WE DID IT.
ventured off to the mall together (AND motherhood maternity outside the mall) without a major meltdown or a stroller malfunction (by that i mean operator-error, of course). WARNING: this could bore the tears out of mommy pros and those without silly fears.
no joke, i was sweating. yes, part of that can be attributed to the 88 degree temps, but mostly it was bonafide anxiety. yeah, i am afraid of weird things.
truthfully it mortifies me when he freaks in public. makes me feel like i don't know what i'm doing or at least look like i don't. i freaking ABHOR the "sympathetic" smiles and i sense the "ugh" vibes from others. (such meltdowns and reactions have taken place recently at both ikea & tj maxx, much to my horror, will i eventually get used to this?)
furthermore, L's stroller is daunting. it's like a transformer, and transformers are for boys, not girls. plus, it's on the heavy side for my wussy little arms.
i fed L until his little heart was as content as it was going to get, changed him and told him we were off for a little window shopping, he grinned. i'm serious. into his car seat he went, and out the door we strolled, yes, much like the day i took him through the starbucks and taco bell drive-thrus. baby steps, no pun. again, he dozed off on the way, YAY.
10 minutes later i pulled into the mall parking lot and gave myself a little quiet pep talk. i opted to leave the car running for my little guy as i tackled the stroller in the trunk. WHAM BAM, unfolded and ready to go, wasn't quite as bad as i anticipated.
popped his car seat out and into the stroller and winced as he did, upon being brought out into the scorching sunny heat. pleeeease stay asleep, i prayed. he did. we rolled into nordstrom, being asked two or three times "how OLD is he?!" i answered quietly and moved right along. we had an exchange at baby gap to make. got there without a hitch.
until... we encountered a bevy of vibrant spanish speakers laughing and chatting at a volume that caused L's eyes to bolt open. EFF. a wee whimper sent me hauling tail away from said women. thankfully he drifted back to sleep and i made my exchange and my way out of the store. meandered through the rest of the mall for a lovely, quiet, not-sitting-on-the-couch-nursing-all-day thirty minutes before he woke up fully a look of "where the heck am i, i think i'm going to cry" on his round little face. "OK OK, we're out."
back to the car, out in the heat, baby put in car, stroller transformed and painstakingly lifted back into the trunk. i dared to drive towards motherhood maternity, L wide awake (but not crying—a small miracle). i hauled his car seat out of the car and up to the store opting to skip the stroller since i was only exchanging a nursing bra and heading out.
HA! a sign on the door of the store reading "be back in 15 minutes" foiled my plan. 15 minutes from what time?! damn. it was so hot. L was so heavy. into a neighboring store i dashed, gently swinging his seat to hopefully get him zzz-ing. i did this successfully, even though my arms were nearly broken off.
back out into the heat to see if the stupid shop keeper had returned. NOPE! i waited five more minutes dropping a crap load of EFF bombs admittedly. then i saw her, she rushed to open the door, apologizing profusely. it was the same girl i purchased the bra from. she told me she was in the back of the store frantically pumping. she has a four-month old at home. i had to empathize, no matter how hot and sweaty i was.
we chatted for a good 30 minutes about babies, me holding L's carrier the whole time, and him remaining asleep.
home i drove, baby STILL fast asleep. opted to leave the cumbersome stroller in the car once i arrived at the house. made it inside, peed and even managed a glass of water before my new boss awoke with a cry. got his diaper changed and it was back to the couch i went for his afternoon two-hour snack, pretty much unscathed. success & love. gosh this is madness...