Saturday, May 22, 2010

Our first Major Outing as Three

First, an introduction.  My boys are now 8 1/2 months old.  They are 5 1/2 months adjusted age, since they were born three months early.  They spent their first three months in the hospital, so they have been home just over five months.  The husband was off work for a while but recently returned, leaving me to care for the boys on my own during the day.

It finally happened.  The boys and I made a multi-stop trip together just the three of us.  We had two doctors' appointments with a two hour gap in between.  I don't know what I was thinking.  This was not enough time to come home between, since we live in the boonies, but was way too much time to just drive around.  The boys' feeding time was also during this break between appointments.  I figured this would be a good time to introduce them to the fine dining that is the local sandwich shop.  I can have lunch and they can have bottles, and everyone's happy, right?

It went fairly smoothly!  The first doc appointment went off without a hitch.  We had been there before and the boys were fed, changed, and happy when we left the house.  They slept most of the way there, and sat quietly in their double stroller during the appointment.  Afterwards, there was a minimum of squirming and fussing as I strapped them back into their car seats and took off for the sandwich shop. 

Here's where things went a little awry.  I chose location poorly.  First off, the place was thick with little old ladies who wish to ooh, ahh, and poke at the boys.  Flashing my friendliest tense smile, I dodged the bulk of would-be cheek pinchers.  As I approached the ordering station, I realized a second mistake.  This place has a tiny narrow walkway to the register.  I bumped and banged the boys along, hitting the aisle on both sides and brushing up against more than one butt with the handles.  I lost my cupholder no less than three times, spilling my keys and hair tie each time, until the third when the keys dropped miraculously into the side pouch of the stroller, where they stayed.  Having placed my order, I bumped my way along the aisle to the get-your-own-drink fountain.  This is the third flaw in my choice of establishment.  I apologetically shove everyone out of the way as the boys and I take up the whole spot in front of the fountain.  I fill my cup with Mountain Dew and we bump our way along to the tables, only sloshing a little bit of Dew on the ground.

I get to a table and throw my daiper sherpa bag on the neigboring table.  A busboy wipes off the table and adjusts the chairs so I can fit my stroller.  I am grateful.  Then, they call my name.  This is the most agregious error in restaurant choice.  Never again shall I eat at a place where they call your name and you have to go back up to the counter to pick up your food.  I get up and take hold of the stroller handles.  At this point, the busboy offers to watch the boys for me. 

I am surprised at how many strangers offer to watch the kids.  Who do they think I'm protecting the kids from?  I don't know this guy from Adam.  I'm sure people are just being nice, but really!  If you like, I'll hold your car keys for you.  If you want to let me in your house, I'll make sure nobody robs it.  I thank the guy but decline.  We then bump our way past all the people getting drinks, back to the counter where it dawns on me I have no idea how to carry a cobb salad while pushing a double stroller.  Thankfully, the manager offered to carry my food for me.

Back at the table, I mix up a couple of bottles and feed the boys, taking occasional bites of my salad and gulping the Dew.  This part went as planned, with a few stops for polite conversation with onlookers.  "They're 8 months old."  "Nope, they're not identical."  "Ha-ha, yes quite a handful!"  I then cleaned us up and eyed the narrow hallway to the ladies room.  I opted instead to bump our way out of the restaurant, losing my cupholder one last time, and changed the guys in the car.

Next stop was a new doctor.  They were the belles of the ball, as they were in post-eating good humor.  They giggled at each other and generally made everyone fall in love with them.  The double stroller wouldn't fit through the door to the exam rooms, though, so we pretty much had to monopolize three nurses the whole time so someone could hold a baby while the other was being tended.  I love the new pediatrician so it was worth it, but I'm going to have to figure something out so I have someplace to put a baby when in the exam room.

After shots, late on the next feeding and having missed a nap, the boys were much less charming as we left the doctor's office.  I strapped them into their stroller, took them to the car, transferred them from stroller to car seats as everyone screamed, loaded up the stroller and finally turned the car on and headed for home.  The blessed quiet of car-ride induced sleep filled the car.  We made it home, had bottles and mashed bananas, and went down for a good nap.

All this by two in the afternoon.

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