Thursday, May 26, 2011

Different and the Same

Everyday things are different with a 9 month old. I do all the same things I did before I had a child, but I wear a different hat. I'm veiled with baby, if you will. I'm constantly thinking about where in the parking lot I can grab a cart so I don't have to carry Abe and the cart seat-cover all the way to the store front, hold him while trying to (always unsuccessfully) correctly install the cart seat-cover, and then put him in. You won't catch me leaving the house without diapers, puffs, a pacifier, extra socks, sippy cup, wipes, did I mention pacifier?, hand sanitizer, extra clothes for everyone everywhere, burp cloths, toys, blankets, and a pacifier. And that's just to go to the store. (I won't bore you with the overnight trip packing list.)
Drivers definitely tick me off like never before. Like the Ford Broco driver who is completely distracted by the cd holder velcroed to his driver side viser. It's not that I can't forgive the simultaneous display of camouflaged deer antlers and, "Horn broken, watch for finger," bumper sticker. However, while The Offspring did put out one good album in the early 90's, it does not mean blaring it out his duct taped windows is enough to warn me of his impulsive desire to move into my lane. Unfortunately, there's no appropriate way to express my exasperation for the lack of blinker or HUMAN DECENCY while my child is in the car except to mentally wish ill upon the man driving while muttering, "There's a baby in this car! Don't you know babies are on the road, too? YOU COULD KILL SOMEONE."
How about stroller etiquette? I can't tell you the number of times I have rolled up to Starbucks with Abe in tow and faced the big, glass door. Attacking it straight on never works. So I must turn the stroller around and attempt to back into the door, open it behind me (of course it has to open out), hold it open with with my free arm and pull the stroller backwards through the door with the other. Inevitably my arm isn't log enough to synchronize the "door holding" pose with the "stroller pulling" maneuver. The door begins to close on the stroller and I have to lean forward over the back of the stroller, batting at the door and trying to pull the stroller hard enough to get it out of the jam. The cherry on top of this entire scene? The person standing behind the stroller WATCHING it all happen like he/she doesn't know what to do. Hello? A little help here? I may shoot a look like, "Gosh, I'm so sorry we're keeping you from your precious coffee person who has never seen or heard of children before," which often is enough to send the hint. He or she might say something like, "Oops. Sorry," and then hold the door just long enough for me to get the front tire inside. My hero.
As crazy different as this all seems from my "former life", it also feels absurdly normal. I can't imagine how boring grocery shopping was before I had a buddy in the cart or how lonely Target could be without Abe staring at the mirror in the dressing room making faces at himself. I never want life to be different from this again. But seriously, if one more person touches my baby's face without asking, I'm going to ram them with the stroller's front tire and then coyly whisper, "Oops. Sorry."

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