Saturday, August 2, 2014

I’m just going to run to the store real quick….

My Angel
Running errands with a baby SSSSSUUUUUCCCCKKKKSSSS.  I don’t think there is a word that adequately describes the inconvenience level of trying to go out in public to do normal tasks with a baby.  My respect level for all you moms with multiple kids has gone through the roof.  I don’t know how you do it without having a public meltdown in the middle of the laundry detergent aisle of Target. 

Today, Logan and I both had a lot of errands to run and only a short period of time to do it.  So we decided to divide and conquer.  I drew the short straw and got baby duty.  (Not really, I actually wanted to spend the day with Zoe since I just came back from being out of town for work this past week and I am turning around to leave again next week.  I’ll write another blog post about the pros and cons I am experiencing as a traveling working mom and the guilt that comes with it.) 

I had a few short stops that needed to be made.  If I could do this trip solo, I would need a total of 15-20 minutes at each location tops, and could have finished my shopping trip in an hour and half to 2 hours tops.  That is if I decided to peruse the home section of Target and do some mindless wandering.  Instead, this trip required 4.5 hours, an injury and a breakdown.  The crazy thing about all of this was Zoe wasn't even being bad.  She was acting like her normal happy self.  When she finally got fussy at the last stop, I couldn't blame her.  I was over it too.  I wouldn't want to be strapped in a car seat for 4.5 hours, sweating through my clothes.  I’d want to be at home, in the AC, playing with my toys too.

I will spare you from all the mundane normal issues that come from carting around a child in various department stores.  I will say this, just the added necessity of changing diapers out of the trunk of your car, and sitting in dressing rooms to breast feed, or hopping in the back seat to go through the bottle and burping routine that all come with the territory of traveling with your child, adds an additional 45 minutes to any normal trip. 

So we will skip to my last stop.  I needed to go to a party store to get some supplies for a birthday party this weekend.  I already knew exactly what I needed and what aisle it was in, so I thought I could be in and out in less than a half hour, even with the Zoe factor.  I had my list organized by section so I could just hop through.   (Yes I am that person that carries lists everywhere.)  So I parked in a spot where I saw a cart in the parking lot and put Zoe’s car seat in the top.  Like every other Party City cart, this one had a crappy wobbly wheel to add to the fun experience.  I go into the store and start to pick out my items.  As soon as I get through the first aisle, Zoe tells me she is over it.  Come on baby girl, 15 more minutes and I am home free – don’t crack now.  Too late… the rest of my shopping experience would be combined with me keeping one hand on her pacifier to try to keep it in her mouth and shushing her while also trying to hustle through the store. 

I get to the check-out counter where, without me even having to ask, a friendly stranger offered up her advice on to how to calm down my baby.  I appreciate it so much to hear sweet tips on how I can be a better mom from people who don’t know me.  (Sarcasm could not be any thicker right now.)  As I go to put my items onto the counter, one of the boxes, that contains roughly one billion parts, spills all over me and the floor.  Awesome, can I please have a scene to go with my screaming baby?  Thank you.  As one of the parts was coming out of the box it scraped up my leg so now I am also bleeding.  Fabulous.  I pay for my items, tell them they can keep my dignity because I don’t have any use for it, and exit the store. 

Remember the wobbly wheel I told you about?  Well, I go to leave the store and push the cart over the sidewalk edge down to the street to get to my car, and the whole thing decides it wants to topple over.  Obviously all I care about is Zoe staying safe, so I grab onto her car seat and watch as all of the stuff I just purchase flies over the payment.  I am holding up traffic now, while I shovel my random party supplies back into the bag with my kid sitting in her car seat on the side of the road, crying.  I guess one scene for the day wasn't enough.
The Happy Girl

We get in the car, and I turn the AC up on high to try to cool off.  (I’m a sweaty person as it is, so you can imagine the level after anxiety from public humiliation.)  I decide to join Zoe in the crying as I leave the parking lot when I count down the minutes until she goes to bed so I can have a glass of wine.  But then what happens?  I get home, change Zoe’s clothes and diaper, and put her on her activity center where she is INSTANTLY back to her normal happy self.  She is laughing and cooing and having the best time.  My anxiety melts away and I am reminded to why all this ‘extra stress’ and baggage that goes to traveling with a baby is sooooooo worth it.  I will take 100 Party City melt downs in exchange for that smile.  Or, I’ll just make Logan do it.