Out and about

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Being out with a baby is by no means easy.

Yesterday, I decided to go for a quick trip to Babyland to buy a handful of nursing bras as all items in the store are now on a 20% discount, presumably for a sale in conjunction with the World Breastfeeding Campaign. The urgency of it all being that my size for nursing bras apparently seems to be the size of every other nursing mum in the country, as stock always seems to run out for the bras I’m keen on buying at sales.

So, figuring it would be tough getting to Babyland and back with my baby boy in tow, I thought I would enlist the help of my mother to accompany me for the trip.

Thus began the beginnings of an outing with my son, Jamie.

If memory serves me well (which it seems to be doing less and less these days, but that’s a topic for another day), I first started getting things in order for the outing to Babyland around 11ish in the morning.

I made a call to my Mum to ask her if she was alright with the plans and thankfully, she was. I also suggested that since she usually brings lunch over to me on weekdays, that I would go over to her place to eat instead and then we could make a dash to Babyland.

All seemed well. Up to that point, that is. But of course, I should’ve known better.

I placed Jamie in his cot and began pottering around the house to gather necessary top up items for his diaper bag. Meanwhile, I also hoped to slap some toner, serum and moisturiser on my face and some Vaseline for my  lips. Nothing fancy, just basic skincare.

I’m not in the least done with either activity and Jamie has started to fuss. I pass him a toy to hold and he starts grabbing it with both hands and shoving parts of it in his mouth. Okay, great. Buys me another few minutes. Or so I thought.

Not long afterwards, he starts to fuss again, threatening to cry. Finally, I give in and pick him up, stealing a glance at the clock. Realising the time, I figure he might be hungry and initiate a feeding session. He takes well to it. I decide I have to message my mother to let her know I’ll be later than expected.

Sighing, I tell myself not to be upset. Having a baby is like that. He will make you late. And if like me, you already tend to be late pretty often, he will make you later still.

Jamie promptly falls asleep after nursing on one breast and I decide to make a run for it despite knowing that is far from enough milk for him. I quickly finish up what I need to do and put him into my ring sling. Picking up both his things and mine, I manage to make it out the door and down to the condo carpark with practically no issues.

Putting Jamie in the car seat, however, is a different story. He hates being arranged in it, and the infant seat I have in my car seems to be getting a tad small for him. He stirs from his slumber, none too happy but I somehow manage to pacify him (without a pacifier, which he has lukewarm feelings for) for a bit.

I stick the keys in the ignition and jolt the car to life. Only to realise the child mirror at the back seat, which helps me to see what Jamie is doing while driving, is out of position. And so began a series of darting to and fro from the back to the front doors of the vehicle to have it adjusted. Jamie was not very happy with this and started voicing his displeasure.

I continued talking to him calmly, hoping he would stay content in his seat. But the stupid mirror was annoying me and I had  difficulties envisioning which direction I should adjust it in so as to get it to be in the position I want. Finally, I gave up exiting and entering the car via different doors and merely stretch myself out from the driver’s seat towards the back to adjust the mirror while remaining inside the car.

That works out better and at last, I leave the apartment.

I’m barely a few metres out of my condo when Jamie starts to complain. To my horror, the traffic light ahead turns red. He hates it when the car moves then suddenly comes to a halt. More fussing ensues. By the next traffic light (which also turns red before I can pass it), he has begun to cry.

Fortunately, my parents’ place isn’t too far from that point so I press on and manage to arrive although Jamie is already on the verge of an Ugly Cry (definition: an all-out bawling session where baby is inconsolable, at least until he gets what he wants ie to be carried in your arms).

My Mum, as usual, offers to take over caring for Jamie, but not before I take care of unfinished business and let him complete his nursing session from earlier. Then, at long last I get some lunch into my belly while my Mum carries Jamie around the home, trying her hardest to keep him amused. Apparently, Jamie seems to have developed an interest for Korean dramas and is transfixed by the TV series that my parents are watching for a good few minutes.

My mother tells me she wants to grab a bite for herself too before we make our trip out to Babyland. She hands Jamie over to me and a completely new drama begins. Before long, he has pooped in his pants (or romper, to be more precise) and it’s a big one.

In the scuffle to get the diaper changed and Jamie cleaned up, the back of his romper gets smeared with the infamous yellow stuff that breastfed baby’s poop are made of. Not only that, Jamie starts to wail his head off. Yet another delay to going out.

With the diaper replaced and a new romper on him, Jamie still looks unhappy and I decide it could possibly be that he’s hungry again. So we nurse.

By the time we drive out to Babyland, it’s past 3pm.

Jamie fusses in the car again, but thankfully, falls asleep before the ride comes to an end. I manage to pick him up without too much problems and my Mum and I head to the entrance of the Babyland store.

And, of course, Jamie wakes up by the time we’re there, and he’s not very happy, for some reason. Well, never mind that, we were finally here. But my Mum suddenly exclaims, “Oh no! We forgot to pay for parking!”

She offered to go back to the car and get it done for me. Meanwhile, Jamie remained in my arms as I attempted to wade through the rows and rows of the nursing bras that are on offer in search of the colour I want. This is no easy task, but thankfully, a salesgirl comes to my aid, picking out the colours available in the sizes I want.

My Mum finally returns to take Jamie from me so I can have some peace to shop. I fret over the difference a B cup and C cup might make to my comfort, recalling how bras of different brands that I had bought in the past had been not always a right fit when I had opted for the B cup variety.

Jamie starts fussing again and my Mum carries him around the store, trying to distract him with some of the toys on display.

With the bra selections made, I head over to get some teats for Jamie’s bottles. A sign says that there’s a trade-in promo for teats which allows you a 40% discount for your purchases. However, the lady at the checkout counter says there’s no need to trade in any teats. The discount will still be given, regardless.

I glance at the three used teats in my bag feeling uncertain. I decide to give my husband a call, just to be sure that even without a trade-in, we’d still want to get some new teats.

I manage to get him on the line, but have to repeat my explanation twice to him before he gets it and we come to an agreement. While this is going on, I can still hear Jamie’s voice in the background as my Mum continues distracting him at various parts of the store.

A few moments later, I’m pulling out my debit card, paying for the purchases and we are out of there.

On the way back, Jamie falls asleep again and my Mum suggests that she follows me back to my home so Jamie can be back in the comforts of home quicker. She said she would get my Dad to pick her up from there.

By the time we get back home and my Mum had headed off, it is 5+pm.

Such is the case when going for an outing with a baby. A short trip out, with its required preparations and all, literally took up almost the whole day.

Well, anyway, I’m sure other parents can relate. As for the rest, I hope posts like these will make you a little more sympathetic towards us parents.

Lastly, for anyone who’s interested, the sale at Babyland is fantastic with lots of useful stuff up for grabs so do go and check it out. (And nope, no one’s paying me to say this.)

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