I'm a brand new mom. I'd confess that to anyone and readily admit I'm nowhere near close to having all of the answers. Some days I look at this tiny little being that has taken charge of our home and am, quite frankly, stumped as to how to best care for him. Sure, I know the basics and I think I'm doing a pretty good job of not screwing him up so far (I really am trying, George!). But, I also know that part of this whole parenting this is making mistakes, learning from them and moving on - asking for forgiveness all the way. I expect to get lots of unsolicited advice from family and friends and to make choices about taking or leaving that same advice.
What I did not expect - and really should have - was to be criticized by stranger moms in public. So, what parenting crime did I commit? Read on...
G and I took a quick trip to Target this morning. I had a few things to pick up and, frankly, needed to get out of the house to see the world and walk around a bit. Running on borrowed time between nursing sessions, I was armed with a list and opted to hit the not-as-nice Target because it offers garage parking, exposing G to less of the freezing air. The infant carrier sits perfectly in the front/top of the cart, closest to me and up high enough to discourage strangers from touching, while allowing great eye contact between mom and baby. This is how we shop because the stroller just doesn't make sense in this situation. I could shop the aisles of Target in my sleep so had everything on the list in record time while G happily cooed at me and the stroller toys dangling from the handle of his infant carrier.
So far so good, right?
As I walked toward the registers, scoping out the shortest line, another mom and her kids approached from the opposite end. Mom was in the center pushing an infant stroller. Along one side walked what looked to be a 5 year old struggling with a full shopping basket. On her other side was a smaller child, maybe three years, juggling several items in her arms. As we passed each other she said to the children, while gesturing to my cart, "See? I could put the carseat like that too, but it just doesn't feel safe and good moms keep their kids safe."
Are you kidding me, lady?
I shot her a dirty look (sue me) and then noticed something. Around and over her infant carrier containing her newborn was a wind break fashioned from...wait for it...a clear plastic bag that, in red, was marked "Keep away from children - suffocation hazard."