Where is the Etiquette Bitch when you need her?

It’s one of those mornings where I’m struggling to be a weekday mother and simultaneously struggling with being an urban dog owner.

You suburban people, with your ground level homes and fancy yards and ability to leave your kids in front of the TV for a minute while you pop out for a pee run, you don’t know how lucky you are. Me, I have to hustle both kids along with the dog (who’d be just as happy never walking anywhere) out the door, down the elevator, down a flight of stairs, to the corner, and back again. Only this time I decide I’ll grab a bag of groceries and an iced coffee while we’re out. Brilliant.

My multi-tasking plan nearly works until about 100 yards from our apartment when Sage decides this would be a perfect opportunity to start shrieking CARRYY MEEEEE!, a near physical impossibility. The shriek turns into a full-fledge meltdown and my only consolation is that it’s nearly 10 and I’m she’s not waking the whole neighborhood up.

I look around for a sympathetic neighbor who might take mercy and grab the dog’s leash for me or simply smile that kind “hang in there” smile that we parents have come to live for. Instead I pass a woman about my mother’s age, aerobicized, vaguely stylish, with spiky silver hair and IKEA tote in tow. Forget sympathy, she refuses to even make eye contact.

Thalia, Sage, Emily, Mr Iced Coffee and I somehow (God knows how) manage to make it back to the elevator where IKEA lady is also waiting. Sage whimpers, “pick me up”and before she can threaten to cry more loudly in the small elevator, I manage to hoist her up on one of those wide hips that come in handy these situations, if not in 5th Avenue dressing rooms.

I smile at the woman. “I guess this is one of those times a third arm would come in handy.”

No response.

We exit at our floor.

“Or one less child,” she sneered.

I wished I could have channeled the Etiquette Bitch. But instead, the door just closed and I stood there speechless.

[Junk Food Mr. Rude tee via 80stees.com]

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