I’ve been absent from the blogosphere for a few days, but everything’s okay – really. I spent last week with a baby.
On the website I co-edit, I write about mommy bloggers – people like Seattle Mama Doc Wendy Sue Swanson, Dr. Claire McCarthy and The Real Moms of Eastern Iowa.
I admire these women even more now than ever. I have no idea how they have time to blog, much less take care of important tasks like caring for kids or going to purchase a crib for a darling little one.
While I was with my daughter and granddaughter when my son-in-law was out of town on business, my daughter found the crib she’d been eyeing available at a store about 30 minutes from her home. It was the last one in the style and color she wanted. After selecting the crib, we went to the checkout lane, and she paid for the baby’s new bed and went to get her vehicle. I stayed with the baby while a not-too-energetic clerk pushing a flatbed cart with the crib shuffled to the curb to load it in her vehicle.
My daughter worked to release the baby’s car seat tethers, laid both rear passenger seats down and tried to explain to the clerk that she’d need to raise one of them again to put the car seat back in. He shoved the crib in flat on the floor of her crossover SUV and gave her a blank stare when she explained that, although the crib fit fine that way, there was no place for the car seat. He half-heartedly tried to put it in at an angle – one quick attempt, just to appease her. It was obvious that if this young man had any problem-solving skills at all, they’d punched off the clock for the night before his shift ended.
Since it was obvious the young man wasn’t going to be much help, we thanked him and watched him shuffle back into the store. My daughter moved out of the fire lane into a parking place. I followed along with the baby in a cart.
We must have been a spectacle to watch out there in that parking lot, trying to figure how we’d get the purchase home. First, we tried “phone-a-friend,” hoping that the baby’s nanny, shopping in a nearby store, could take it in her vehicle. That might have worked, but none of us could figure out how to get the rear seats down. Then, we tried to call some friends who lived nearby. No answer – at 9:30 p.m. Gee, maybe they were doing something important – like getting ready to go to sleep.
During the whole fiasco, I was thinking two things. I didn’t share either of them with my daughter until two days later.
Number one involved a “back in the old days” solution. “Back in the old days,” I thought, “we’d just toss the darned car seat in the back end on top of the crib, I’d hold the kid on my lap, and we’d drive on home.”
But, this was St. Louis, for crying out loud. Have you ever driven in that traffic? I’ve already begun to grow fond of this little sweetie and I wasn’t about to put her life at risk.
Number two involved the vehicle of choice for many millennial parents. These kids who grew up being carted around in full-size vans and minivans (six such vehicles, in our case) aren’t about to be seen driving one themselves, no more than we Baby Boomers wanted to drive the station wagons that were standard family transportation in our youth.
But, I have to admit, I was thinking the whole time, “If she just had a van, instead of this silly SUV, we wouldn’t have this problem. We could put one second row seat down, put the box in at an angle and the baby could sit, safe in her car seat, in the other.”
Instead we took the crib back inside, where they returned it and agreed to put it on a 24-hour hold, and we made it home safely with the crib-less bambino.
It took all I had to keep from telling my daughter, “See, this is why you need a minivan!”
Besides -- this week, I’m about to go test drive my first crossover SUV. Almost thirty years after the birth of my last baby, my crib-toting days are over.
I will opt for third row seats, though. I’ve got to have room to haul grandkids, now don’t I?