Friday, July 16, 2010


I think you have to be, when you are a mom. Ambidexterous, I mean. I have heard of stories of a certain breast feeding mom "zipping up" with one hand, to chase after a run away two year old in the local bookstore in LA, picking up the contents of her purse while in hot pursuit. (That would be TheCrazyBabyMama.)

On my return trip to the US, in a restroom in the airport at Dulles International, I was witness to another ambidexterous feat of motherhood. This was perhaps not quite as public an event as the CrazyBabyMama in the LA bookstore, but still, it was definitely testimony to the physical feats of motherhood, feats that often go unrecognized.

Holding a chubby squirming five month old firmly in one arm, and with a curious four year old at her side, a young mother calmly answered question after question from the four year old, while she washed her baby's butt in the sink with her free hand, dried him off under the hand dryer without burning him, shook out a disposable diaper (which she seemingly produced from thin air) and then quickly and deftly wrapped the disposable diaper around the squirming baby's butt with one hand while she held him with the other, still calmly answering questions from the four year old. That baby never touched a single germy surface of that public restroom, nor was he burned under the hand dryer, nor was he dripping wet when she put the diaper on. Then she just as calmly walked out of the public restroom, toting the now freshly cleaned and diapered cherub, still calmly answering the continuous repetitive questions from the inquisitive four year old.

If it had been me, even the me of 30 years ago, the kid would have left the restroom either dripping wet or with a third degree burn, while the four year old would have been whining half way through the baby-washing-act due to my lack of patience with continuous, repetitive questions. And the one-handed diaper act in mid-air? Not a chance.

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