Having had a nightmare shopping trip today with my boy, I was reminded of our first ever trip out!! I don’t mean as a family, when there are two of you with one little baby. It’s full of anxiety, yes, but there are two of you! Four hands for only one baby! Any disaster you can overcome together quickly!! I’m talking about the first solo trip out. My husband went back to work after two weeks off when our son was born. I can’t deny it, I cried at this, I just had no idea how I could look after such a precious, small, delicate being on my own! I was utterly convinced I would break him in some way…you can’t exactly buy a new one! Still, after a couple of weeks at home getting to grips with how to do it on my own, I felt I was ready for a trip out. I wanted it to be a safe one, so I chose to go to my local Sling meet to check how to do my wrap sling!
Seems simple right? So I managed to sort the changing bag (I even put two changes of clothes in) had lots of nappies, muslin’s, some toys. I got the boy safely into the car seat having bundled him up (it was November by then after all!) Got him to the car, strapped him in, remembered the sling, my bag, change for the car park, I was dressed in vaguely matching clothes – I know, it was going amazingly well!! I drove, safely, slowly, carefully there and the boy fell asleep in the seat…..perfect! I parked very close to a ticket machine so I could get a ticket with the little man in the car next to me (again, November, so wind, rain, generally freezing conditions) I got the ticket for an hour and a half and sat back in the driver’s seat. Everything was going swimmingly, super mum!! I was so sure I could do it on my own at this point.
Then eyes open and the little man starts screaming and crying full volume, like a crazed banshee. He’s hungry. Ok, not a problem, it’s a bit to walk to get to the sling meeting, and so I make the choice to feed him in the car so he settles and I can hold him close as I walk to the meeting in these horrid conditions. Feeding is going well, the car is warm and dry, so all is good. I cover myself up and use one of the million muslin’s to burp him. Oh, he threw up, down himself and down me………ok, not a problem, I am a bit flustered, but can deal with this. I mop him up and start mopping myself up. He pulls a funny face, goes slightly pink, and the most horrendous sound comes from the other end…….then the smell follows. Ok, definitely getting worse, but I can deal with this. I’ll change him on the back seat, then we can go.
I get us safely into the back seat and realise that the nappy has had containment failure…..oh god, no! In the warm car I strip him down to nothing. A nappy bag full of basically clothing that needs burning at this point, and another full of the nappy and about a million wipes. The boy is wiggling away smiling at me. An aroma fills the car. I am panicking now, was this the right choice? A malevolent storm appears to be happening outside and I am in the backseat of my little Fiat Panda with a naked baby. What am I doing? How did we get here? I smell of sick and I’m sure there is poo smeared on me somewhere. At this point I have paid for about 50 minutes of parking just to try and deal with sick and poo.
I manage to wrestle a nappy on him, find the new clothes, put them on in some kind of vague order (with my wriggling boy, it has always felt like I was dressing an octopus!) I finally bundle him in something warm, get our stuff together and an hour after I arrived I manage to actually leave the car park. The meeting went well I think, although I was very distracted and nearly missed out on having the guidance I had come for as I was so late and he needed feeding two more times. I was finally taught how to put him in a sling properly just before everyone packed up and left!
I braved the weather again with what felt like enough bags and belongings for a weekend away, successfully rehousing the baby in his car seat and getting into my seat just as the ticket ran out. So, as I drove away, poo and sick still smelling out my car, a soggy sling (where I had unknowingly dragged it across the ground) a sick stain down my cardigan which was now producing a delightful stench, and having paid for the privilege of primarily sitting in my car, I concluded that maybe I had tried a bit too soon!! The boy fell asleep, blissfully unaware of all the chaos he had caused. I seriously questioned my ability to parent at all, and felt bedraggled and completely overwhelmed.
We’ve had our fair share of disasters since then too! Parenting, just isn’t parenting without some disaster tales! Nothing is quite like the first one though! What was your first solo trip like? Or what has been your worse baby disaster?