I still remember rocking my baby to sleep, watching her facial expressions as she lay in peaceful slumber. At that moment I ceased to imagine this precious, beautiful, peaceful little angel ever giving me grief. I naively assumed any un-pleasantries would create cute memories. One year, ten months, four days, six hours, twenty minutes and five seconds later I’m standing in front of a lovely jewelry shop. It was a sunny Friday morning in downtown’s busy shopping district. In the middle of the street is me, tangled in a fallen stroller, shopping bags, and a blue balloon trying to wrangle my escaped tiny terror, aka Monstrito. She made it about three steps from the stroller and threw a beastly tantrum, center stage. The homeless man standing at the corner grabbed his change box, sign and mutt and high-tailed it across the street. People parted around my Monstrito as if she could pull a Medusa with just one look. Attempting to calm her, before she sat on the ground and rubbed her face on the germy concrete, I abandoned the useless stroller and was awkwardly dodging flailing arms and feet in an attempt to secure the wild little beast from the dwindling pedestrians left on our side of the sidewalk. The facial expressions of strangers pierced my suffering motherly competence as my anxiety grew, frustration multiplied and tears welled in my eyes. I knew I had to get my child under control, lest she decide to dart to the street. I settled for steering the ball of fury to the storefront side of the sidewalk. Any alert thief would see they could swipe my bags, purse and stroller with ease and get a nice blue balloon as a souvenir. They could take what they wanted for now my child was rubbing her snot and tear stained face across the jeweler’s window while turning her shrills up one notch in case no one could hear her. The stares by total strangers mounted in heaps of judgment crushing the little control I retained. I decided I had no pride left and I would just sit, coral her in safety and let Monstrito wear herself out. Just then a tall, stylish, sophisticated woman emerged from the jeweler. “Great” I thought. “Just what I need, a scolding about the wretched child and the inability to control her”. The woman walked toward my daughter, knelt down, put her hands out and asked my daughter, in a soothing voice, if she would like to see some shiny rocks. Like magic, Monstrito stopped. I was too relieved to be embarrassed. She led us into the store, showed my baby daughter the shiny “rocks” and handed me a tissue box. As I wiped my baby’s tears and nose she shared she was also a mother. While her daughter was now grown, she assured me this too would pass. Kindly she asked me if I had packed a snack, as that was probably the culprit of my mid-morning circus. We had such a rushed morning I had not realized it was almost time for lunch. Mommy fail #27865. FINALLY, my child was calm, my tears hidden and my bruised ego healing. I buckled my daughter into the stroller, balloon in-tact, and thanked the woman over a hundred times (all while promising to come back in a hundred years to purchase their most expensive piece). We headed for the cafe to get that much needed snack, and as I pushed the stroller through the door the balloon POPPED. Sigh.