Kimberly Seals Allers: They say necessity is the mother of all invention. Every mother knows this well. When my son was still an infant, I had a major mommy emergency. I was stuck in my car with a ridiculously crying baby. Alone and on a mission to get to my destination, I couldn't stop to console this little boy on this day. I used my whole bag of mommy tricks -- singing happy songs, singing soothing songs, making odd noises, reaching awkwardly into the back seat until the neck pain become unbearable ... everything! Nothing worked.
In my desperation, I grabbed my empty water bottle, tossed in a few coins from the cup holder and started shaking like crazy -- the ghetto rattle was instantly born. It was a real hit! From that point on, the ghetto rattle was a car staple. Everyone knew about it and called it by its proper name -- giving it all the due respect it deserved given the amazing power it possessed to quiet my son. Sometimes I had to buy water or pour water out just to create a new ghetto rattle and, trust me, it was always worth it. I nearly forgot about that good 'ole ghetto rattle.
But a few months ago, one of my dear girlfriends became a mom for the first time. As a true friend, she had been there years ago during those cranky moments when ghetto rattle saved the day. She had been there in the car shaking it like a salt shaker when it was her turn. And so she called to tell me of a nerve wracking car ride with her son which was saved by her husband's quick and efficient creation of her own ghetto rattle. At first, he was skeptical as she explained the concept (men!) but when he saw it in action, he too, was humbled by its powers. And I was a proud mama once again! My creation, the ghetto rattle, lives on.
More importantly, I relished the moment of knowing that this is what motherhood is all about--sharing the little tips that helped get us through the tough parts and hoping they can help another mom too. And then, feeling pretty darn good when you do.
|Kimberly Seals Allers is an award-winning business journalist and founder and editor-in-chief of MochaManual.com, a weekly online magazine for moms of color. She is the author of "The Mocha Manual to a Fabulous Pregnancy" and "The Mocha Manual to Turning Your Passion into Profit." Kimberly is a divorcing mother of two and lives on Long Island, NY.|