February 18, 2011

Pick Your Poison

There are two phrases that have been cropping up around our house recently.
The first is "pick your poison."

As in, "Hey babe... the Pampers have blow outs up the back, and the Huggies have blow outs down the legs. So when you're putting on a new diaper, pick your poison."

The second phrase is "comedy of errors."

Picture me changing Cruz's diaper. His little feets squirm out of my grasp, he plops them right into the open diaper, then grabs his toes! "Cruz, this is a comedy of errors!" I yell, batting his paws away from his mouth and aiming a baby wipe in his direction. 

Some days both these phrases converge into one terrifying situation. 

Let me preface this next story by saying I get it. Not only would I fail as a mother during olden times (no epidural! no bouncy chair! no free diaper delivery!), but I'm pretty sure we would never leave the house if we lived anywhere but Southern California. A tip of the hat to all you Mamas living across America. And, you know, experiencing weather.

For us, today was not like any other day because it was raining. Yes, I grew up in Seattle. Yes, I should be used to the rain. But no no I am not. As today will prove, I have no good way of transporting a child in anything but perfect weather conditions. We first head to the mall to buy a shower gift. At this point, Cruz is in the stroller, with all sorts of coverings draped over his head to ward off the raindrops. After a quick pop-in at J Crew, we finally make it over the Macy's. Where the store has not one single item on the registry available. 

Yes, says the lady. Look at the paper. You need to order all of these online. 

Ugh. Shopping can drive me crazy. Cruz is beginning to wake up, and I'm losing confidence that I've timed his nap to perfectly coincide with this trip. We get back to the car. It's raining harder and the mamamobile needs gas. Cruz starts to lose it, and I know I'm never going to make it to our next set of errands without feeding him. 

It's starting to pour. 

We drive to Glenda's Party Cove and the parking lot is PACKED. The good people of Santa Barbara are desperate for party supplies, overpriced groceries and fine jewelry at lunch time, I guess. Whatever the reason, I circle the lot many times to the tunes of a wailing baby. I finally find a spot and pop into the backseat to grab Cruz. Nursing in the car is not my favorite. It feels pretty awkward, even when I'm all covered up. It is more awkward when someone sees me hop back into the front seat and thinks that I'm about the pull out. I also think she saw me carrying the baby. So maybe she was just making sure I didn't drive off with Cruz in the front seat, a la Britney Spears. Nevertheless, she sat behind my car for a good five minutes, a line forming behind her. She lays on the horn. Move along, sister. We aren't going anywhere.

Errand, errand, errand and we're finally on to the last stop of the day. The rain is coming down in sheets. Earlier, as I tore through the house looking (unsuccessfully) for my Costco card (our last destination of the day), I cried out in an attempt to maintain my sanity, "Cruz, this is a comedy of errors!" He munched on his fists in agreement. 

I'm carrying Cruz in the Ergo around Costco. We've taken a new card picture together. Cute. The ladies in customer service all come over to take a look at it. I do not take for granted that I find everything I'm looking for (and then some. It is Costco, after all). We step out of the store and it all happens at once.

The rain before is nothing compared to the rain now. It's dark. It's windy. I am pushing a cart full of bulky boxes. I curse feminism as I walk to the car through standing water. Is there no knight in shining armor to swoop down and offer to help load the car? Is a little chivalry too much to ask? I actually consider offering money to a young man I cross paths with {note: my husband was not along for this trip because he was coaching his team in the first round of CIF playoffs and generally kicking butt as a high school soccer coach}. Alone, I face the question mamas have faced for years-- baby or groceries.

Pick your poison. 

If I load the baby into the car first, I keep him as dry as possible. But then he'll be left alone in the car when I return the cart. I have read enough online commentary to know that this is the Worst Thing Moms Do. Also, while taking Cruz out of the Ergo and strapping him back into his car seat, all of the groceries in the cart will get ruined by the rain. So I opt to load the groceries first, keeping the baby out in the wet. Bless him, Cruz just sleeps through the whole thing. 

Was that the right thing to do? Will I have a present for the shower tomorrow? What were all those people doing in the plaza parking lot? We may never know the answers to these questions. But at least we looked great all day long!


  1. Good post, Becca! You look "none the worse for the wear". In fact you both look great, and are still smiling! Good job! Keep up the good work! Love, Auntie Beth


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