My confession: Two weeks ago I tried to go to Target with Sibby. It was a terrible idea.
That dear, sweet, second child of mine is a solid home-body these days, and while I generally agree… some times you just have to get out of the house. Like when you’re out of milk (and bread, and frozen pizza, and yogurt, and jelly.). So I nursed said nursling, burped her, girded my loins, then tucked her in to the car seat. Within 30 seconds of backing out of the driveway she was yelling at me. Target is only 5 minutes away, so I hum and chat and try to appease her. Of course none of it works and it’s really more for my sanity than anything else.
We made it to target, and I always feel the fool trying to decide what to take in. Keep her in the bucket seat? Unbuckled in the bucket seat? Put her in the stroller? She was in an anti-baby-wearing phase for a while (recent tests are much more promising, but this story takes place two weeks ago so that was like a million years ago in baby years). Heck, I even tossed around the idea of taking the Boppy and a blanket and propping her up in the cart. Like… umm…. that’s dumb. Didn’t do that.
But I thought about it.
None of it matters though, because within seconds she’s screeching and I’m on the mad dash to not look like a lunatic while I do my shopping. First past the women’s clothing – always on the look out for nursing friendly shirts! Then the baby section, where I collect then re-shelve at least 3 baby items because “Oh, this is so cute!” and “What am I thinking, I have a store’s worth of baby junk at my house already!?” Moving on I start grabbing groceries like there’s a snow storm coming and then it’s a race to the check out line.
At this point I’m holding a screaming baby, while pushing a cart full of baby gear and groceries. I decide now is a good time to check my list and much to my chagrin I realize I’ve got frozen chicken pot pie and white cheez-its, but ummm… milk… bread… yeah. Gotta go back.
It’s at this point that I realize I’m losing my mind. I don’t want to go to the changing room to sit down for a nursing session, I had not dressed with plans to nurse at the store, and I NEED to get the milk. So I head back, and duck into an empty aisle to try and connect the aforementioned screaming banshee to my boob so that the noise will stop just for a minute. I did not have the sling, which is my preferred public nursing aid. It is what it is. Baby attached, the screaming stops, and I can go grab milk (and a second frozen chicken pot pie because stress eating is kind of my thing lately).
While eyeing the other super-healthy (right?!?) pre-made frozen foods and simultaneously nursing an older woman walks down the aisle. I turn to try and be a little bit more discreet, as Sybil takes this moment to literally smack her lips and slurp a couple of times. Good going kid. Now older ladies can go one of two ways. They can be the kind of older lady who scolds you for not doing whatever thing she thinks is the right way to parent a child, or she can be super sweet.
I brace for impact.
“You are an incredible multi-tasker!” She says. At this point I’ve got my shirts back in place and am hoping Sybil doesn’t spit up in my hair because that’s nasty.
“Thanks.” I say with the confidence of a child who isn’t sure if they’re mom knows they’ve taken more cookies than was previously agreed upon.
She smiled and did not touch the baby (don’t touch the baby. Just don’t. It’s not okay.), and then said “When my kids were that age I was too afraid to leave the house.”
I wanted to say “ME TOO!” but, ya know, I’m trying to be more positive. I told her that Target is happy to let women nurse in the dressing rooms if they so desire, but that I was just trying to get through the last bit and get home!
Sybil screamed at me through all of this while this lady just kind of followed me down the aisle giving me a pep talk. It was much needed.
So to all of the older mamas out there who say nice things to frazzled moms of small children… you rock.