Thursday, August 2, 2012

I'd Say It Was a Pretty Successful Outing!

The girls and I got out today to our first mommy meetup since Lorelai was born exactly a month ago. It took that whole time to work up the nerve to venture more than 2 blocks from my house without my Baby Daddy. When Chase is at work, I stick pretty close to home, partly because I haven't mastered the art of public breast feeding and partly because my kids are like little terrorists - they're super demanding and I'm never sure when they're going to attack. My biggest fear is being stuck on public transit with a crying newborn and a tantrum-ing two year old, with an audience and no means of escape.

The meetup we attended was basically a discussion group for parents, held at a Baptist Church. You go, you sing songs with the kids for a few minutes, and then you leave your offspring outside with some nice babysitting volunteers while you enjoy coffee and adult conversation indoors. I wasn't sure about the whole Church thing, but the group seems pretty secular aside from one volunteer who I overheard talking about Jesus after the discussion period had ended.

I made sure to preface my meetup RSVP by saying that I've been consistently late for EVERYTHING by at least an hour since the birth of my second. Imagine my surprise when we made it out the door on time (early, actually!), even after Whitney dropped her skirt in a potty full of pee. I was so prepared for this outing, guys! I had my diaper bag packed ahead of time. I had the Church Google mapped. I had my bus route planned through the website. I was SET. Well, except for the fact that I forgot to replace one of my breast pads when I took it out for a feeding and one boob looked larger than the other (not comically so, but there was a noticeable difference). The point is, my departure was on time.

And then I got to the bus station and found out that my wheelchair accessible route? Totally not stroller accessible. The bus had three very large, very steep steps and one of those hydraulic wheelchair lift things, which apparently the bus drivers won't lower for you if you are a baby or an adult with even partial use of your legs. I waited for three separate busses before I realized that NONE of the vehicles on my route were stroller accessible so I folded up my stroller and carried it in one hand and the car seat (including baby) in the other.

The forth bus showed up and I was finally ready to board, but Whitney was dragging her feet about 8 feet behind me. I was OBVIOUSLY struggling to carry a stroller, a diaper bag and a car seat (all at the same time), and I was loudly pleading with Whitney over and over again to get a move on when the bus driver told ME to hurry up. I politely apologized and explained that I had a 2 year old behind me on the platform who I was trying to herd onto the bus. She snapped back condescendingly about my having to get the stroller and car seat on first ("don't you?"), implying that I should have boarded the bus and left my toddler to her own devices (possibly to wander into the path of oncoming traffic), when it was pretty apparent that my kid wasn't following me at all. Maybe the driver was just having a bad day, but I'm fairly sure hatred of mothers and young children is common across all Toronto Transit workers because I rarely meet a sympathetic employee in the lot. Remind me to send some long overdue hate mail to the TTC.

Okay, so minor set back. I was about 20 minutes late for the meetup, which wasn't too bad because I arrived just in time to miss the singalong (yay!) and attend the discussion. I felt triumphant that the kids and I made it alive and, aside from the non-accessible route that was supposed to be accessible and the bitchy bus driver, without incident.

The discussion/question of the day was "What do your kids do that makes you laugh?" I felt like a terrible mother because I was completely stuck for an appropriate answer. I mean, I think her use of the word "shit" or "oh shit" is pretty hilarious, and I love how her tone changes when she says it when she's hurt vs. when she's screwed something up, but that's not something non-white-trash people find amusing so I kept my mouth shut.

Another thing that made me feel like a terrible mother: I still haven't gotten the hang of holding a newborn. You'd think it would be a little less awkward two kids in, but nope. I hope I don't LOOK as incompetent as I feel because I kind of caught one mom giving me what I thought was the side-eye as I struggled to burp my crying kid. In fact, I'm still not really sure HOW to get Lorelai to stop crying unless I stick my boob in her mouth. Which is a whole 'nother issue!

I am probably the worst public breast feeder on earth. For one, I have to use a nipple shield which adds a clumsy step to begin with as I fight to hold onto my baby with basically no hands while I adjust this little silicone piece on my boob. Also, I don't have any nursing bras or tops so I end up taking my arm out of my bra strap, folding one half of my bra down, and then hiking my shirt up, exposing an alarming amount of post-pregnancy flesh that my nursing cover could never entirely hide. Plus, sometimes the clasp on my nursing cover comes loose for no reason so I'm constantly fiddling with it. On this particular occasion (of course, on this occasion), my wet breast pad fell from my folded-over bra onto the ground and another lady PICKED IT UP AND HANDED IT TO ME. Sooo embarrassing.

I was literally the last person to leave, aside from a couple of staff who I think had to stay behind for me, because just as they were closing up shop, Lorelai decided she wanted to humiliate me again with another nursing session. It was either hang back or have her cry during the half hour trip home. I finally got her fed, half-assed-ly burped, and in the stroller (where she immediately started screaming at the top of her lungs), when Whitney decided to stand at the top of the play structure they have in the churchyard and not.come.down. She just kept saying "But I don't want to go home!" I bribed. I begged. I pleaded. I threatened. I counted to 3 and took away her afternoon trip to the park. Nothing. So, I started yelling a little bit and charging up the stairs after her. One of the volunteers who stayed behind with me took crying, screaming Lorelai out of the stroller to comfort her because I'm a terrible parent who let my baby cry it out while I hollered at my out of control toddler. That's when I blurted "I swear to God, I'm trying to leave!" I realized after the fact that I took the Lord's name in vain, at a Church, to a volunteer from said Church. For all I know, she was the minister's wife. Awesome.

Anyway, the point is, I probably looked like the most incompetent parent ever (I certainly felt like it), and I probably didn't seem overly friendly because I spent so much time worrying about my missing breast pad and whether I was leaking through my shirt and about how I am the worst breast feeder on earth, that I didn't have the chance to engage in too much of the conversation. BUT the other parents were nice and I ran into a couple of moms that I already knew. Even with all my issues, I still consider this meetup a success. We got there and back in one piece and I didn't cry or die from shame - though I probably should have. Total win.


  1. My first solo TTC trip with James was to a Halloween meetup at random condo building owned by random person I had never met. It was "The Lil' Monsters Bash" meetup. I was terrified. I was supposed to meetup with someone during terrifying transit trip but due to me taking F-O-R-E-V-E-R to get out the door I told them to go ahead without me. Eventually, I arrived, in one piece, nervous still and withOUT formula! I cried. My hours of prep and I finally, finally, finally arrived only to discover before leaving TTC property that I had forgotten my child's food source. Hubby was getting off early by some random coincidence and showed up to the party with the good stuff. I put this experience in the "I survived" category.

    1. I think I remember that party! I STILL do stuff like that - forget food, diapers and other important things I need just to take care of the kiddos. If I get out the door and back without crying, I consider it a good day. ;)