I read recently in a Parenting magazine article that there are 5 places a new mom should take her baby to get out of the house. They are, in no particular order: 1) the grocery store, 2) sporting events, 3) OB/GYN check-ups, 4) church, and 5) lunch with friends. If you’re a follower of this blog, you know we’ve pretty much covered number 1 below. The OB/GYN check ups are few and far between now that Raf’s met the 3 month mark, and Raf has attended some of my students’ baseball/softball games without incident. My experiences comparing church both pre and post baby will come at a later date (thanks for the idea, dear Brother). So, remaining from the aforementioned list is “lunch with friends” which I shall now address.
I suppose I jinxed myself when I was nursing Rafael this morning, cooing at him and telling him he is the "best baby in the world", and the "best lunch date in the world". This latter comment I would come to regret a few hours later. Meeting a college friend for lunch at a classic burger joint, I was excited to once again be out of the apartment and catching up on needed conversation. It started out well enough- sitting in his car seat, then my lap, bouncing him on my knee. Then he spit up all over my shoulder, a rarity even for Rafael. Soon after that, I somehow found a way to dump my pop- not all of it, thank God, in my lap, on my light colored khakis. The khakis that are one of the only pairs of pants that actually fit me post pregnancy- because despite their comfortableness, I refuse to still wear maternity pants.
In between several trips to the bathroom (two for him and one for me) Rafael started screaming hysterically (right when the food came, of course) and even I was caught by surprise. Should have seen it coming, I suppose: loud restaurant, playing quietly for an extended period of time…but I never do. My husband says that whenever I get worried over Rafael’s peculiar behavior it means he’s simply tuckered out- “the supernova burnout” as one friend calls it. Wasn’t until I rocked him standing up in the aisle outside of our booth that he drifted off to sleep and I held him close. This was followed by me eating a delicious, but lukewarm, burger and fries.
How many Diet Cokes did that waitress bring me? I should have kept track, as for a nursing mother, it’s almost as dangerous as alcohol. Perhaps that explains the 9 hour marathon Raf did this afternoon/evening of NON-sleeping. I don’t have caffeine very often, but when I do, I have a tendency to overdo it. Note to self: don’t load yourself (and kid) up with caffeine when your husband is away on a 2 day business trip and there’s no one to relieve your frazzled nerves when he wont go to bed.
Back at the restaurant, ahhh, at last- a sleeping baby. They have to be the most perfect creations in the world. My friend and I caught up on old stories and new dreams, and I once again, felt reassured about my perfect little lunch date.
Not so fast, Mom.
I overstayed my window, breaking the rule that I should have learned by now: start leaving while baby is asleep, or at least, transition out of restaurant. However, when you’re in the moment, enjoying yourself, you don’t want to let it end. So, Hungry Baby rears his ugly head, refusing a bottle and only wanting The Real Stuff. Not comfortable nursing in public, my friend and I gather our (mostly Raffi’s) things like pack horses and head for the exit. Not before I find out that the restaurant only takes cash, of which I don’t have, so my dear friend pays for our meal so we can stop the ongoing scene of the screaming baby. After being tipped, the waitress adds her two cents, "it's time." Ouch.
As my friend and I take our leave, I cram myself in the passenger seat, unleash the mammary glands, and Rafael is sustained. The drive home is uneventful- clearly he wore himself out with all of the hysterics. It’s just as well- the drive home provided time to think: Why did the magazine suggest this again?