Tuesday, March 25, 2008

01 Rant Frozen Car

For the first time in motherhood, I have actually thought to myself "now I know why people move to the suburbs."


A simple errand to the social security office to get Ada's SS card and number became much more than simple today.

After feeding, changing, and dressing her, then securing her into her car seat while she is screaming at me no less, I zip up the bundle me to keep her warm, put a hat on her head, and proceed to gather the paperwork I need to take with me. All of that is relatively normal.

Then I get my hat, gloves, and coat on. I move her out our front door and into the hallway. I realize I have my house sandals on so I quick change into my shoes. She's not screaming at this point so life is alright. In lieu of the cumbersome stroller, I decide to just take the car seat and the Baby Bjorn with a fat suit for the little munchkin to wear since I can't carry her very far in the car seat. That was my first mistake.

With the diaper bag over my shoulder, the Bjorn and fat suit in my left hand, the car seat with baby inside in my right hand, I use my 3rd imaginary hand to open the first vestibule door, then the second. We've made it outside. Big accomplishment.

Then we walk a block and a half to the car since it is parked a bit far. We got home late on Sunday and couldn't park on our street. I arrive at the car, arms throbbing from the pain of carrying a 12 lb baby in a what? 6 lb car seat? I open the back door of the snow covered car (2 inches with a layer of ice underneath), some snow falls into the car. I toss the fat suit, Bjorn, and diaper bag into the car. Then I grab the car seat and baby, walk to the other side of the car, open it, again have snow fall inside, and finagle the kid into the clicky thing. By now she is screaming her little head off. I try to calm her to no avail. Maybe she'll shake it off...

I shut the back door, open the front door, start the car, turn on the defrost, grab the brush and scrapper and get started. I dust off the car and scrape the ice, periodically checking to see if she is still screaming. She is. I take a break and try to calm her. She takes to sucking on my finger for a bit. Then starts screaming again. I think I'll try to get the car moving and maybe that will help. So I finish cleaning off the front windshield and hop in the front seat. She's still screaming.

I put the car in reverse and push the gas. Nothing. I put the car in drive and push the gas. Nothing. Reverse again. Still nothing.

It's 3:06 in the afternoon. I'm 20 minutes from the SS office which closes at 4pm. The car is frozen to it's spot and needs to be dug out. The baby is screaming. I have the start of a scratchy throat and my water that I've carried with me doesn't taste very good.

This is when I give up. I turn off the car, go to the back passenger side, get the diaper bag, the fat suit, the Bjorn, reach for the car seat and of course, the tube of breast milk from the diaper bag falls out and rolls into the gutter. I grab it, put it back in the diaper bag and reach for the car seat again. Then the tube of breast milk falls out, again. This time I grab it, forcefully shove it and the other tube and the baby bottle down deep into the diaper bag, grab the car seat with the baby screaming at me still, set her down in the snow, shut the door, lock the car, and try to ignore the people on the street staring at me with my screaming baby. Then I trek all my crap back to the house, stopping once to catch my breath and shake out my now throbbing arm muscles. I get to the front door, unlock it, push it open with my head this time -- somehow my magical third hand isn't available anymore --and as I march up the 4 stairs the thought of a nice house in the suburbs with a driveway and only one front door comes to me. I shake it off, unlock the second vestibule door, maneuver all of the stuff and the baby inside, open the house door, again shimmy through and of course... Ada is now fast asleep resembling the cutest little angel you've ever seen.

But that's not all. I retrieve the tubes of breastmilk from the bottom of the diaper bag and notice that, yes, of course, they have leaked! This is when I pull out every nasty word in my vocabulary and curse the designers of the bottles at Medela who had the foresight to put "Breastmilk is best" on the side of each little storage tube, but no enough sense to make sure that the bottle doesn't leak the very breastmilk that mothers treat like gold. I mean... what mother on earth would put a breastmilk tube in a diaper bag and want to take it with her without it spilling all over everything?

Moral of the story: Motherhood isn't easy, babies cry, design matters, and the suburbs still suck. No offense.


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