I’ve been a Washington, DC commuter for about 15 years now, and I have never, ever, never had a commute home as bad as last night. That includes 9/11.
I’m normally home by 5:15 every day, but I walked in the door last night just before the little had got to the 8. Let’s see, I left the office at 4, and got home at 8. For those of you who didn’t major in the maths, that’s about 4 hours. 45 minutes on the train (normal), followed by 3 hours 15 minutes driving the remaining 22.3 miles. Since math isn’t my strong suit either, I’ll leave it to you to figure out my average speed. Back of the envelope guesstimates put it at somewhere around 0.
Let us further compound the situation by adding that the Wife was also in traffic at last an hour behind me. Where was the Kid, you ask? Daycare, I reply. I’m driving the MINI, and the Wife is in the grown-up’s car. Have I mentioned that there is no car seat in the MINI? I have. Decision time: Do I go home and get the other car seat and somehow jam it into the MINI with a crowbar and some Vaseline, or does the Kid wait at daycare for mommy to arrive? We decided on option 1. Lo and behold, the car seat does fit in the MINI, although it’s not a configuration that makes anyone happy. At least she’ll be safe, and that’s the important thing.
I got the Kid, and apologized profusely to her wonderful and gracious care-giver. I was not the only one late last night. Not by a long shot. We got home about an hour past her usual bedtime, so it was into the PJs and into bed with her. No time for the usual rituals, but she didn’t seem to mind. Not like her dad, who apparently expects order in all things.
After she was dressed and bundled up for bed, I picked her up to go into the crib. She put her arms around my neck, laid her head on my shoulder, and closed her eyes. It took everything in me to put her down and let go.