Pardon Me And My Double-Wide
|20 April, 2012||Posted by Amanda Jayne under Being Mom|
Alternatively titled, Oh, did I just run over your foot? Whoops! Maybe you should have moved more than two inches to let me by.
There are a lot of things that they (“they” being all those mothers out there, especially the ones with more than one kid) neglect to tell you when you are expecting your first child-but that’s a post for another day. But let me start off with one falsehood that I fell for, hook, line, and sinker.
Babies don’t change who you are! You just keep going about your life, and take them along with you! They’ll adapt!
LIES. ALL LIES. HUGE FALSEHOODS.
(There is also the alternative camp, who says that you have to adapt completely to what the baby wants to do. Don’t believe that one either.)
Being a mom absolutely changes you! How could it be any different? Sure, you want to keep true to yourself and all that. But you will change, and you will have to change the way to do things. Suddenly, running into the store for milk turns into an epic disaster movie, simply because you chose to push back naptime a bit.
Then, then, comes that magical day. You have everything under control! You went grocery shopping, hit the mall and stopped at the dry cleaners and you and baby are both happy! A miracle!
Unfortunately for you and your organized errand list, by this point you are already pregnant with your second.
Your second…ah. They introduce a whole slew of challenges. Synchronizing naptimes, simultaneous dinnertime meltdowns, car seat arrangements.
But the most difficult of these is the dreaded shopping trip.
I say dreaded, because in my case, it really was the most difficult part of having two kids. It’s something that I still haven’t completely overcome, three years into motherhood and almost two years into double motherdom. Pulling up to the store, you see your fellow mothers grab their kid out of their car seats and skip merrily into the store. Sometimes, if you are shopping with a friend, they will comment sadly about how difficult it is to wrangle kids into the store-this said, of course, while they are holding their one unnaturally quiet child and staring at you as you try to retrieve your three-year-old from the roof of the van.
Once in the store, you generally have two options. The traditional cart, good only for short trips with minimal need. If that’s the case, why are you at the store to begin with?! Go home until you need more. Then there is the monster, excuse me mother, of all carts, with the attached kid seats. This thing will seat up to three kids, and you still have the entire basket for groceries. Closely related is the car cart, which has a car attached to the front for your child(ren) to sit in. Both have their advantages, namely that your kids will all fit and be contained. Both have their disadvantages, namely that you need an entire football field to turn them in and the muscles of someone who trains in said field.
But those carts are easy to master!, you might say. After all, once you have multiple kids, you have to shop quite often. Practice makes perfect, right? And after awhile, you feel like an old hand at this. Bring on the car cart! I can shop for a family of four every week! I have it timed perfectly! I have memorized the layout of the store!
Then, you decide to take on a bit more.
The dreaded store without carts.
This should be your first hint-if they don’t provide carts, they are not set up for cart maneuverability. YOU WILL NOT FIT. Especially when you have multiple children…and need to break out the double stroller.
Horror of horrors, the ultimate in convenience (Seriously, where did you put your coffee before you had kids? Carry your own bags?? Never!) and yet the biggest pain in the rear you will ever encounter.
Let me repeat. YOU WILL NOT FIT.
I made the choice, after my second child, to go with the side by side jogging stroller. Do not let this name deceive you into thinking that I jog, because I would never do such a thing. Instead, this indicated to me that it would be easy to turn and push, which it is.
I remember my first introduction into the land of double strollers. My daughter was about a month old, and despite numerous large warning labels to not use the stroller until she was six months old, I swaddled her up, strapped her in and took off. My husband had our car at work, but we lived in an easily walkable area and I often walked to the neighborhood grocery store and nearby dollar mart to pick up a few things.
This fateful day, I needed something that required I enter said dollar mart. This was my first attempt into the store since doubling my brood, so I didn’t have a whole lot of experience with multiple motherhood but I felt pretty in control of the whole “buying qtips” thing.
That is, until I actually tried to enter the store.
Remember what I said before?
The old, YOU WILL NOT FIT?
Well, I’m here to tell you about the one that’s worse.
The newer, fancier, YOU WILL GET STUCK.
You will have to enlist the help of other shoppers and staff to unstick your double stroller, you will have to jostle the stupid thing back and forth for an obscene amount of time, and you will have to have a gentle grandmother-type rescue your screaming newborn from the other side of the divide, because oh yeah, you have blocked the door and you can’t reach her.
There’s a lesson here, and probably more than one. But the one you should take home with you today is this:
There are somethings that just don’t fit. You can’t get your pre-pregnancy jeans on, and you sure as heck cannot get that stroller through some doors. Play it safe, wear sweats and only go to stores that have double doors. It’s just safer.