A Mom friend once told me that the moment you think you ‘have it together’, the baby will throw you a curveball and you start back at ground zero. I used to think that she was exaggerating and that it couldn’t really be that difficult. Emphasis on the USED TO THINK. Now, I 100% get it.
Out of my first solo experience, I gained a ton of confidence. I started going to grocery stores, walks, more appointments, even taking in a movie at Stars and Strollers – I really felt like I had this whole thing down pat, seeing as though I was out and about on my own since she was about a week and a half old. Friends and family were saying how surprised they were that I was venturing out so early, and I would non-chalantly respond, “oh, I feel great and am having soo much fun.” Well, Molly would show me a thing or two about being cocky.
Molly clearly owned me was when she was about 8 weeks old. A few friends and I decide to go on a stroll through the city with our little munchkins. I pack all essential items into the stroller and off we go. Approximately 30 minutes into our walk, the meltdown of the century takes place. Molly isn’t just crying, she is screaming at the top of her lungs. I try to stay calm (while apologizing profusely to my walking buddies stating, “she never does this!”) The panic in my voice was palpable. She really had NEVER screamed like this before. I take a breath. Perhaps she is hungry? Nope. Perhaps she has a dirty diaper? Nope. Maybe a touch of colic, I try gripe water. Nope. By this point I’m sweating so badly I may as well have run 5k. My heart is pounding and I’m nervous, slightly embarrassed and don’t have a clue what I should do. (Thank God my friends were patient, supportive and very understanding.) I’m asked if we want to turn back and I work up the courage to say, “no, I think she will be ok, let’s keep going”, because of course I don’t want to be the party pooper.
Molly simmers slightly and we keep walking, grab some ice cream and head back. About 5 minutes after we start our journey back, it happens again. My heart and gut sink while I look at Molly in complete bewilderment. What is happening? What the hell do I do? I take Molly out of the stroller and carry her, thinking maybe that would help. (Note: Although I packed my stroller with enough supplies to camp for a week, I forgot to include my Ergo carrier. STUPID.) If you were driving down Avenue Rd. and saw a Mom, sweating, with tears in her eyes, carrying a small infant screaming while pushing a stroller, you now know the identity of said ‘Mom’.
After several pit stops along the way, we finally make it back to my car. Phew. I pack Molly in the car and in the back of my mind think, ‘she will for sure fall asleep on the way home.’ Wrong. She will not fall asleep on the way home. She will continue to scream on the way home. On top of that, I have somehow found myself in rush hour traffic and what is normally about a 10-15 minute drive home is about 40 minutes. My Mom calla during the drive, I answer in tears. She tried to tell me it was going to be ok, but by this point I’m beyond ‘frazzazzled’. Without a word of a lie, the second I pull on to our street, Molly falls asleep. That just makes me irritated. Seriously kid, now you fall asleep. I unload the car which of course causes Molly to wake up. I feed her, bath her and put her to bed. I sit down on the couch and have a good cry and call my Mom. She makes me feel better and tells me that I need to be very aware of rush hour times moving forward, not to worry, my friends will invite me on a walk again and I haven’t scarred Molly for life. She also gives me perhaps the best advice possible, she tells me to ‘jump back on the horse’ and go out for a walk first thing in the morning.
Going for a walk, in fact leaving my house again, was something that I had decided I never needed to do again – I was traumatized. My parents taught me to take on any challenge and that if I at least tried, I had done well. So, I pack up the stroller (not forgetting the Ergo) and ventur out for our ‘redemption walk’, to build my confidence back up. There were no meltdowns. What was going to be a 20 minute walk turned into an hour and a half. Mom was right, jumping back on the horse is always the right thing to do.