Monday, May 24, 2010

House Arrest

I locked myself out of the house today. With the baby in my arms and not in the house, thank God. I hate leaving the house these days so this wasn't a good start. I sat in the rocking chair on the front porch waiting for JD to come and let us in trying hard not to let it set the tone of my day. He came and unlocked the door and we were on our way.

We had tons of errands to run. I hate running errands with Beatrice. Let me rephrase...I hate lugging Beatrice in and out of the car 20 times while running errands. It was hot and Beatrice is heavy and I only have 2 arms, 1 of which is reserved for toting around my 16 pound child. So with my 1 free arm I must balance my purse, keys, diaper bag and whatever I have to mail/deposit/exchange/purchase/donate.

We had 4 different stops (in the 90 degree heat) and we were both getting a little cranky from all of the in and out, back and forth in the car. First stop was the post office to mail out some beanies. I somehow managed to addressed the packages 1 handed while balancing my wiggly baby and dodging her from grabbing the marker. Sorry to the recipients of the packages if it looks like a 2nd grader addressed them. Done, no problem. We had only been on our mission for 5 minutes and were sweating, but no big deal.

Next stop was to donate the pile of clothes that had been sitting in the corner of our bedroom for 2 weeks. I pulled into the parking lot, unloaded Beatrice, grabbed my purse and starting gathering up the clothes with my 1 free hand. I started walking to the door right behind a man, fully expecting him to hold it open for me BECAUSE I HAVE A BABY SLIDING DOWN MY HIP, but that didn't happen. He walked in and let the door slam in front of me. I stood there waiting, expecting someone to come running to get the door for me. That didn't happen either. So I somehow managed to open the door with my foot and completed my errand. I loaded Beatrice back into the car and we went to our next stop.

My poor baby was getting tired and hungry but we had 2 more stops to make. The more fussy she got, the more agitated I got. I don't want to be that person with the screaming baby in the restaurant or grocery store. I get very anxious when she cries in public. By the last stop, I had had 2 parking spaces "stolen" from me and 2 more doors not held open. I was in a mood. Can't people see I have a baby and running errands is hard??? I wish I could have a bumper sticker or flashing lights on my car letting everyone know that I have a baby and need the close parking space or the right of way in traffic. Major pity party ensued when I got home.

Days like this make me want to stay home and not leave the house. It is so much easier to stay home when you have a baby. I have gotten some grief from friends for staying in so much since Beatrice was born. Maybe it's me or maybe they don't remember how much work it is to get 2 people ready and to your destination on time with all of the necessary gear. Seriously, we don't go anywhere without diapers, wipes, 2 pacis (in case 1 gets lost or licked by a dog), blankets, toys, extra clothes, food, stroller, Bjorn, my purse and phone. And that's only if we're heading to the store for a quick trip. If we're going to a family function or church add bottles, swaddle blankets, Soothe N Glow Seahorse, bibs, Boppy, books, and on and on. So going to lunch or visiting a friend's new office takes a lot more planning than just getting my shoes on and driving off. We're always 10 minutes late because Beatrice unfailingly poops right as we're buckling her into the car seat. Sigh. It's not worth it to leave.

I don't want to be like this. I want to be able to go and do and not be an emotional mess by the time we arrive. And I know moms can have outings with their children, I see them at restaurants and groceries stores. So why is it so hard for me?

Maybe it's because I'm afraid of Beatrice. I'm not really afraid, more like distrusting of her. She's unpredictable. She can't help it, she's a baby. But nonetheless, I can't know for certain if she will coo and smile at fellow diners or hiss and howl at them. And I'm not comfortable finding out which one it will be.  Plus I'm weak. I am tall and lanky and have little to no upper body strength. Lugging her around with tons of baby gear is hard and awkward and I'm afraid I'll drop her. Or something else and not be able to pick it back up. And if people don't hold doors open for women with babies slipping out of their arms, do you think they are going to pick something up for them? Probably not. 

It's just easier to stay home. And I have a hunch I will feel like this for awhile. Until she is walking and can carry her own diaper bag. Having JD here helps big time. But even he can't believe how much stuff is required to leave the house with a tiny little girl. So we stay home. I don't plan on leaving this house until the end of the week. We're on house arrest for the time being.


  1. How old is Beatrice now? I no longer carry around as much stuff as I used to, thank God! But, I know how you feel! M hates being put in and out of the car. And getting out of the house takes at least an hour longer than it did pre-baby. But, it gets better (so I've heard)... and then you have another! LOL.

  2. She is almost 7 months. It takes forever for us to leave too.

  3. Hi Aly. I remember exactly what you wrote about. Some things that helped were: leaving a bag with extra diapers, wipes, change of clothes and bibs in the car, packing the diaper bag the night before so it was ready to grab and go. Also, I kept a light stroller in the trunk. It is so much easier than carrying a baby on your hip. I could then put my stuff in the basket on the bottom, slip the diaper bag over the handles and be all set. I know it seems like more trouble to get the stroller in and out but really the times when I didn't I wished I did. If I was going somewhere with shopping carts, I would park next to an empty cart and use my comfy cart cover and then put the baby in. I always had cheerios or some other snack that I would give them while they were in the stroller or cart along with a sippy cup. It seemed to help. As far as having to change a diaper right before leaving, that always seemed to happen to us too. We would try to ahead of schedule by ten minutes, but it didn't seem to matter. Enjoy this precious time.