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I’ve always loved the theater.Β  Don’t think I’m too fancy because I just wrote that.

Some of my most treasured moments from childhood involve a trip to Rockefeller Center, Broadway or Lincoln Center with either my mother or grandmother. There’s just something so magical about it. Even the most boring ballet is sparkly and fabulous when you’re at Lincoln Center. Even better when you stop for Chinese food afterward.

(Disclaimer: I no longer like Chinese food and it irks my poor husband that I went to Chinese food on one of our very first dates, acted like I loved it and then refused to ever go again. So if you see my husband, treat him to some Chow Fun.)

Back to the theater…

So I take my girls to a lot of shows and this week I had the chance to check out a local theater, the Emelin Theatre in Mamaroneck which has so much stuff for families.Β  They invited me to see the Shangri-La Acrobats who do crazy, amazing stuff with their bodies and I’m sure they have spawned a lesser known but very successful group called the Shangri-La Chiropractors.

I knew there was no way for me to bring all four kids alone and Rick was working so luckily my friend Kristin and her daughter came along. Kristin thankfully agreed to hold one of the babies through the entire performance.

And everything was just perfect until the end when I really had to pee.

When I’m with all four kids, I normally forgo such a luxury as peeing but I really really had to go. So we make our way to the bathrooms and that’s when I realize that I have nowhere to put Harlowe. I have no baby carrier and my friend is already holding Chase. I scan the room.

And that’s when I spot her. A very sweet looking woman who is standing there with her two older children. She looks very loving in a stranger kind of way.

“Excuse me, would you mind holding my baby for just a couple moments while I use the ladies’ room?”

“Of course,” she laughs.

“I’m serious,” I say.

“Ok,” she agrees.

And that’s when I hand my sweet Harlowe to a stranger without even introducing myself. Of course, Kristin stays with her the whole time and I’m fairly confident that if this woman tries to take off with my baby girl, Kristin will hold her down until I return. Or at least note which way she goes.

I pee fast. And all is good when I come back from the bathroom.

P.S. A mere 24 hours earlier, a parent of one of the kids in my daughter’s kindergarten class held Chase for me because she could probably tell I was having an emotional and physical breakdown trying to coral four kids. I still don’t know that woman’s name.

Apparently, it really does take a village. Or at least nice people. No names required.

24 Responses to i just can’t do this alone. really, i can’t.

  • hokgardner says:

    It does indeed take a village. And I have met the kindest people since being a mom. They make up for the jerks who glare at me when I push a cart with a screaming toddler through Target.

  • Bitsy says:

    I wish I could follow you around and hold your babies for you. Not in a stalker kind of way, just a loving stranger kind of way! They are so beautiful and my kids are so old.

  • Lisa says:

    I volunteered to hold a woman’s teeny-tiny baby in a public bathroom last week so she could help her toddler go and she could actually pee herself. I immediately recognized the panic in her eyes wondering “how the heck am I going to do this?!” I think she was too tired to even worry about me running off – she closed and locked the stall.

  • Karen says:

    I grew up in Mamaroneck and LOVE the Emelin … saw so many great shows there as a kid and even as an adult. Some great performers play there. And the Village of Mamk has about 35 pan-asian restaurants (Rick can have chow-fun and you can have sushi) in its two block radius … well maybe 4.

    And then there’s Sal’s which I have to throw in because in my very biased opinion, it has the best pizza in the WORLD.

    I know your post really wasn’t about food, but man am I hungry now :)!

  • Tara says:

    When are you coming down to Florida to visit Wendi in Boca? I’d be happy to hold BOTH babies and finally introduce myself to you since you already know my name! πŸ™‚

  • CSY says:

    I’d LOVE to hold one of your babies!!! Chinese food is AWESOME after the Theatre. My husband and I ate…at some noodle place after we saw the Phantom 4 yrs ago – we’ll treat Rick when we come back next summer!

  • Megan says:

    On a drive to the Cape, Caiti had to go to the bathroom. So Claire was in the Bjorn while I helped her and of course I went too. Not much fun in a small public bathroom stall on the highway. After that trip I put a small potty in the back of my van. I still use it!

  • Daphne says:

    I held a random baby at a farm while mom went off to find a bathroom….I think she went to Europe to pee, b/c I got to hold that adorable baby for 1/2 hour. We kind strangers love to hold babes.

  • Kerri says:

    My older kids & I are baby holders too! Even if they only have one & it is fussy. 99 % of the time the little ones stop crying! We don’t mind in the least. I have even held babies during my dinner so a couple with a young baby get to eat. We’ve even had other people’s kids ask to join our table. The more the merrier!

  • traci says:

    Fewer things make me feel like a better human than when I see a mom struggle and having my arms free all to often, offering to take a babe off their hands for a minute.

  • Jen says:

    Eric (who had luggage with him and Parker w/o a stroller) once put Parker (a wee toddler at the time) on a strangers lap on the subway!! There were no seats, the woman said to him –I’m not getting up but she can sit on my lap, and he was like OK.
    Only Eric, and only in NYC…

  • Chris in NY says:

    This kind of goes along with what I told my daughter when she was pretty little. If she got lost or was scared and mom/dad was not there, she was to find another mommy with a child. It was the best, easiest rule I could come up with. Moms stick together.

  • Aunt Marcia (Guess Whose?) says:

    Actually you probably could charge women to hold one of the babies for you….WOMEN LOVE BABIES…better than petting a smelly dog.

  • Nucee says:


    I can’t even imagine doing something like this in London – or anyone agreeing for that matter. But I guess I have a couple of months to find out if my faith in humanity is as strong as yours!

  • ~Laura says:

    When I had my twins, I found out that there is a string of humanity left in this world. People, strangers, really will help you out when you truly need it. Whether to open the door for your double stroller or help you redirect the two shopping carts you are pushing/pulling through the grocery store, they are there. Lending a hand. It restores your faith a little, huh?

  • Cat says:

    I think it’s a privilege to be asked by a total stranger to hold their baby (and I have). Makes me feel like a part of a very big HUMAN family πŸ™‚

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kelcey kintner