Are We There Yet? |

Are We There Yet?

Not too long ago, my friend went into labor in the middle of the night. Unfortunately, her husband was out of town and so, being neighbors as well as friends, it fell to me to take care of her son at 2 a.m. The only problem was, she might just as well have been trying to wake the dead.

It all started innocently enough. A day earlier, I had spilled a glass of water on my bedside phone, so, though I could still dial out, the phone no longer rang. This was the beginning of my friend’s dilemma. She called several times and my husband and I both slept blissfully on.

Knowing I was home (at the time, I had three kids under the age of 5 ” where else would I be?) she decided to just come ring the doorbell. After all, how could she possibly know the bell didn’t work?

I would find out later that my dear friend, cradling her 2-year-old in her arms and pausing every few minutes to double over in pain, had frantically knocked on every door and every window she could reach. No response.

Near tears now, my friend called her husband on her cell phone and asked for advice. “Shine your headlights in their window,” he suggested as he drove in the night toward her. She did. We slept on.

She tried everything short of honking the horn, for fear of waking the entire neighborhood (and I’m now convinced we’d have slept through that anyway). Finally deciding we must have headed out of town on a lark in the middle of the night (even though we’d just spoken at 8 p.m.), she began loading her son back into his car seat, praying that the shock of watching his mother in labor wouldn’t cause him to need therapy later.

Now, it was at this point that my 6-month-old daughter made a whimpering sound from her bedroom. It went something like this: “ih.” I sat bolt upright in bed.

Listening for the next whimper, I saw a faint glow of light coming from my living room. Throwing back the covers to investigate further, I could clearly see headlights in the driveway and a mysterious, dark figure loading something into the backseat of a car.

Armed with ” well, absolutely nothing ” I opened the front door.

The next few moments were a blur as I tried to wrap my foggy brain around this middle-of-the-night caper. It was only after we had tucked her son into an upstairs bed and had deposited my friend safely at the hospital, that I realized the power of a baby’s “ih.”

Charla Belinski is a freelance writer and a parenting instructor. Her column appears in the Post Independent every other Sunday.

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