Saturday morning I became obsessed with going to Balnarring. M was unable to come with me as he was committed to go and pick up a $50 pram I’d bought on eBay, that was in… Pakenham. It had a toddler seat – which I have belatedly realised is imperative.
For so many years I have inwardly sneered at enormous looking children being pushed around in, er, enormous looking prams… but the first time I went around the block with Smalls D&Z in the late afternoon (*mistake*) sleep deprived Small Z made it three quarters of the way, and then became unbearable and floppy and had to ride the rest of the way semi-draped over my beloved Emmaljunga…
Have I mentioned that parenting is a process of becoming more and more humble as karmic payback for being judgemental? Now I crave to have the option to push around my enormous child, just so she won’t be melting down on the footpath. And I’ll cheerfully ignore all those non-sleep deprived childfree people who may appear to be inwardly cringing…like I used to do. Ignorance is bliss. But I digress…
I got obsessed with going to Balnarring as the butcher there has excellent free-range meat and I have recently heard that Lilydale ‘free range’ chicken, that I’ve been buying at the supermarket, is really barely free-range at all. So I bundled both Smalls into the car and headed out. I took the Hug-a-Bub sling to transport Small D. And no pram. MISTAKE.
Once the car stopped when we got to the car park, Small D began to scream. If you have read this blog for any length of time, you will know that I have very little ability to cope with crying babies (not other peoples so much, but definitely my own). And particularly in cars where it’s impossible to comfort them. So I had to calm her down, while placating Small Z with a game on the iPhone, and then I had to do the origami that is putting on the sling because I hadn’t thought to bring the pram.
To cut a long story short, it was a nightmare. I couldn’t get Small Z to go with me where I needed to go. I got more and more stressed out as Small D wouldn’t settle. Then Small Z spied the library truck and had to go in. In fact, that gave me a chance to sit down and reconfigure myself. And after that, we crossed back to the car park and I told Small Z she had to hold it together – that we weren’t going to do all the things we had planned because I couldn’t cope, hadn’t brought a pram and I very much needed to go home.
To her credit, Small Z listened to me, and although she didn’t like it, she got in the car. I promised her that M would take her out later that day. I started driving home. Small D began screaming about halfway home. Honestly. There is not a more disturbing sound to me than a newborn screaming and not being able to do anything. Small Z whimpered when I snapped at her. At one stage we were all crying. By the time we got home I was a complete wreck. Small D was out of sorts for the rest of the day. Now I have car fear. Again.
After the hideous outing, we were lucky to have Mung come for dinner and stay the night – a fleeting visit, but appreciated for an injection of adult conversation and a window into the outside world. Small Z was quite thrilled to find that someone other than her nana had stayed in the caravan over night. She and M took Mung to the station before 9am the next morning, which was icing on the cake for the train obsessed!