don’t have much experience with the drug outside of these little jaunts and a short span of time from my pre-pregnancy and breast-feeding years, but I do recall hearing my husband recount entire conversations I had while under its influence, of which I had absolutely no recollection.

Being someone who is unable to regurgitate even when struck with the nastiest influenza virus, please understand the horror of the following event.

I became intimately acquainted with the contours of my epiglottis and discovered just how difficult it is to navigate around it with a tooth-brush. Although I managed to spit up slices of  my throat, pop blood vessels in my eyes and possibly ruin my chances of ever again getting paid to sing, the 10 milligrams of sedation wickedly slid undisturbed down my esophagus.

My only option was to pull a Guy Pearce in “Memento” and complete as many important tasks as possible in the next 30 minutes before my memory became null and void.  I packed in a fury, called for a car, called my husband, my mother, and the poison control number on the bottle.  The last step was possibly a touch dramatic, but seeing as I can’t remember what he said, possibly not.  My mother suggested I write a note, and place it on my person. I got off the phone and wondered what this note would say.

“I’ve just taken sedatives.  If found, Please get me across the border”

I decided to scrap my Mother’s suggestion, however well-intentioned, and rush off to the nearest Starbucks instead. I ordered a triple grande (upping the ante from my usual double tall) latte and downed the beverage on the way back to the hotel as my eyes grew heavy.

I took a quick snooze in the car on the way to the airport and once at the curb, gave myself a mental jolt and tried my best to focus on the next part of this challenge.

I made it through the check-in line and through US Customs without problems, although I believe I talked a bit too much to the officer about why I couldn’t remember the name of the theatre at which I performed.

“I do these a lot, and the theatres all blend together..blah,blah,blah…have you seen Wicked?”

Emily, stop talking. He doesn’t care, and you were in the show four years ago. That card is expired. Thankfully your passport is not and that’s really all he needs.

He granted my entry, probably to shut me up, and I reached my gate with a sigh of relief, only to find that my flight was delayed an hour and a half.  I wandered off in search of a meal and souvenirs for the kids.

The plane landed at 1 am in Newark, New Jersey.

What happened in between?

Interesting question.

When greeted by my relieved husband, I expressed my surprise at how well the day actually went.  Aside from the double vision, I really handled it quite well.   I checked in on both kids and fell into bed.

But, as I sit here at my keyboard, attempting to give an accurate account of the day, it’s puzzling that I can’t remember where I ate that airport meal and what exactly I had.   The more I grasp for pieces of those few hours, it seems as though I am missing a considerable amount of time.

I do, however recall declining the complimentary alcoholic beverage offered by the airline as an apology for the delay.

Thank God for small favors.

Oh, Benny

OK.  It’s been almost a month.  I am ready to discuss Benny.  I’ve berated myself enough, had enough days of gratitude for his return, and have forgiven myself (ish) for the utter stupidity and lack of awareness that caused the whole ordeal in the first place. First let me tell you about the very first member of the Smith Household…..

We brought Benny home as a puppy from Staten Island 9 years ago.  From then on, it was a rare occasion that he wasn’t seen attached to me in what resembled a baby carrier. Jobs were turned down if he couldn’t join me as the show’s Maltese mascot, and parties were left unattended if he was not welcome.  I even scoffed at those who would warn me of the inevitable change of heart that motherhood would bring.   It was not Benny for whom I was concerned, but the baby.  How could I possibly love him or her as much as Benny?!  Ha!

It is because of our adoration that we were inspired to work with multiple rescue organizations and foster a handful of dogs, much to Benny’s chagrin, as he is unaware that he himself is a canine and is terrified of his own kind. Although one of those fosters is now his adopted, one-eyed older brother, Morgan.

They seem to have a mutual “I don’t play, roll around, fetch or snuggle with any other furry creatures” understanding.  They were meant for each other in their aloof, co-existing way.  In fact, although he’ll never admit it, I swear I noticed a worried longing in Morgan’s eye during Benny’s tragic, 2 day disappearance. Where did he go, you ask?  The dog who is petrified of the outside world and would forever stay curled up in the corner of the couch if he had his druthers?

I locked him outside. No.  Not outside in the fenced-in back yard, where he certainly would have scratched at the screen door to alert us of his location, but the front yard….no gate, no fence, no protection from the vehicles speeding home from park activities, and most importantly….no collar.

Wow.  But, it gets better.

We, (yes I’m adding my husband to this part) “WE” did not notice he was missing for 4 hours!  At that point, he was nowhere to be found. 10 pm, dinner cleaned up, showers taken, babies sleeping, and one scrappy dog with street cred, peering with a disapproving one-eyed squint that dryly said “I told him this day would come”

I could go on to tell you my list of excuses that may help to soften the image I’ve painted of us as horrible, irresponsible, and uncaring dog owners, but I will not allow myself that luxury.

We spent the next 48 hours searching, hanging signs, knocking on doors, calling shelters and vets, and crying. A lot of crying; from all of us. My husband and I because of the agonizing worry over not knowing where he was and if he was in distress, and the kids, because they didn’t understand why Mommy and Daddy were acting so strange. It was a nightmare of a weekend to say the least, but by the grace of God, Benny was returned to us unharmed!!  The nice teenagers, who returned him 2 days later, said they found him walking around in circles.  That’s our Benny.

Those who knew me pre-motherhood most likely recall my attachment to Benny as slightly over the top. Those who have met me since the birth of my son however, have said after meeting him “I didn’t know you had a dog?”

Boo…..

So, what I vowed would NEVER happen, happened.  Along with a thousand other things I said I would never do or never become once wearing the Mommy Badge.

In all honestly, it would be impossible for me to keep up the level of attention and doting care for my dog while offering my children the same.  But, I’m wondering if I went too far in the other direction. No, he doesn’t need to attend auditions, trips to the grocery store or social events (unless they are in the park). He is in fact a dog. But, he can still curl up in my arms once the children are asleep in their beds, and perhaps I can pay just a smidgen more of attention and do a quick check to see if he is inside before I shut and lock the door at dinnertime.  Surely, there is enough of me left for that.  Don’t you think?

The Beach

Nice place to live near, wouldn’t want to visit….

For reasons aforementioned, I decided to pack the kids up and drive to the beach. I checked online to make sure Toys R Us had an inexpensive pop up tent that I could quickly swing by and grab on our way.   Is there a drive through window at Toys R Us? After slathering sunscreen on both babies, packing a rather lack luster lunch and filling the car with the 14 bags a trip like this requires, we were on our way. With Zachary not having napped and Isabelle suffering through a burning eye which may or may not have been due to my haste in applying sunscreen, we were not off to a chipper start. The car temperature gage read 107 and I can already tell my mood is not of the sort that attracts positive things.
I threw two hot and very bothered babies into the double stroller which doesn’t actually fit through the aisles and headed in for my beach tent. I impatiently asked a sales person where it was and he told me they didn’t have it. Now, here is where I feel it is my penance to admit what happened next. I snapped at him as if it was his fault, and told him he had to find me something with which to shield my children from the sun at the beach immediately because clearly it is his fault that a.) Zachary is terrified of trucks and won’t nap. B.)Its 107 degrees C.) I haven’t had more than three hours of consecutive sleep in two years D.) My children are both under 2. And E.) I’m not handling it well. Really Em?  The poor man deserves to have his day ruined by your negativity and narcissistic insanity?  For someone who truly believes that we can heal the world with positive and loving energy, you certainly just vomited arsenic throughout the San Fernando Valley.
Ok. I needed to move on and try to salvage the day.  There was still time to turn it all around.  It was after all only 3:00.  I made a mental note to compose a lovely letter of apology in classic Emily Smith fashion and send it to the Toys R Us man. They found me a pop up tent that touted a one-step set up and I was out the door before I realized it cost me 70 dollars. Wow. Let’s just go. Isabelle still had one eye streaming with tears from the sunscreen and Zachary had poopy diaper number 5 of the day.  After a diaper change, a quick eye wash with a bottle of water, and a phone call to my husband, Steve, asking to look online for anything suggesting babies have gone blind from sunscreen, we were back on the road.  For those wondering, his answer was no, but apparently it should be avoided.
45 minutes later, we pulled into the parking lot at the beach that I had hoped would be the easiest for me to adorn myself with one baby in an ergo, one on my hip, a diaper bag, a bucket of sand toys, a bag of towels, and a 70 dollar tent, and head to the prime sand-castle-making location.  As Zachary was excitedly saying “sparkly water!” over and over, I was cautiously optimistic that this was going to end up being a magical day after all!
The closeness of the water seemed to be an optical illusion and I hiked through the sand for about 2 football field lengths.  But finally, I felt we were close enough to the water and I let my shaking arms drop all of our baggage.  After having a near asthma attack setting up the tent (which is being returned because it was ripped already and served as virtually no shelter from the sand and wind), the lifeguard came over to tell me I had chosen a spot in the middle of the orange cones signaling that the area was off limits. He nicely offered to help me, and this time, still having some pride, I will not tell you what my response was.   But seriously, how many letters of apology would I be writing before the day was through? At that point, as I very awkwardly moved everything over the 6 feet it took to be in the legal zone, I stepped outside myself to watch this completely insane women with 2 babies and felt so utterly sorry for her and even more so for her children.
Once set up a second time, Zachary decided the tent was a sandbox and proceeded to douse his sister, adding more than sunscreen to her eyes.   Hadn’t Steve just read to me that one should flush it out with sand? As I turned to tend to Isabelle, I noticed a group of teenage boys pointing and laughing at what I realized was my son who had somehow managed to plant his face and the whole side of his body into the sand, evidently with his tongue out and was gagging and caked in every crevice. It was then I decided to abort mission.  But, I was determined to get some water in the bucket, force Zachary to make a freakin’ sand castle so I could take a picture giving a false representation of the day and high tail it off of the beach where I was serving as an ad for birth control for everyone within a half mile radius.
Perfect Day at the Beach!
 Apparently the tent’s one-step set up was not congruent with a one-step break down and I could not get it folded and back into the bag. As long and hard as my trip from the car was, it was going to be much harder now with a fully expanded tent. I actually thought for a second of calling my husband and telling him to leave work and come rescue us. This was after all a family emergency, right?  But that would take at least another hour and a half which in our current state was unacceptable.  So, I gathered everything and everyone and heaved my way back to the car. I have a very vivid picture of what we must have looked like making our way back, and harbor no ill feelings for those that offered no help. I’m sure I was a terrifying site, and in Los Angeles, it is always best not to approach crazy people.
By the grace of God, we made it back to the car and after the 17 steps of cleaning, feeding and soothing we were headed home.  I sobbed all the way as Zachary, mistaking my cries for laughter, giggled somewhat maniacally.  I can either take comfort in this, as perhaps he was blissfully unaware of what a scene his mother just made, or take it to mean he understood completely.  In that case, I am concerned about his sense of humor.  How many hours to bedtime?