Why did no one tell me that babies were portable? I was totally prepared for the months of self-imposed isolation, the trapped-in-the-house feelings new mothers get, and missing out on all the fun things I used to do before I had a tiny being to keep alive 24 hours a day. I told myself “Look, you’ve had some good times. Lots of good times. Now you will just look back at those times longingly and repeat over and over how rewarding being a mother is and lie lie lie when people ask if you ever miss going to the movies or out to dinner or hanging out with friends.”
But instead of being trapped with my baby, my baby is trapped with me. He has to go where I take him. He’s trapped at sushi restaurants, on a boat, at my mom’s group. He’s stuck going to vineyards and tourist attractions and Mystic Pizza. We dragged him along to the casino, the mall, the lake. We go together (like a ramma lamma lamma…).
Surprisingly, this works out rather well. I don’t know if I’ve mentioned this before but Baby Evan is a pretty cute baby. When I take him places he manages to charm almost everyone into acceptance. I’ve never had anyone say “Oh you brought your…baby.” (Maybe if I went to a bar?) I’ve gotten so used to wearing him in the sling that at a wine tasting this week when people were looking at me and pointing my first thought was “Is there something on my face?” instead of “Wearing a baby is still sort of novel and causes attention”. But once they get over their surprise I get nothing but positive feedback. That baby store where I bought the sling should be paying me a commission for the number of times I’ve referred people to them as The Place for all your baby-wearing needs. I’ve never had to leave a restaurant because he was fussing or crying – he’s very easily distracted by a little knee bouncing or giving him a new perspective on a room. He’s actually much grumpier and hard to please on the days we DON’T go anywhere and he has to stare at me and the ceiling fan all day.
I think we’re just at that magical age where he can be awake and alert and entertained but is still trapped by his own immobility. He doesn’t mind be carried everywhere because he has no other choice. This is not going to last forever – I doubt it even lasts another couple of months – so I am going to enjoy it while I can and keep on being That Woman With The Baby…so I don’t become That Woman Who No One Even Knew Lived In That House Because We Never Saw Her Until They Brought Her Out Strapped To Gurney And Carted Her Off To The Asylum.
***Now I know you’re secretly thinking to yourself “She only thinks no one minds! God I hate oblivious parents who bring their baby to totally inappropriate places! I bet that kid is a spoiled little nightmare.” I’m not so oblivious to think that everyone loves my baby all the time or that just because no one’s told me to get lost they all think I’m awesome. I’m sure people disapprove. There’s even a chance I ruined someone’s dinner by using baby talk through their whole meal and maybe saying the word “poopies”. Considering the absolute fanciest, most crowded place I’ve taken the baby so far is Chile’s, I think I can safely tell those people to go screw themselves.