Thursday, April 21, 2011

Hit the road Jack

I'm sure down the road I'll look back at this post and think how funny it was that one little trip to Target was so stressful. But, for now, as a first time mom, that's how I feel. A few days ago Jack and I ventured out for our first real solo outing. Now, we've walked to Vons and Starbucks, we've driven around town, and we've gone with daddy to run errands. But this was my first time driving somewhere with him, getting out the stroller, popping in the car seat, and navigating the mall and the Target aisles by myself.

The trip started as all our car trips do - with crying. He cried the whole 10 minute ride and by the time we pulled into the parking lot, it had reached a crescendo. I parked, pulled the stroller out of the back, got in the back seat and pulled out his car seat. I popped the seat in the stroller as he melted down. Now that he was out in public, he really let it rip. Heads turned toward me, eyes accusing me of abusing my baby. And since when do so many people sit in their car in parking lots? Seems like we were surrounded by them. Since I was determined not to surrender and head home (and skip Target?!) I decided to take a few laps around the shopping center before going in the store. The long walk combined with white noise blasting on my iPhone made him eventually fall asleep. I went in and had a lovely time at Target. Though I didn't know where to put everything without a cart so I piled a billion things into my one reusable shopping bag. And I couldn't figure out why I was getting strange looks as I wheeled the stroller thru the aisles. Then I realized that my iPhone was tucked in with Jack and was blasting white noise. People apparently couldn't figure out where the waterfall noise was coming from.

He slept through the check out and even through putting his car seat in the back seat. But the minute I started the car, he woke up and went off the deep end. Sobbing, screaming. No amount of white noise, music, dangling toys, windows open, could help. At one point he started choking so I pulled over to make sure he was okay. He was. But when I finally got home his hair was soaking wet and he had sweat through his clothes. All with a 10 minute drive.

And that was our first solo outing. The car was painful but the store was a dream (as usual). And if you're interested, Jack and I came back with new onesies, tortillas, greeting cards, make-up, ice cream, and deodorant. I love Target.


  1. Good work, Lisa! I can remember similar experiences (complete with an exhausted and angry sweaty little baby), but mine were at Trader Joe's. He'll get used to it eventually - but like so much, it's a real test to see if we, as parents, can deal with it until that time comes!

    And as for other people, screw 'em. Unless you do something that's actually crazy, no one is going to think about a crying baby with its mother any longer than the time it takes them to get a quick look. Just act like it's normal - because it is.

  2. yay lisa! that ice cream is going to taste extra good. and until i had one of my own, i feel like i've almost never noticed a crying baby, save for on airplanes, and now i see them everywhere - and even now it barely registers, other than a quick pang of sympathy. you did good. love the recap.

  3. Good for you for persevering! And now that I'm an outside observer of people who stare incredulously at crying babies (and not the object of said people), I've noticed that most people are parents and just look longingly at melting-down newborns. Seriously. I do the same thing, so take it from me! I look at the screaming baby and it just takes me back to Johnny's baby days... and then I immediately feel sympathy for the mom. So don't feel too bad about the people staring at you; I think most people are just reminiscing about being a parent when they're staring at you. :)