Today, my Momma Bear skills were put to the test and I failed…I failed miserably.
This afternoon, I decided to get my eyebrows and lip waxed. I went to one of my fave neighborhood salons which thankfully is baby friendly. The esthetician was excited to see Zoe because she remembered me when I was 8 months pregnant at the time of my last waxing with her. At the end of my service, and just as I was paying my bill, she asked to hold my little Zoe. Now, being the Momma Bear that I “thought I was” I typically would not let a non-family or non-close friend handle the Zo-meister (and yes, despite the fact that she has waxed some of my most private parts, I still considered her a stranger). However, because I didn’t want to sound terribly over-protective, I said it was okay. IMMEDIATELY Zoe started to cry. But, for some strange reason, the esthetician believed she was THE baby whisperer and attempted to calm Zoe down by walking her around the salon, which only made her kick it up a notch. Meanwhile, the receptionist at check-out was incredibly slow and I was still waiting to pay my bill. Then, the most unholy thing happened… the esthetician announced that she and Zoe were going to step outside and take a seat on an outside bench where I guess she thought Zoe might appreciate the polluted Urban air and hence stop crying. My heart dropped! I tried to to keep my cool and instead of yelling “HELL NO –GIVE ME MY BABY, SHE’S CRYING BECAUSE SHE WANTS ME!” I simply grit my teeth and prayed that the receptionist would move faster. BIG MISTAKE!!!!
I watched them walk out the door (in slow motion) and though I could see them on the other side of the glass window, I was beside myself. 1 minute felt like an eternity and before I realized it, I’d already rushed out the salon and proceeded to swoop up my baby girl. Zoe stopped crying instantly and just stared at the woman as if to say “Who the hell are you anyway?” I walked back into the shop to retrieve my pocket book and receipt (yes I left everything on the counter) and I squeezed Zoe so close to my body that we were almost one again. I almost started to cry.
I know it’s silly. You’re probably saying “Why didn’t you just tell that woman not to leave with your baby?” and truthfully, I’m wondering the same thing too. I suppose this entry is simply me confessing that I’ve got a lot to learn. In an effort to not hurt someone else’s feelings, I put myself in the position to feel like the worst Momma Bear on earth. Despite my constant pleas to prevent admirers from touching Zoe’s hands (because she sucks her fingers) or pinching her cheeks (because she easily breaks out), I managed to actually let someone take her out of arms reach. Even Phil turned his nose up at me (when I told him the story) and said that even HE knew better than to allow that; which really says a lot.
It might take a little bit of time for me to build up the level of assertiveness that is required to be the Momma Bear that I want to be, but I’m still beating myself up over this. In fact, I’m planning a final smack down with my Cat o’nine tails just before bed tonight.
I suppose I’ll make other mistakes in raising Zoe, but it doesn’t hurt to try to be perfect, right? Am I overreacting? How do you handle the guilt from your mistakes?