When Childcare Goes
The Blessed Holy Tradition of Mall Santa




How is everybody? Do you need a hug? 

For the record, since I just now, five minutes ago, read the comments on Friday morning's post: That was posted (and titled) hours before I heard the awful, awful news from Connecticut. I mean, my God, OBVIOUSLY. 

I personally had no idea what had happened until 2:30 pm, when I finally got a break from work and settled down with lunch and the Internet and Twitter and...oh. Oh. OH NONONONONO.

To be honest, my blog post (and its title) immediately became the very last thing on my mind. I seriously did not even think about it, or anything I had done that morning, in the Before Connecticut hours. In the Before Connecticut state of being, I guess. 

For anyone who was hurt or offended or made uneasy by the post title (or subject matter), however, I really sincerely apologize. It should have dawned on me to change it.

I hope you can possibly understand why it didn't, though: I wanted my first grader home, I wanted the news to stop, to be wrong, to stop being WORSE every time I hit refresh on Google News. I closed the laptop on Friday afternoon and kept it closed all weekend. Time for Ezra's swim lesson, Noah's belt test, a visit with friends, a visit to see Santa, everyday happy shiny things, fighting to break through the haze of Awful, Just So Fucking Awful. 

Ugh. I, I, I. Me, me, me. Stupid blog and blogging. Completely useless at times like this. 

I put Noah on the bus this morning. He has no idea what happened, no idea that I wanted so badly to climb onboard with him, armed with...I don't know. Invincible mama bear body armor. There's a police officer stationed outside his school today, which he'll might ask about so I should try to read something about talking to young children about Connecticut, in between all the other articles arguing about what we should really be talking about. Guns, mental illness, metal detectors, the shooter, the victims, too soon, too late, etc. 

And oh, those little faces. Those beautiful little faces. I still can't even believe. I still can't even imagine. 



Anyway, again, I'm really sorry about that stupid post title. It was Before. I'm not doing such a great job with the After. 



By the time I read your post I'd already heard the news, and my first thought when I saw it was "oh no, Amy is going to get SO MUCH SHIT for this". Because sometimes perspective comes at a high price.

What happened in Newtown doesn't change your own situation, though. I hope you find good childcare soon.


You can't fix everything, you can't please everyone.

It's too easy to fire a comment and criticize when there was no intent.

We all need to be gentle with others and ourselves.


Really? Folks were upset about that title? Good grief, get upset about what someone actually said, or the state of mental health care in this country or the lack of reasonable gun control laws or...really? the title of a blog post? I'm sorry but this just blows my mind. It was the last thing I even focused on.


I also didn't find out until almost 1:30 when I went to drop off my son's meds. He's in K and the playground...chain link fence right at the parking lot. His teacher who has twin 4 year olds..a total mess. She said "OMG It's horrible." I said "Eh it's just antibiotics." How little I knew at that time.

The school my kid's attend..has good intentions but would not pass a Secret Shopper test. My Mom did them for the schools in the last city we lived in which WAS HUGE as were the schools. She could still walk up to the campus and have kids walk her back to the parking lot without anyone stopping her or them. She was a 50 year old woman with only good intentions and she worked with many many schools on upping their security and state of readiness.

Do I know what the solution is? No but all you can do is be more aware of what's going on around you and keep your fingers crossed that you or your family are not affected. And think good things for those that are/were.


I don't think any of us are doing so great right now. We are all on edge, all sensitive, all trying to make it through. All of us. I can't stop seeing their face, even though the TV has been off. Fuck a title.

Denice Johnson

Oh Amy, you couldn't have known and you should not feel guilty. Was it unfortunate timing for that title? Sure. But no one anywhere on earth should have taken the time to say something to you about it. To attach any of the guilt or grief over Friday's horrific events to you is unfair and absurd.


If you are looking for some ways to explain tragedies like this to young children, Mr. Rogers and Ben Vereen both have some good ideas on the subject if you Google them.

Call Me Jo

I, for one, never connected your blog post with the horrible tragedy in CT.
The whole thing is so sad, so REAL. Honestly, as a hormonal pregnant lady, I've taken to burying my head in the sand, ignoring the news, and trying not to cry at the mental images of those poor children. The blog post I wrote this morning is totally trivial because I just CAN'T.


Seriously... is it just me? I dont see what is wrong with your title from Friday.. unless its been changed since?

Im sorry, I am a mother too and the last thing Im concerned about is a title of your blog post! Like really? There are BIGGER things in this world to b*tch about other than a blog title. OBVIOUSLY.


The After is so shitty. I do need that hug. :/

kacie mitchell

I am a wreck today. Every time I think about it I cry. I cannot even imagine...I don't understand...I need a hug. :( Your blog was not offensive at all. You did not know...nor did I...until I called a good friend to complain about something and she asked if I felt sick to my stomach. I was all "huh? What's wrong with you?"...then NONONONONO!!!!!! I am in shock...disbelief...sorrow...


My daughter's school send around this link: http://espn.go.com/new-york/nba/story/_/id/8752758/raymond-felton-hopes-new-york-knicks-fans-welcome-jeremy-lin-warmly

Ditto re: Mr. Rogers, too.

Good luck.


Anyone who knows you, even just through your blog, knows better. Nothing to apologize for.

I've been trying to figure out what I can do and the best I've been able to come up with is this post which helped me organize my thoughts between bouts of tears.



OK, so, the REAL link is NOT about Jeremy Lin, though that's a lovely read. Apologies. :(



I can't believe people thought you wrote it before you heard the news. Seriously? And I'm willing to bet that every single one of us was wrapped up in our own now-seemingly-insignificant-but-at-the-time-seemingly-massive issues until we heard the news. For me, in the before, I was complaining about my baby being sick and miserable. Now I'm just grateful he's alive to have that runny nose. We all gained perspective. It just irks me when people act like Amy was the only one.


@April The post title was originally "When Childcare goes BOOM" Like, figuratively. But then...shiiit.

Anyway, a lot of people commented over the weekend requesting that I change it, but I didn't see the comments or even make the connection myself, so I did want to apologize for that. (I don't...uh...actually put that much thought in my titles, they're usually the last thing I come up with and my least favorite part of blogging.) Obviously I hope most people realized it was just an unfortunate coincidence, but it seemed like it was continuing to upset some folks that I wasn't changing it as the days ticked by.

My brain is scrambled eggs right now. Heart is maybe scrapple with hash browns.


It's just so tragic and no blog title from "before" matters all that much. Get over it, commenters.


*AFTER! AFTER you heard the news I mean!!!!


sorry you had to change your title....i know the readers are $$.....go have a drink with girlfriends and make fun of the assholes that said to change your title...I know I would :)


I can't believe people thought you wrote it after you heard the news. Seriously? And for people calling her self-absorbed...I'm willing to bet that every single one of us was dealing with now-seemingly-insignificant-but-at-the-time-seemingly-massive issues. For me, in the before, I was complaining about how my baby was sick and miserable. Now I'm just happy he's alive to HAVE a runny rose. We all gained some perspective. It just irks me when people act like Amy was the only one just b/c it's written down.


I live in CT and we are just getting bombarded with "how to talk to your kids" stuff. One: keep it age appropriate. Basically, something bad happened in CT and I/we will keep you as safe as we can. Don't make promises you can't keep. Two: as much as you can, let your child lead the discussion. And for littler kids, give them outlets other than verbal ones. One psychologist I saw on tv said that kids have the emotions before they have the words to express them. My 10-year old came to see us in the middle of the night on Friday. He hasn't done this in ages. He didn't feel sad or sick or scared - at least that he could express at around 3:00 am - he just needed the reassurance that we were there.

Lots of "helicopter" moms in my area are getting all irate because they want some kind plan of action from the schools. This irks me. I know our schools have safety plans in place. And there will be increased vigilance in the near future, but eventually everything will go back to the way it was before. (Not that I think there's any plan that will deter a mentally ill or unstable person who is bent on doing harm, but there it is.) I don't think it's healthy for us or our kids to dwell on this too much. On Saturday night, I found myself watching "Too Cute!" on Animal Planet channel before I could go to bed.

I think everyone has to tell their children in a way that suits their family and their children's capability to understand...then move on. Hug your kids, your spouse, your best friend.


By the time I saw the twitter link to the blog post the news had long since broke and I remember thinking, "Oh, that's unfortunate timing." But it wasn't just you - Cake Wrecks had some kind of horror themed post that day, and I'm sure there were others too.


Your post on Friday was a welcome respite for me. I could see when it was posted. Some people just always need to make things about them.


I read your post and it was evident immediately that you had published that before you heard the news. I didn't think twice about the title and I was glad for a little distraction. Like you, I simply avoided the news the rest of the day and weekend. Too much for me to handle. I fact, we went to a party Saturday night where most of the people there have kids, and No One talked about it. It was as if we all just wanted to pretend there was some normalcy before we had to explain to the kids and send them back to school. Ugh. Hugs to you.


I read it, could tell that it was OBV. written before and moved on. Those who kept coming back, mad you didn't change it? GET A LIFE. Shesh. Sorry.

Debi Huss

Amy Thank You. I was scanning all over the internet looking for something, anything to read that didn't break my heart all over again. It's ok about your title. Hug your kids. Thank you for posting something funny that could take my mind away for a brief few seconds.


Amy, I think most of us realized that post went up BEFORE.

After, well.....it sucks. I'm really hoping my 7 & 8 year old hear nothing about it a school today. Or ever.

Those poor precious little babies.


I can't read anything about it, and have quit watching/ listening to the news. It's bad enough with the headlines that come up on yahoo. I used to teach elementary music in public school. Now I'm 5 months pregnant and have a 20 month old, I want to homeschool them after hearing about this. Praying a lot for the families cause that's all we can do:(

jill (mrschaos)

You know, it's funny...I read the first couple sentences and thought "YES. Yes, I do need a huh."

Dropping my kid off at school this morning was...hard.

Hugs to everyone.


I read it after knowing what all had happened and even with the original title, I didn't think twice about it. Just a blog title. Shrug.

I am with you. I wanted to protect my kids this morning. I wanted to search for protective bubbles for all things on Amazon this morning. Sadly I know it doesn't exist.


I think I was the first that said something in the comments about your blog title. I think I was respectful, and acknowledged that it was up before the news broke, and that it was an unfortunate title. I was not offended (though, when I first opened your blog and saw it, I was surprised, as I saw it after news broke and thought for one quick second that is what it was about...). I commented only so that you might see the comment and make the connection and change it before others might become offended.

I was not offended, for the record. What I am offended about? All the other commenters coming to your "rescue" with their insensitive hateful comments. Calling those who commented "assholes." Ugh... it is all part of the problem in this society! Stop the hate, people! Be respectful, over the internet and in person. Stop judging each other!


Something similar happened to us in the south of France last year and we had to endure several days before the killer was caught. There were armed guards by every school, so we had no choice but to tell the children some of what was happening.

For my daughter (same age as Noah) we gave her a simplified, toned-down version of the truth: a very bad man hurt some children, but this is very unusual, and we, the police and your school are taking extra special care to keep you and your friends safe.

She was perturbed for a week or so, but it doesn't seem to have disturbed her in the long term.

But oh, those poor parents. Your blood runs cold just thinking about what they must be going through.


'And oh, those little faces. Those beautiful little faces. I still can't even believe. I still can't even imagine' Exactly my thoughts...

Amy M.

I didn't even make the connection because I saw the blog post before the horrible event. Only one person should feel guilty about the events that unfolded on Friday, and that person is not you. (Perhaps more, if you want to place blame for the missed mental health issues... but that's besides the point)

It was really hard to pick up my kids on Friday without crying & squeezing them really hard.


We all knew it was before. This post, or something just as heart felt, would have been posted if you had known. I want so much for all the parents who lost a child to have another at home. I can't imagine to lose the only one. God help us all.


Please do not feel too bad, I saw your post before I heard the news, and nothing was wrong. Even after,there was no problem it changing it immedialtely since it was so obvious it was written before you heard about the events. No updates/changes on the weekend meant to me that you must be feeling to awful to think about your blog much.

P.S. I do not think well-meant and understanding pointing out of the news in the comments is bad form, but then this blog is not a news outlet, so delays in reaction should be expected.


My co-ops parenting seminar this month was about talking to your kids about the hard stuff, and the takeaway from that is - talk to them. They pay a lot to nonverbal communication, and they know you're upset, and that is in itself scary. Scared children are vulnerable children. So simplify it to their level, ask them what they think, encourage them to ask questions.
A man opened fire at a mall on Saturday, and my folks were there. They were safe, I knew they were safe, and no one was hurt. But my nerves were shattered. What I told my 6yo is that I'm sad, terribly sad, and I don't understand why someone would do such a thing. But I'm not scared. I don't think it will happen to us,and I think we should trust that it won't. That's the simple version. The truth is that I believe most people are good, and random acts like this are beyond my control. So I will act according to my beliefs and walk this earth bravely


oh, and Amy? Mentioning your blog post just became insensitive once is one thing. Repeatedly checking it to make sure you've done their bidding? CREEPY.


I read your blog on Friday before everything happened. And didn't connect the titles at all.
I don't agree with people calling you out for it. But, what you wrote, and apologizing anyway ... was incredibly graceful.
If I had half of that grace in dealing with things I get called out for, I'd be a better person :)
PS We have a nanny too. I can't imagine her leaving suddenly.


You have nothing to feel bad about. People are (understandably) upset and want to lash out. Lashing out at you is totally inappropriate.

I'm not going to comment on Sandy Hook because I can't! I can't make coherent thoughts happen. My 6 yo nephew may not have asking me to "stop hugging me so much!" this weekend cause... yeah.


this, suggested by my son's principal, seems sound, thoughtful, and substantive...


No need to apologize, Amy.

We all need to be gentler with each other. And, as I keep reminding myself over the past few days, gentler on ourselves. I think we're all heart-sick, and our nerves are all, collectively, frayed to hell.

Anyways, I don't even know what I'm writing, but I'm glad to be able to read your blog.

Hugs to all.


Amy, Amy. Hugs to you too. All of us, especially those of us with small children, have been out of our minds with grief. Your readers should understand.


Hey, sweet lady, of course you didn't mean to. Of course. I knew that. I know! I am a bit appaled with the people that accused you of being self-centered. As if your whole life is just your blog. Don't be so hard on yourself!


I didn't find out until late Friday night. I'm sure more than one person I came in contact with on Friday must think I am an insensitive person. I didn't know.

I saw your blog title before you changed it, and thought, "oh man, she is going to hate that!"

Let's just be kind to each other. And the offer of a hug is always a good idea, too.


This post was spot on. you always manage to do that. Sorry people gave you grief about your title on Friday, but what a gracious way to handle it. It's hard for me to remember back to anything that was going on in my mind pre-Friday, but I did read your post (before I *knew*) and thought that not having childcare for times when you need to be working to support your family is definitely not a first-world-only problem. Best of luck in finding someone you trust.


Give yourself a break. We are not armed with receivers that get live-feeds of real-world shitness. I read your piece RIGHT AFTER I read the news... I understood completely. You OBVIOUSLY haven't heard about it and I felt tremendous sadness for you for the moment when you find out about the "other" kids BECAUSE you are a mother with one of the biggest hearts imaginable. So GIVE YOUR SELF A BREAK please. I, too, cannot stand to even read/hear/talk about it anymore- it physically hurts and I'm not even a mother.



Suzy Q

I didn't even hear until Saturday and then, only in passing. I was out of town being drunk and stupid, but I am kind of glad I didn't see TV or read social media. Now that I am back home, WHOMP, I am inundated with this story and it is SO SO sad. I can't even.


No need to apologise, Amy. It was an unfortunate co-incidence.

I am sure the parents of those sweet babies experienced child care dramas and other first world problems in their children's short lives. I know they would give anything to have them now but I doubt that they would begrudge you your right to vent about yours. I think we disrespect them by saying otherwise.

Parenting is a thousand trivialities and dramas and niggles. I love reading about yours.



You shouldn't be apologizing for your opinion. It's your blog. And while yes, it's horribly tragic, you're speaking about your life and your experience in it. I knew about the CT thing long before I read your post that day, and did not put the 2 together. Maybe I'm too desensitized. Don't censor yourself for others. If they don't like it, they don't have to read it!


As one who asked you to change the title to the last posting, I should have made it clear that I never thought you would have put it out knowingly. I think the whole world is still trying to wrap their collective heads around this horror. Those poor babies and all the devastated families left behind. How you deal with it as a mother with small children in school in the USA I simply cannot imagine. Hug them tight and hope for some sanity to come from the disparate levels of government in the USA I suppose. Something has to change now surely . . .


I had to go and read the comments on that post again.. I had read a bunch of them whenever I read it originally (Friday, sometime "after." -- but only cause I somehow heard what was happening AS IT HAPPENED... the internet sucks sometimes.) Never even connected the dots and I think it was really inappropriate to even ask.


Wow. Some people just...wow. Is it weird that I read your blog during the day, at work, on my smart phone...but knew nothing about the shooting until I got home at 4:00? I refuse to read the news, or listen to the news, at work. But your blog? It's always a nice respite from the code writing, data analyzing, epidemiology-ing that consumes my normal work day.


I never thought twice about it.
lIke a previous commenter said we still all have our own lives going on.
Nothing wrong with your post at all.


Unbelievably sad days...Thank you to everyone that posted thoughts on how to talk to our children in these difficult times.


(Hugs) Please don't stress out about your last title. It was unintentional, bad timing, all that. And now more than ever we shouldn't stress over the small things. Just hug your kids tighter and be thankful that you can. That's what I'm doing.


In all honesty no one could have prepared for what happened. Just hug your kids extra every day and say a prayer for all children.


I, too, didn't think twice about your blog title. Didn't even cross my mind. My guess is that the people that took issue had their own stuff going on so they commented. Which is understandable. When something of this magnitude happens we are all affected in so many ways. I wouldn't be too overly worried about it because we know you meant no disrespect and we all love you dearly. I do appreciate that you apologized so that people who had their worlds turned upside down and couldn't deal with your blog title were given some relief so that they could understand that you absolutely meant no harm. This tragedy is huge enough that I hope you don't let this add to your anguish. You are a good and wonderful person and I very much appreciate you, Amy.


People needed a place for their anger to go, and unfortunately you became the outlet. I'm sorry about that. Many of us don't do anger well.



Anyone who reads your blog knows how much you adore your children, and children in general. To those who think otherwise, they just need to go somewhere else to read. It's awful. Picked up my 6 year old grandson from school yesterday, he said Mema, do you watch the news anymore? I said sometimes, he said ok then you do watch. I had hair standing up on my back. I'm not sure if he knows, but I did ask if there is anything he wants to ask me. My newly six year old grandson should not have to even think of gunman. Hang in there, we know and love you and thanks for sharing so many lovely stories of your babies.


I never thought a thing of it, even though I read your post after learning about the Connecticut babies. My internet was out all day, and I emerged from my dark cave of a bedroom into the shining world of electronics, only to want to run whimpering back into the cave. Then I read your post, to cheer me up (you always do) and it did...I've always thought I was sensitive, but that one went right past me, and I have to wonder about the people who take the time to write those mean comments when it is totally obvious that you posted before you heard. I think they have much larger problems than being offended by your post title.


No need to apologize here. Remember when "go boom" meant "to fall ass over tea-kettle"? Like when my toddler takes a spill and I ask her "did you fall down and go boom?" I imagine that's exactly what our family would feel like if our nanny had to suddenly leave. So, yeah, I knew what your title meant. And I refuse to let any evil-doer or internet commenter take the use of that term away from me. If I surrender that term to a new meaning, then the terrorists win. And I refuse to be terrorized.


People love to be offended on behalf of others.

Obviously just unfortunately timing.

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