Yesterday I decided to take little bit out to run some errands with me, this being the first time we had left the house without Dad to lean on for support.
I was scared.
What if she started crying and I couldn’t calm her down? What if she wouldn’t take her bottle because it wasn’t warm enough? How would I be able to handle her, the stroller, her diaper bag, feeding and diaper changes by myself while we were out and about??
The first decision I made was to nix the bottle issue out of the equation. Though it was difficult for me to get past in the first place, I do breastfeed her and I can damn well do it wherever I please. If she needed to eat, well, we had her ring sling baby carrier and I could carry her and feed her at the same time because ain’t nobody got the time to continually sit down for 15-20 minutes at a time constantly for a baby that likes to comfort herself by breastfeeding and then pass out in intervals. So I loaded her up with all her gear in the car by myself ^_^
My first stop was going to be the Taco Bell drive thru so that I could grab myself a snack. We got down to the bottom of our street and she started sobbing and working herself into a fit. No matter how much I tried to comfort her or talk her down, she just went as loud as she could. She’s still little bitty, so her cries aren’t that bad yet. I can’t reach her from my driver’s seat to comfort her, either, so it was just what I could do vocally. She continued that the whole way down to Taco Bell, so I made an executive decision and once I was through the drive thru, I pulled into a parking spot so that I could feed her while I had my snack. Here we are in the back seat. Thank goodness for tinted windows, so we had some privacy.
After being so upset from her tantrum, it didn’t surprise me that she fell asleep so fast in the cool air conditioning. Sleeping and back in her seat, our journey continued. We stopped at Kohl’s because 1- Mom needed some jeans for next week when she starts back to work (the only pair I have that fit me after our pregnancy are tattered at the hems (because I’m short) and have stains all over them) and 2- Mom still had a $25 gift card for Kohl’s from Christmas.
She was very agreeable and happy-seeming, so I decided to bring her car seat inside and put her into a cart. I pulled her heavy-ass car seat out and hauled it inside, only to find out that Kohl’s does not have carts that are conducive to car seats. There was no way for me to settle her seat down and not have to worry about it just sliding off of the edge and falling off the cart. So I took her back out to the car and pulled out the stroller. Had to make a quick call to Dad to find out why I couldn’t get the stroller out of the folded position. There was a plastic latch that was keeping it closed, I looked over it in my stressing out. Finally, baby was in the stroller and in a fairly good mood.
Doesn’t she look…half-way content?
Anyway, so then we got back inside and I turned right, into the clothes to begin my foray. We got about three feet into that section and right in front of the dressing rooms, she started crying, loud enough that it echoed from the hardwood fitting area into the rest of the store. I began adjusting my ring sling and pulled her out of the stroller. I tried the tummy to tummy position and was bouncing her as we walked, to try and settle her down. She wasn’t having it. I turned around and carried her back to the fitting rooms, where there were some nice, cushy benches to sit down on while I put her into a feeding position in the sling (lying on her side). I wasn’t sure what kind of reaction I was going to get from the older gentleman who was sweeping the floors, but he never said anything. So I got her into the sling, eating and happy enough, outside of the dressing rooms.
Back to my jeans shopping. Miraculously, I pretty much immediately found a great sale on some denim capris that I liked quite a bit. I grabbed six pair (two different sizes) to try on and headed back to the dressing rooms.
Here was our first big test. What was I going to do with the baby while I was trying these on? If I unlatched her from me, she would be upset. If she was asleep for the moment and I put her back into her car seat in the stroller, she would wake up immediately and have a cow. What should I do with the stroller? Bring it into the bitty dressing room with me? Let her cry in her seat while I hurried through trying the jeans on?
I decided to keep her in the sling and park the stroller in the central open room of the dressing area. So I put the brakes on the stroller, grabbed my purse out of the bottom, grabbed the six pairs of jeans and picked the closest dressing room. Could I manage to pull this off while she was still feeding?
The answer was YES. I juggled supporting the baby with one hand/arm and used the other set to hold the jeans I was stepping into and then pull them up the rest of the way on me. I let the sling support her while I buttoned the pants up and, we’ll again use the word, MIRACULOUSLY, the smaller size of the ones I liked best fit me! Down to a size 9 without any dieting, exercise or starving myself.
Don’t I look proud of myself? And yes, the baby is still eating.
We made a bee-line out of the fitting room, hung up the jeans we weren’t going to purchase (because every consumer should still be a decent human being and not make other peoples’ lives and jobs more difficult than they need to) and headed to the checkout lane. I happened to pick one that the cashier was trying hard sales pitch after hard sales pitch on this elderly couple. Those poor people had no idea what she was talking about and she took a long time, still trying.
If she’s barely getting around by herself without a walker and he looks about the same age and she already has a Kohl’s charge card, do you really think that this poor old dude is going to sign up for ANOTHER Kohl’s charge card FOR HIMSELF? Probably not. They didn’t. So here we are, waiting in line. She’s still eating.
After that, we were off to Whole Foods for some liquid Vitamin C for Mom. (I really need to look into whether or not GNC carries the same brand because I’d like to avoid WF as much as possible, though that’s a story for another time). On the way there, I decided to forego the stroller and the car seat because I knew exactly what I was going in for, where it was and it just so happened to be in the very front of the store. So I stuck her in her sling and away we went. We had a great venture into the store, she fell asleep almost immediately and I felt terrible about having to stick her back in the hated car seat so soon. Here we are on the way back out to the car.
We had an uneventful trip back and she slept the whole way home. Here she is, sleeping.
I wanted to share this story because as a mom, I was so scared to be in charge of handling my baby by myself. I was so scared that someone would confront me about breast feeding her in public. I was so scared that I was going to fail her, somehow. But I did it.
And you can do it, too, Momma! Or Daddy ^_^. Don’t be put off by the worries of the world. Take it slow and make sure that you have plenty of extra time to run your errands. Your baby loves you and as long as you’re willing to move at their pace and take the time out to ensure their needs are met, both you and baby are going to do just fine. Don’t stress yourself out because the know-how to do this is inside of you already. It’s in you, biologically, in your head and in your heart. You don’t need to know it, you just have to feel it.