The Mystery of the Rookie Mom

by Whitney Moss on October 18, 2010

in Momoirs of a Rookie Mom,Month 1

Yesterday my husband woke up at the crack of dawn and headed out for a run. Scratch that. Dawn was not cracking; it was simply dark out. Having committed myself to 30 consecutive days of the 30-Day Shred, I decided that I too would get out of bed before the kids awoke.

I went downstairs to initiate the torture Jillian Michaels had in store for me and was surprised to see my husband standing in the kitchen with a fancy crocodile skin handbag that doesn’t belong to me. “This purse and this iPhone were on the front steps,” he said, as he plugged the phone into our charger. “There are a bunch of missed calls and texts, but the passcode is required to get to them.”

My mind started racing. As the recent victim of handbag theft, I knew how crazy the woman who owned these things must have been feeling.

Ryan headed out for his run, leaving me in charge of the investigation. I dug into the purse and found that the wallet had cash and credit cards in place. The drivers license revealed the owner to be a woman about my age, married (unless her parents thought that a long Polish last name would be a lovely middle name), and a resident of San Francisco.

I was worried for the purse owner. If it was a bad guy that had come between her and her purse, why didn’t he take her money? Why didn’t he take her phone?

The next thing I found in the purse turned my mind in a different direction. It was a ziploc bag containing breast pads. I looked at the phone. The wallpaper image was a man in his 30s holding a newborn baby. I dug back into the wallet. I found a notification from an OBGYN that I used to visit in San Francisco before my baby-making days.

The victim was a new mom! My breasts practically leaked with panic. I felt even more driven to solve this mystery and let this woman know that her valuables were safe.

A logical next step when one becomes pregnant in San Francisco is to move to Berkeley, where I live, so I became hopeful that we might know some people in common.

Armed with the name off the driver’s license, I hopped on Facebook and was disappointed to find that she was not a user. I found another person who was obviously a relative, and sent him a message promising that I was not creepy and offering my phone number.

My next step was LinkedIn. And there she was with 500+ contacts, one of whom I know. I sent our mutual friend an email. This friend doesn’t have children and it was 7.30 am on a Sunday, so I wasn’t sure when I would hear back from her. I was unable to send the purse owner herself a message because LinkedIn would like me to have a premium account to do that.

I tried to keep the worst case scenario out of my head, but decided to call the police to report the purse. My husband, having returned home, confirmed that he was also worried about an unmentionable scenario where this woman has been separated not only from her purse but also from the people depicted on her iPhone’s wallpaper.

The police (non-emergency number) said they would swing by and pick up the purse. I did not ask them if they were also obsessed with finding this rookie mom or if this was the first they had heard of her.

Suddenly, the iPhone recieved a text message. My husband jotted down the number from which it was sent, grabbed the phone and called her, announcing gleefully “We have your purse!”

We encouraged her to come get it before the police arrived and learned that she had indeed recently moved to Berkeley, and lived right down the street. She came over to retrieve her belongings within five minutes.

It turns out she had a baby two weeks ago and in a moment of postpartum brain freeze, set her purse down on our front steps and walked off without it.

Mystery solved.

What crazy mistake did you make in the early days of motherhood? (I left the front door of my house wide open when I left the house. Repeatedly. )

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RookieMoms.com co-founder Whitney lives with her husband, son, and daughter in the San Francisco Bay Area where she writes about parenting, crafts, and activities that moms can do with babies in tow. She and Heather also publish 510Families.com, a site for East Bay parents and are the authors of The Rookie Mom's Handbook and Stuff Every Mom Should Know.

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