Anyone who knows me recognizes that I can be a pretty cautious (read: anxious) person. My life jacket clicks shut the second I step onto a boat, I look both ways about three times before making a left turn into traffic, and I know at a handshake’s notice where the nearest Purell is kept. Mama K, on the other hand, is much braver (hence taking on the adventure of birthing Lucie). And I mean it endearingly when I say she takes enough risks for the both of us. Here’s hoping Lucie will learn from both mamas equally…
In the meantime, I have acquired a modified viewpoint for daily life. Just as neurotic, but more purposeful. True, if I saw a texter on the road in the past, I would move over and allow them to pass me– this is still something that I do, especially with a little one in the car. But there are other things that I have taken to noticing that I didn’t prior to parenthood…
1. I was never a huge fan of crowds, but I now have a ranking system:
a. stroller friendly
b. stroller do-able
c. Ergobaby only
d. No #*^%@ way; we’ll come back later
2. Speaking of strollers: ramps. I often think of the Americans with Disabilities Act and what an uphill (no pun intended) battle they have. If it gets more ramps installed, I officially stand behind log rolling (pun intended) legislation.
3. Having once changed a baby on what I deemed to be the “cleanest” part of a floor in a public restroom, I now keep track of where the nearest changing table is, or next best surface. Past substitutes include the tailgate of a car and my lap.
4. Along that line of thinking, I also keep an eye out for private nooks where Mama K can hide for 15 minutes to feed Lucie. Even with a drape, there is always the WTWGoML (well timed wind gust of Murphy’s Law).
5. Shady parking. No, not questionable parking, rather that which lies in a tree’s shadow. It is way easier for a car to cool down if you don’t have to burn your fingers off turning on said car and pushing the ironically blistering air conditioning buttons.
6. Not only is finding shaded parking a priority, but how about just regular sized spots? I think the same jerk designed all of the parking spaces in town. These only allow enough room for a contortionist to enter or exit because the lines are painted about two inches wider than the car itself. With the time it takes me to wiggle a car seat in and out of the vehicle while not Carrie Underwooding the car next to me, I might as well have put Lucie in the stroller and walked the six miles.
7. As much as I don’t like to play the comparison game, I do feel a little relieved when I see another baby in public. It’s comforting knowing that we are not the only ones with a special request (though I am surprised how many booths aren’t spacious enough to fit a baby carrier) or potential noise bomb. Safety in numbers…
8. Finally, there is one thing that can cause me do an about-face and scrap my plans in their entirety: old ladies with dirty fingernails, runny noses, baby radar and no sense of personal boundaries.