Monday, February 4, 2008

WalMart Wailing

So this morning I put on one of Thea's 0-3 month onsies and could hardly get it buttoned. Either she grew in the night or the airplane shrank all her clothes. I'm guessing it's the former, which is unfortunate, since I only packed 0-3 month clothes. So, today Thea and I braved the dangerous combination of newborns and consumerism and headed to the stores of Kahalui to pick up 3-6 month onsies, some necessities (underwear) and luxuries (books, books and more books). Despite flash flood warnings and a road construction detour that took me miles out of my way, we were both happily trundling along for the first few hours. I went to the second hand store and scored some toys for Liam, a wonderful Chinese jacket for his dress-up box, and two skirts for me that would have cost a zillion dollars new for less than the price of a gallon of milk here on the island.
Then, I ventured into a sporting goods store to look for a body suit for Thea that was made with spf 50 material. No luck - there was one, but it was big and had only a zipper down the front. I'm pretty sure that she would get more sun exposure from the amount of time it would take me to get her in and out of it for each diaper change than she would avoid by wearing it.
I got a phone call in the middle of it all from a Homer friend who said the magic words I long to hear: that her baby was a screamer for the first six weeks but it settled down and now she's not at all like that. It's funny, these women never mention that their kid is making them crazy until you confide your own insanity and then the truth comes out. Are we all implanted with a stiff upper lip during delivery? Nevermind - it is so incredibly good to hear that others have weathered this experience and come out the other side with hearing somewhat functioning and a minimal number of nervous ticks. And she offered up the solution to the label issue Matt and I have gone rounds over: does she or does she not have collic. The book defines collic as three hours of crying three days a week. Thea goes for more like 30 minutes most of the time, though she can do more if she thinks she's hungry. My friend said the didn't say their baby HAD collic, but rather "was collicy." That'll work.
So, I bypassed Old Navy and went straight for WalMart for the remainder of my list: but shortly after selecting underwear (why do they have to make the sizing so complicated???) for Liam and I, there was a peep from the car seat. The peep squaked, the squak wailed, and before I knew it, I was THAT MOTHER. You know, the one you shake your head at when you are walking through the store and wonder if a. their parenting skills are woefully deficient, b. they are deaf or c. their child is posessed. I continued dogggedly through the store, searching for deoderant and a few other things, quietly repeating to myself that I will likely never see any of the head-swivlers as long as I live, and my daughter is just fine, and I'm not leaving until I finish shopping. But then the blasted people started approaching me and offering advice. "Is she hungry?" Gee, I never thought of that. "Oh, she needs to nurse." Is THAT why I have these big splotches on my shirt?? "How old is she? A month? Oh, she's just not ready to be out and about yet." I couldn't even think of an imaginary comeback for that one.
Meanwhile, Thea is pulling out all the stops, enjoying the limelight by turning a pleasant shade of purple even under the florescent lights.
So, I get most of my shopping done, and get in line, but you know the lines at WalMart. They are crazy. So now, these "helpful" folks have me trapped. Luckily, Thea must have realized she was calling more attention to herself than need be, because she finally stopped spitting the pacifier back at me like a boomerang and calmed down a notch. I got out to the parking lot in one piece, nursed her in the car, burped her, and even changed her diaper on my lap without too much messiness. She went back to sleep, I went to the book store and even got a coffee and sat in Starbucks for a 1/2 hour before heading home. Was feeling pretty confident about it all - supermom and all - until I surveyed my purchases at the end of the day. I did pretty well, but somehow in the middle of it all, I grabbed a deoderant that intentionally smells like Chai. A good drink, for sure, but under your armpits??? I'm not so sure.

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