It’s amazing how much I have learned in the 2.5 months I’ve been a parent. Those first few weeks were a struggle – trying to figure out my baby’s signals and cues, and trying to figure out how to make our lives keep going with a new guy in tow. Since my husband works in an office during the day, it’s been mostly up to me to figure out how to integrate Cullen into our lives and our activities.
One of my biggest challenges? The grocery store. Prior to Cullen’s arrival, I did all the grocery shopping during the day or on weekends so that Casey didn’t have to be bothered with it after getting home from work. But with a new baby, I found the idea of taking him there on my own to be really overwhelming, as most things are at the beginning.
For starters, he HATES his car seat, so putting his car seat in a cart was like wheeling a bomb into the store. And the few times we did take him in the seat, we discovered that his seat takes up the entire cart, leaving almost no room for…groceries! Now that he’s a bit older and bit more predictable, I finally felt comfortable taking him to the grocery store by myself. We got the job done, but I also discovered that shopping with a wee one is quite the process!
Here’s how our outing broke down…
11:30am – Strap baby into car seat and head to store. He cries the entire way there.
11:40am – Arrive at grocery. Climb into backseat to remove baby from car seat and wrestle into Ergo carrier. Crying stops.
11:50 – 12:45pm: Shopping time! What normally takes 30 minutes tops now takes almost an hour. Having a baby strapped on the front is sort of like being super pregnant again – bending, reaching, and lifting are all much more complicated. Also, you must be bouncing and swaying at all times.
12:50pm: Checkout and head to the car. Nice employee offers to help load items onto belt, as strapped on baby is making the job quite difficult. Bouncing and swaying continues.
12:55pm: Unload groceries into the back while baby is still strapped on – not an easy task. Climb back into backseat and strap baby back into the car seat. Screaming begins.
1:00pm: Drive home with baby crying in the back seat. Try not to swerve into oncoming traffic or focus too long on the car seat mirror. Realize it has been over two hours now, and that baby is getting hungry.
1:05pm: Arrive home. Remove baby from car seat and head straight into the house for feeding. Groceries wait patiently in the car.
1:30pm: Baby is fed and happy. Put him down on playmat and head back down to garage to retrieve sweaty groceries. Move groceries from garage to just inside front door, so that time outside is minimized in case baby starts crying.
1:40pm: Groceries are now in the front hallway. Baby is crying. Run back up the steps.
2:30pm: Baby is not ready to nap, but is also refusing to be put down. Groceries continue to warm in the front hallway, while predatory dogs sniff the bags hoping mom will not notice.
3:00pm: Nap time! Baby is finally asleep. Head back down the steps and lug what feels like 200 pounds of groceries up a long flight of stairs. Fling groceries onto counter top.
3:10pm: Guess who’s awake! Dogs bark and wake him up, and now that nap is officially over. Salad greens are getting more limp by the minute.
4:00pm: Dad is home! Hurrah! Baby goes to dad for snuggles, while mom finally puts the last of the groceries away. We survived!
5:00pm: Order takeout despite kitchen now filled with groceries, because grocery shopping has drained all will to ever cook again.
Can you relate? Does it get easier as the babies get older?