I'm going to admit something, and it's not easy. Deep breaths... I'm a homebody.
I know, I know, a writer who's a recluse-- like that's new. No, this is
new. It happened about, oh, 17-months ago. Strangely enough, it coincides with the birth of my daughter. Imagine that! It started with me terrified of the germs that could harm my little bundle of joy. I got over that real quick when I started to feel like the walls of my house were closing in on me.
No, the real reason I'm a homebody is because of the absolute pain in the rear it is to take a child out and about. Errands that should take ten minutes wind up becoming huge ordeals that involve tears, stares from strangers, and poopy diapers changed in the minuscule post office bathroom. Does this sound familiar to anyone? Show of hands?
Here are my Top 5 Most Annoying Things Parents Deal With While Out Alone with the Kids: 1. The dang door.
I mean, really. Does it get any more basic? You walk up to the door and sigh. You then have to twist yourself around so you are backing up to the door. You then (very gracefully and in no-way a ridiculous or unattractive way) stick your butt out, smashing it up against the glass to prop it open, and then awkwardly waddle backwards pulling the stroller through the opening. Chances are, the door will slam onto the edge of the stroller because you don't rip it out of the way fast enough. Then, once you and your little darling are both 100% inside the store, you realize they have dropped their pacifier/sippy cup/FAVORITE TOY EVER THAT IS IRREPLACEABLE on the other side of the door. Cue defeat. Begin again. 2. Arm fatigue.
I took a trip to Kohl's recently to purchase a gift card for a friend. I figured we would be in and out quickly, and didn't want to lug the stroller out and mess with it, so I carried my daughter into the store. Strength training and a quicker in-and-out. That's a win-win. My daughter weighs around 25 pounds, but by the end of that errand, I swear she had gained an extra 500
pounds. I stood in a line with exactly one customer in front of me, who couldn't grasp that there was in fact a limit of two on the discounted fuzzy socks for a good 30 minutes. I shifted arm to arm, hip to hip. When I finally got back to my car, I literally had to drive all the way home using only one arm, because the muscles in my right arm were too strained. This could be a typical annoyance for parents, or it could just mean I really, really need to get my butt back into the gym. Yeah... nahhh.3. The fact that you are one person.
When cloning comes back into style, and we start experimenting on humans, sign me up, because if I can have one more of me to sit in the passenger seat and hand my daughter back the pacifier she throws on the floor, the bottle she throws on the floor, her toys she throws on the floor, I'd be in heaven. Me #2 could turn around and play peek-a-boo with her while I navigate traffic, and keep baby girl from entering total meltdown mode. Sadly, we have not arrived at this Twilight Zone utopia, so she has to be content with me reaching my arm back and blindly flailing my hand around until I connect with her foot and give it a "hang in there" squeeze. Has that ever calmed a tired toddler down? I didn't think so. 4. Panicking when lines are long.
The post office at Christmas was a prime example of this. I gave all of the customers waiting a hilarious show while I pulled out all of the stops to keep her happy. Funny faces, funny noises, tug of war with her pacifier, blowing in her face until she giggled (yes, she loves it, and yes, I know she's weird). I could feel the stares, and I am a NOTORIOUSLY shy and introverted person. But at that moment, all I cared about was keeping her happy for the 45 minutes I stood in line to buy Christmas stamps. Next year, everyone is getting the Liberty Bell. 5. Keeping up with everything.
Besides the baby who is mobile and that adds a double layer of fun to the game, the sheer amount of STUFF I have to take with me, keep track of, and make sure it makes it back into my house is overwhelming, and that's not counting anything I pick up while I'm out. From the cart cover to distraction toys to sippy cups to diapers/wipes to her jacket to her shoes that she rips off at the first available moment... too much stuff. The kicker is when I do manage to keep everything together for the baby, and make it to the register, only to remember that my wallet is on the counter in the kitchen back home. Ahh... domestic life.
So, I'm not afraid of germs, I don't hide because I don't like strangers touching my kid (DON'T TOUCH my kid!), I stay home because... honestly? It's just way too much work and stress. Very rarely do I have an errand that is so pressing it can't be done after my husband gets home from work, or on the weekends when we can tag team the chores together.
The saddest part of all is that we only have one kiddo so far. My brain can't even wrap around the thought of two. Two little people to entertain. Having to lug two people's stuff around. Oh gosh, the horror...How do you tackle the errands that need to be run? Kids or no kids?
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