The Other Mother

The Next Family

*My wife dropped in with a guest post.

By: Susan Howard

I get the entire team out of the house.

Dog: check.  Two year-old with pink tutu on: check.  And myself with a crumpled 5 dollar bill (the gateway to my double-tall latte): check.

We are going for a walk and I am a good mom.  I let little Sophia walk on her own and when it’s time to cross the street I pick her up.   This time I decide to explain the rules of the road.  Let her start to learn about looking left and right for cars.

“Do you see any cars?”

“Yes. Yes I see them.”

“Those are parked cars.  We are looking for moving cars.  Moving cars are dangerous.”

I pick her up and we cross the street.  Just as I put here back down to walk, a car comes whizzing by and Sophia jumps.

“It’s okay, we are on the sidewalk, we are safe on the sidewalk.”  I realize I need to be very specific when explaining things to my daughter.

On we walk.  She wants to hold the leash.  Our dog Bailey complies by walking slowly and doesn’t seem to mind when she pulls him.

I get my coffee and we turn around.  Down the stairs she walks, saying “Oye” with each step.  I have stopped saying that when tired and picking her up.  She sounds like a two year-old grandma.

We walk home and being the super good mom that I am, I tell her we are going to the library to hear stories.  That’s what all the good moms (or at least their nannies) do.  Sophia is lagging 5 feet behind, continuously picking up sticks all the while.

“Sophia we aren’t going to make it to the library if you take forever.  Come on,” I chide.


“Soph, let’s go.”

She stands still with seven or more sticks in her hand.

I turn and just look at her standing there and it dawns on me that she is two, standing on the sidewalk in her pink tutu which she refuses to leave the house without, standing on her little legs with a wondrous look.

I could rush her on, we are going to miss the reading.  Instead I sit down on the sidewalk.  She walks up to the dog and me and says “I got sticks.”  She places them down. “One two three four five.”  (She in fact has seven).  She takes two and says “Are these scissors?”  and starts crossing them back and forth.  Moments later she turns them into chopsticks for “Shooshi”.  Lastly she decides to give me a manicure with her nail clippers.

Yes, stopping does take more time and we will miss the reading, but all the books in the libraries have already been written.

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