Lucky Penny

Things have not especially been going our way today. 

We had a super fun day planned: lunch with PEPS mums at Uneeda Burger in Fremont then coffee with longtime friend Sara at Milstead coffee shop in Fremont as well. We would walk. It would be a great adventure. 


First, we get out of the house late. But not before I decide to try to fit in a mat Pilates session. My first post-partum. I got all set up, waiting to just press play on my beloved Mari Windsor DVD. Lake went down for what appeared to be a nap, so I hit the mat. Within a few minutes he wakes up and begins to wail. I bring him over in his basket so he’s right there. I’m patting him and reassuring him between sets. It does nothing. I get my core workout in, and he gets his lung workout in. 

Second, as we are walking west on 45th through Wallingford toward Fremont we pass by Teahouse Kuan Yin, and see that it’s closing. I notice the owner Marcus inside and I’m compelled to stop in and give my regards even though we are already on the late side for lunch. Okay lunch is casual, but still it nags at me to be late. But Marcus and I went into business at around the same time ca. 2006. He taking over the neighborhood icon of the Teahouse and me opening my naturopathic medical practice The SPAhT in the same building. Also Fainting Goat Gelato, Trophy Cupcakes, Joule, and Molly Moon all opened during this time period around my block in Wallingford as well. Some of us did better than others. Some of us lasted longer than others. Some of us have expanded. Some of us have changed course. The life of the small business owner in an ever changing economy. So, with our shared history I just had to say hello to Marcus and wish him well. He’s in the middle of closing out and selling all the inventory and infrastructure. After some deliberation I end up purchasing their old huge industrial fan for $25, thinking it would be nice if the summer heat returns. Since we are walking to Fremont we leave it in the shop, and have no particular plan in place to get it home. He says he’ll be there until 8:30 tonight. I have some time. 

We make it to Uneeda Burger just as everyone is ordering. Perfect. I upgrade to a large 100% pasture raised patty medium rare, lettuce wrap no bun. It’s really delicious. That part goes well and I scarf it down. We are having nice conversations. It’s great to see these women again. We are sharing and developing bonds and getting through this new motherhood thing all together. It feels great. Then Becca asks me if that’s mustard on my wrap, or… I joking say I hope so because if it’s not we are in trouble since it’s way down by his feet. I kind of dismiss it as mustard, but she probes further and good thing, because it’s not mustard. Just looks similar. So I pull out my spare diaper and get to work right there on the picnic table using the water from my water glass to wet my reusable wipe. The PEPS mums are super nice helping me out. But one thing leads to the next and pretty soon we have the full trifecta: he spews spit-up, then pees a stream, then kicks over my full water glass water everywhere. Pretty soon you can’t tell what’s what. We also have a poopy diaper cover with no spare, and him howling like I’m murdering him the entire time. I go to the toilet to wash the poo off my wrap, and lo and behold discover at that point that they have changing tables in the restrooms. Then as I’m sitting down getting resettled at our table the waitperson comes over and asks us to use the changing table next time; people were complaining that they were uncomfortable. It made me feel embarrassed and demoralized. Sure, it would have been a ton easier for me too. It just didn’t occur to my baby addled brain that they might have changing tables and I could use one for the first time. The very first time. 

Next, my longtime friend Sara ironically suggests changing locations for our friend date from Milstead to Kuan Yin. I let her know it’s closing and ask her if she might like to do me the favor of helping me get the fan home. She agrees. We meet at Flying Apron. Catch up. Eat more delicious food. This time the vegan broccoli coleslaw looks amazing. It is. Another blowout. This time on Sara and this time I’m a bit wiser and more experienced so we go directly to the bathroom to get him cleaned up. I use my last clean diaper. The wool diaper cover gets poopy and I still have no spare. I try to wash it a bit, then it’s damp but not goopy. Sara’s a mum too so luckily she’s super helpful and understanding. At this point we are getting a bit weary. I’m still able to be a good friend and give solid unsolicited and solicited advice. 

Fifth, baby diaper service calls. My lifeline. But difficult to work with. More miscommunications to clear up. I need these diapers! We see what happens when we don’t have them… We need them!

Finally I make it back to Kuan Yin and meet Sara there (she’s waiting) again, but the shop is shut and locked. The sign says he’ll be in and out. We wait. We prepare to wait longer. I can’t keep Sara hostage and lean on her goodwill. She leaves. I wait a bit longer. I take a deep breath. I decide since it’s nearly 6:30 and therefore basically dinner time, to turn lemons into lemonade by getting something yummy at nearby Vietnamese eatery Tigerly Ox. Maybe he’ll be back by the time I’m done. It then occurs to me to email him to see when he’ll be back; maybe he’s like a lot of people and is monitoring his smart phone. At this point I notice Lake’s just wet his nappy and wool cover through and the wrap is totally soaked. 

So I basically eat my way around the city while Lake eats and poops his way. Just when I’m feeling really bedraggled, it can’t get much worse, I find a heads up penny. Heads up, and therefore a lucky penny, at Tigerly Ox. Maybe our luck is about to turn. 

Behold: owner of Teahouse Kuan Yin responds to my email and offers to deliver the fan to my home in spite of his harried state of closing shop. Thank you Marcus. Thank you universe. I needed that just now. Even filled with challenges such as it was, it was a perfect day. Thank you PEPS friends, thank you Sara friend, thank you Lake friend. Thank you for sharing this day with me. I’m glad I spent it with you. 

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