My 1 Perfect Day as a Mom Totally Made Up for All the Bad Ones

nicole fabian-weber

These days, I'm up before 6. Five-fifty on a good day. I hear the creak of my 3-year-old daughter's door and then her not-so-quiet steps as she scurries into my room. I scoop her into bed and cuddle her, willing her to go back to sleep, rarely to any avail. She is up now, and as she quite often makes it clear, she's not going to do something she doesn't want to. 


We tip toe down our creepy stairs, trying to not wake her 6-month-old brother -- but that rarely happens. He's obviously on the edge of consciousness and the sound of the stairs jolts him awake. Adorable coos and tiny baby whines beg for me to grab him too on the way downstairs. 

My day has begun.

Cutting up strawberries, mixing mashed pears and barley, putting water into the green cup, finding Daniel Tiger, changing diapers, trying to convince someone to use the potty, attempting to brush incredibly knotty hair -- it's how I wake up. It's how my day goes, and like every mom, I put out small fires along the way. It's amazing. It's beautiful. It's something I'm grateful for every single day. But, it also can be exhausting and frustrating. 

Three is a hard age -- and it's especially hard if there's an infant thrown into the mix. My daughter is hilarious, clever, spirited, and strong-willed. There's no more "tricking" her in order to make things easy. There's no more quickly scooping her up to make the tears instantaneously stop. But, there are a lot of tantrums and why, why, why's and no no no's each day. I try to always keep my cool. But, I won't lie: I'm not always successful. 

Before my daughter's third birthday, I asked her what she wanted to do. She said, "Go to New York City," which is where I worked before I started working from home. I immediately said, "Of course!" and was thrilled at the idea of having such a fun girls' day. But, also ... I was wondering what would go wrong. Would she have a meltdown if I said "no" to the American Girl crib she wanted? Would we miss our train? Would my son, who's pretty much never been left with anyone other than my husband or me, nap at all? No day ever goes off without a hitch, right?

Except this one. 

When my daughter woke up on her birthday -- at 6:30! --, she was thrilled at the decorations I had put up the night before. In awe, actually. She really knew that it was her special day, and it made staying up way past my bed time so worth it. 

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We easily got ready that morning. No tantrums. No battles over what to wear. When we were leaving, she even asked to wear the pretty birthday crown I adore that she refused to wear the year before. She looked adorable. She looked precious. She looked 3.

It was a gorgeous day out. Probably the best of the year so far. On the train ride there, we sat across from an incredibly nice man who asked my daughter questions about her birthday. My normally shy-around-strangers toddler was delighted to answer all of his inquiries. "Look at my brand new shoes!" she said to him, referring to sandals that weren't quite so brand new. 

When we got off the train, my daughter said she wanted breakfast -- eggs. She also said she wanted to go on the "carousel at the park." We managed to pick up some scrambled eggs and croissants right near Bryant Park and walked over to sit down. The carousel was closed when we started eating, and when my girl asked if it was going to open, I got nervous, wondering if it wouldn't be for hours. But then, like magic, the little ponies and bunnies and foxes started going up and down and around and around. We went on as soon as we were finished with our little spread. My daughter got the bunny, just like she'd hoped. 

After that, I promised I would take her to American Girl, a place I swore I'd never go before having kids. We rode the "underground choo-choo," and a man happily gave up his seat for my daughter (thanks, crown!), something that had practically never happened to me when I was riding the subway at nine months pregnant. 

Before we arrived at the store, we walked around a bit. We looked at the sculpture outside of Rockefeller Center, and when we passed St. Patrick's Cathedral, she asked if she could "go inside the castle." I of course said yes, and just like that, we were blending in with the tourists, gawking at the stained glass windows. Together, we lit a candle. For the day. For our life. For our sweet friends and our loving family. Despite my Catholic upbringing, I'm not very religious, but I felt compelled to kneel down in a pew to reflect and give thanks about the day. When I tried to explain what praying was, my daughter said, "Oh. I'm going to pray for my princesses."

We then went to American Girl, where she picked out a Bitty Baby and a baby carrier like I use to carry her brother in. She carried her baby around like that for the rest of the day, and couldn't have looked more precious and innocent and sweet in the sea of New Yorkers. 

We took a rickshaw to an ice cream shop and then walked a million miles back to the train holding hands. You know how sometimes you don't know when something is good until it passes? Not this day. This day was so good and so perfect that I swear I thought I might burst of happiness. 

When we got home, my son was peacefully napping, and we played with a giant ball in the backyard and then ate hamburgers off of the grill for dinner. We were outside until we felt like we were going to collapse, and when we finally came in, collapse we did. We were sun-kissed and sweaty and stinky, and it was perfect.

Everything was perfect. 

nicole fabian-weber

The entire day I couldn't wipe the smile off of my face. I was so happy that my daughter had what very well could have been the best day of her life. And I was beyond grateful that the day went off so smoothly. 

When my husband and I lay in bed that night, I showed him pictures of the day on my phone and recounted the adorable things my daughter did (again). Everything still was perfect. 

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The next day, things were back to normal for the most part. There were a few mini tantrums here and there; the weather wasn't quite as nice; and my son refused to take a nap. But, I didn't mind.

Parenting is all about being ready and willing to take on the unexpected. And once in a while, the unexpected is so much better than anything you ever could have imagined. 

Thank you for one of the best days of my life, Bunny. I hope you remember it forever. And, if you don't, maybe one day you'll stumble upon this story and it will jog your memory. I love you. I love you. I love you. 

nicole fabian-weber

Did you ever have one day go so perfectly that it made up for every other tough day as a mom? Tell us in comments!


Images via Nicole Fabian-Weber 

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