Monthly Archives: March 2011

The Joys of Being a Breastfeeding Mommy (and Other Misadventures)

A random text from a mommy friend inspired me to finally write this post that I’ve been meaning to write for awhile. Like me, she’s a working mom who’s trying to balance her work responsibilities while breastfeeding her infant daughter (and take care of a toddler!). Her note, typed from the airport, went something like this:

I have redefined “hot mess.” I’m in Newark (dirtiest airport in New England). My meeting ran over so I did not get to pump before I left the office. My boobs are like rocks. I paid $100 to upgrade to first class so I could skip to the front of the security line. There’s no “family” bathroom, so I stand in line in this filthy bathroom, go into the handicap stall and start pumping. The battery on the pump dies after about two sucks, so now I’m committed and in pain. I stand in the loo, change the batteries while holding pump to boobs (no luck) for 30 minutes then hand pumping with milk dripping on the floor and my clothes, sweating, because who puts A/C in a public bathroom. I’m not able to touch anything because it’s unsanitary to say the least–for 4 blessed ounces of white gold and the elimination of stripper boob. At least it only got on my pants and not my white shirt. Happy Tuesday!

Days like that are ones where you are amazed that you even made it through. Fortunately you can always curse your husband for not being able to help you and then text a mommy friend and finally begin to see the humor in it all.

For as much as traveling with an infant poses some challenges, traveling without your infant when you’re still breastfeeding brings up a whole other set of issues.

First of all, it screws up your efficiency. I’m an efficient traveler to begin with, but when I travel for work, I’m super streamlined. Checking a bag is never an option. In fact, I get annoyed when the airlines make me check my bag planeside. So, the fact that as a nursing mommy you have to bring along a cooler of some sort and your pump really kind of throws your equilibrium off. Business travelers and boob bags don’t really mix.

But somehow you figure out how to make it doable even if it’s not ideal. During my last business trip, for example, I ended up bringing a smaller cooler that was able to be tucked into a larger carry-on bag. The smaller cooler meant fewer bottles and fewer bottles meant that at some point during my trip I had to dump some of my precious white gold. It was tragic–a mommy friend likened it to throwing a piece of heirloom jewelry in the trash–but it was a price I was going to pay to not have to pay to check a bag or waste time waiting for my bag at baggage claim.

I also bagged bringing gym clothes–who was I kidding anyway? Any free time was going to be spent pumping–and found a way to get away with a single pair of heels in order to fit my pump and its accoutrement in my suitcase. Of course, for all my carefully packing, I forgot essential work equipment like my camera and batteries for my Flip cam, but that wasn’t the end of the world either.

The other thing I made sure I did was book at a nicer hotel so that I could be sure that I had a mini fridge in my room. Out went the mini bottles of Smirnoff and Johnny Walker and in went plastic bottles of white gold. And being at the nicer hotel also had an additional perk. Rather than spend  my time running back and forth from the convention center, I just booked nearly all of my meetings in the hotel’s restaurants and lounges, which meant I had an executive-worthy venue to have my meetings and could easily hop the elevator up to my room to squeeze in a pump between meetings.

The pump part that was out to get me

But for all this willing to make being a working and lactating mommy work, there are always these mishaps akin to what my friend experienced today. For me, the small plastic piece that connected the pump to the tubing somehow got chipped in my bag during my travels. That meant that my only hope of using the pump was if I stuffed my thumb  into the hole to create enough of a vacuum to get the thing to suck. And at that point only one tube was operational, so it was going to take twice as long to pump every time I had to pump. Again, not exactly an ideal situation, but workable.

I did that for a day or so before I got the brilliant idea that if I stuck a piece off gum in the hole, I could plug it up and get the pump to work and also free one hand to at least type an e-mail or change the channel. Let me just say bad idea. After that experiment failed, I was left with a pump that was totally useless. And there was no time to order replacement parts from the manufacturer. By the time I paid the gazillion dollars for expedited shipping, I’d be on my way home. Plus, what was I going to do in the meantime anyway?

At this point I remember there being a section in my breastfeeding bible, The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding, on hand expression. Of course I didn’t read it, but I do remember there being a line in the book somewhere about how every nursing mother should learn how to hand express. I remember thinking, “Why in the heck would I ever need to do that?” Apparently I’m either not very forward thinking or very imaginative (or both) because suddenly I found myself in Orlando on a business trip needing to teach myself how–or end my career as a breastfeeding mom.

So, after a little trial and error, I figured it out. It’s really not that hard, but

The back-up plan

the process definitely made me feel more like a cow than I felt before. That didn’t seem possible at the time, but it was so very true.

But like most of the other setbacks I’ve encountered as a newbie mommy, I survived after having learned a thing or two the hard way. My advice? Go out and buy a hand pump to take along with you. I bought an Evenflo SimplyGo manual pump so I’d never be stuck again.They aren’t expensive and are surprisingly efficient even if your hand can get tired.

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Filed under babies, breastfeeding, daily life, feeding, lactation, travel, working mom

10 Months and Counting

Today, baby turned 10 months. (Well, technically, yesterday because it’s past midnight as I’m writing this.) We’re closing in on a year quickly, and it’s happening almost too quickly in some ways. Because as much as it’s amazing and fun to watch babies grow up, I’m finding it a little bit sad, too. They just change so quickly at this stage that you feel like you missed it even if you’ve been paying attention all along the way.

Take, for example, the past 10 days. Ten days ago, baby and I were en vacances in Chamonix, France. He was trying to crawl, but if I were to convert his skill to ski slopes, he would’ve been on a green circle rather than a black diamond. I mean, he was sort of getting places, but he didn’t really have much control or direction as to where he was going.

But a week and a half later and it’s a totally different story. He’s crawling–and he’s standing. That’s right; he’s pulling himself up on everything and even daring to let go with one hand–and occasionally two, if only for a couple seconds. Check it out:

(As an aside, here’s a thank you to Linkin Park for writing “Crawling.” Although it’s a little intense for all things baby related, it couldn’t be more appropriately named for just such things.)

I’m not going to lie. I watch this video and a little tear or two escapes. I wish I still had hormones to blame it on, but for tonight, I’ll blame the waterworks on the couple of glasses of box o’wine that I’ve had while waiting for these videos to upload.

But there is something really sad in watching a wee one become less “wee.” Part of it for me is that it happened so fast. In a week and a half, my baby went from scooting on his bum a few inches at a time to standing (much less bouncing) in his crib.

Another part is knowing that I’m a little bit alone in watching this change, which feels so big in this little life. Now, don’t get me wrong. I love where we live and how we live, but it’s a a fact that we don’t have any family close to share some of this excitement. Not to mention that daddy is often tied up with military stuff. (I’m sure watching this video makes him sadder in some ways than I can possibly know.) So, sometimes it seems as though these big developmental moments are almost happening in a vacuum.

It’s funny how for all these tinges of sadness, I can still be totally proud of how baby is growing. With every developmental milestone, he’s closer to the man he’ll eventually be. And I so long to know that person. Sometimes I watch him and I see a spark of something–curiosity, intellect, humor, drive, sensitivity, what-have-you–but it’s hard to call it a defining characteristic at this point. And I wonder how his experiences will change–for better or worse–those characteristics.

But for now I’m going to just be happy that he’s not moving fast enough that I can’t catch him. Which will give me the tiniest bit of time to finish baby proofing.

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Filed under babies, child development, crawling, first year, walking

Building a Bilingual Baby

I may not be first (or even second generation) American, but I grew up in a bilingual family.

Well, to be more specific, my mom, a high school French teacher and Francophile through and through, had the harebrained idea that even though we weren’t one bit French she would teach me French by only speaking to me in French as a child. Of course, this plan only went into effect with me, so no one else in my family spoke French but me and my mom. So maybe “family” is a bit of an exaggeration.

The problem with this whole idea was that she spoke to me in French, and while I understood it, I was completely embarrassed by it for one reason or another and always responded to her in English. Why she never forced me to respond in French I have no idea, but I really wish she would have.

So, now I’m the mommy in this scenario and I’ve got a baby that I desperately want to not only speak French as well as I do (or even grandma) but better. But how do I turn that dream into reality? So far I’ve come up with a four-prong plan:

First, I only speak to him in French. From the first “Bonjour, Bébé” in the morning to the last “Bonne nuit, Bébé” at night, we’re speaking frog or we’re not speaking at all.

Second, I joined this mommy group that a friend forwarded me through MeetUp.com called Bonjour, Les Amis. The group is for mommies with infants (<5 yrs old) who want their babies to learn French. Although I was totally mortified by the fact that I had to find friends via the Internet,  I love this group. I don’t know everyone yet, as they meet several times a week and I’m lucky if I can squeeze in one rendezvous, but the Friday regulars are fantastic. I think what I really like is that everyone’s kids are close in age and that the mommies’ language skills are all about the same, so you can get into some good conversation. Of course, at this point, this playgroup is all about the mommies wanting to speak French, but the more the wee ones hear other people speaking it as well, I think the higher the chances that they will not do what I did and refuse to speak French because it’s different than what their friends at school speak.

Third, I aim to take to baby to France (or other French-speaking countries) as much as possible, which I hope is at least once a year.

Fourth, I support his oral development in French by reading to him in French as well as English. This means having lots and lots of books in French and reading some of them to him every night. Sounds simple enough, but it’s a challenge to get good quality books in French here in the States. The Canadian portal to amazon.com offers some selection, but I now consider it a travel perk to spend a half hour in a foreign bookstore picking out French children’s books.

Take my latest trip to Chamonix, for example. Besides the scarves I brought home as gifts for my mother-in-law, nanny, and cleaning lady (and me!), the only other souvenirs I brought home were some baby clothes and baby books, the latter which made my suitcase very heavy on the way back, incidentally. But I couldn’t resist. Why?

First, I’ve always been a sucker for books. My grandmother used to take me on shopping sprees–to the bookstore. There she would buy me as many books as I could carry. (I loved that.) Second, I don’t want baby’s entire library to just be filled with translations of English books. (Although I really love that I have Goodnight Moon and Guess How Much I Love You in both English and French.)

And third, how can I say no to books that are absolutely adorable? Take for example, this one called Poux by Stephanie Blake. It’s the story of Simon who loves Lou, who in turn loves Mamadou. That is until Lou catches lice–poux–and Mamadou says he’s through but Simon’s love shines true. And that gives you an idea of how the book is written–completely in these beautiful, little, sing-song-y rhymes about Lou and her lice.

But for as much as I love the love story, I’m infatuated with Pomelo et les contraires by Ramona Badescu and Bejamin Chaud. It’s a simple book, all about opposites, with an adorable elephant as the main character. The book covers all the basics–high, low; left, right; near, far; open, shut–but the illustrations are what totally make the book. The illustrator definitely had a sense of humor because some of the interpretations of these opposite pairs are hilarious. Point in case, this one about “inside” and “outside”:

Très amusant

 

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Things I Would Never Have Thought I’d Buy: Baby Shades

Last year when I went to Chamonix, I was 7+ months pregnant, couldn’t ski (tragic), and couldn’t après-ski (even more tragic). So, I spent my days in the mountains swimming at the community pool–I was the orca in lane 6–and doing lots of walking about town.

The great thing about Chamonix is although it’s a ski town, which automatically means it attracts young, beautiful, single, extreme sport seekers also willing to party down at night, it’s also really family friendly. You wouldn’t believe the number of strollers rolling around town. At that point, I was really into checking out the strollers. (The French love the pram-style strollers and also appear to be big fans of expensive brands like Peg Perego, Maclaren, and BébéConfort.)

But the other thing I noticed was that all the babies were wearing sunglasses. I’m talking itty, bitty babies not soon-to-be toddlers. Although the kids were adorable in their baby shades–the French do have absolutely beautiful children–I sort of thought sunglasses were sort of stupid. Sure, it was sunny out, but seriously?

After baby was born, my sister bought him a pair of blue, baby sunglasses. I think it was more of a joke, a nod to my mom and my comments about all the babies in Chamonix.

But fast forward a year and I was what was stupid, not the sunglasses.

As a mommy rather than just a pregnant lady this Chamonix trip around, the sun didn’t just seem bright; it seemed ferocious. It’s rays bore down, unblinking, on baby. You’d no sooner step outside than his little paws would be right up in front of his eyes, his face crumpled up on itself in attempt to keep out the sun’s intense gaze.

But once we popped his little shades on, he was pretty much good to go. Sure, he would fuss a little when I first put them on, but it would be for maybe five seconds and then he’d realize he could see and was chill.

I swear he felt cool when he had them on, too. His smiles were a little different than usual when wearing his shades and even though I couldn’t see his eyes behind the lenses, I felt like he was looking at the world a little differently. It was like he was a little more confident, a little more outgoing, a little more flirtatious. I swear he was giving other kids with shades on a knowing nod as they rolled past each other.

Think I’m crazy? Check this out:

Future's so bright, he's got to wear shades

I’m not sure exactly what brand these shades are since I didn’t buy them; I’m not even 100% sure what store they came from. But the design is great because rather than be like miniature grown-up shades, they’ve got a soft elastic strap that holds the rims and lenses on baby’s face. I think it seems more comfortable–nothing pressing behind the ears–and it also makes them harder to fall off or be pulled off.

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11 Lessons in 10 Days

Baby and I have been repatriated after a wonderful 10 days in Chamonix, France. The weather was mostly more than cooperative, confirmed by a friend who said that both baby and I got some color on our faces; the food delicious (I am pretty sure I ate my weight in charcuterie, fromage, escargot, and soupe à l’oignon); and the company even better.

But I’m not going to lie, my travels with infant weren’t without their stresses. Just to give you an idea, my trip started out with me sitting in my car in what most certainly was the furthest parking lot from the airport terminal in a torrential downpour, debating whether I should wait the rain out or just suck it up and get soaked. Of course it had been 50+ degrees and partly sunny when I left the house, so my Gortex was happily packed in the bottom of my suitcase. I decided to crawl into the backseat and nurse baby while I debated my options. After 15 minutes and no signs of letting up–actually I think the rain started to cascade harder–I decided to just make a run for it.

Run is actually a funny word to use because as any mommy traveling by herself with infant knows, you’re not going anywhere fast. Not when you have a kid strapped to your front, you’re dragging a suitcase with your diaper bag that you’re pretending is also a purse hooked on top, and, in the other hand, you’re trailing a folded up umbrella stroller behind you. Did I mention the small, soft-sided cooler that I had slung over my shoulder? (Sadly, this is efficient for this stage in life.) If I didn’t feel pathetic enough, I certainly did after a man in a wheelchair tried to help me into an elevator.  (True story.)

We lived to tell about it, that’s for sure, so that’s a good thing. And all the stress of the logistics of getting there and back were well worth the good times we had in France, so we’d no sooner book another mommy-and-me overseas adventure in a heartbeat. But all that’s not to say that I didn’t learn a few things. Here are my Top 11 travel tips for mommies traveling overseas with infants, particularly those traveling without an extra set of hands.

  1. Travel on off days. Seriously, if you are planning to have your baby on your lap, it’s worth the extra day of vacation that you will burn to travel on a slow travel day. I traveled out on Sunday and back on a Wednesday and had the luxury of an empty seat next to me on both flights. I am not exaggerating one bit when I say I don’t now I could have done it otherwise, particularly on the return flight, which was 9 hours in the middle of the day, without that luxury. At nine months old, he was crawling and squirming all over the place, so it was fantastic to be able  just strap him into the seat, throw the tray table down, and give him a few toys.
  2. Don’t try to travel like you’re still in college. This means forget the whirlwind tours; don’t try to do three cities in a week. Just pick a really good place that you can make home base and take day trips from there. It’s hard to think like that when there are so many new places to explore, but it will be a more enjoyable trip if you can actually relax and aren’t trying to cram baby into your sightseeing schedule.
  3. Opt for the apartment. If you’re going to be someplace for a week or more, consider renting an apartment over staying in a hotel. Just having access to laundry machines and a kitchen are worth it, even if it costs a bit more, which often isn’t the case. The random three diaper blowouts my kid had in a single day underscored this for me. Plus, many property managers will include things like portable cribs (with bedding), high chairs, and even strollers, if requested. (Score!)
  4. High chairs are an issue.We may be used to every Applebee’s, TGIFriday’s, and Ruby Tuesday’s having highchairs galore, it’s not that way in Europe. I was pleasantly surprised by how many restaurants in

    Perfectly portable

    Chamonix actually had high chairs, but the quality, safety, appropriateness, and availability of them were most often in question. For this reason, I packed my trusty Phil and Ted’s Me Too portable high chair. This thing is seriously awesome.  It hooks on to nearly every table or counter top with a pair of heavy-duty clamps, is really sturdy, and it packs flat. (Bonus!) Of course, the one time I really, really needed it, the table top was too thick so it wouldn’t hook on, which brings me to No. 5…

  5. Never underestimate the power of the scarf.I don’t care what

    Big scarfs are the best

    season you’re traveling in, bring a big, long scarf, if you are traveling with a baby. (Think the size of a pashmina.) Not only are they chic, but I used mine as a pillow, a nursing wrap, a blanket for baby when the wind suddenly kicked up, and even as a child restraint in a high chair where the risk of him slipping through the bottom was high thanks to a lack of safety straps or anything close to resembling them. (Let’s just say a shopping cart seemed more secure.)

  6. Don’t expect your baby to stick to his normal schedule. Jet lag is really hard on the wee ones. For example, we were dealing with a six hour time difference and my bundle of boy started out going to sleep around his normal time (local), but then slept until nearly noon the next day. For three days in a row. By the eighth day, he was waking up around 9:30am (local), which was two hours later than his “normal” wake up. Feel free to disagree, but trying to sightsee with a cranky baby doesn’t sound like much fun to me, so I say let them sleep and do what you can when they can.
  7. Dare to deviate on the nap schedule. This tip runs along the same lines as No. 6. I know this is hard for some super-regimented moms to even fathom, but I’ll just be blunt and say that if you’re that kind of mom and still want to travel (and have fun), you had better loosen up. I don’t know about you, but I find that part of the fun of traveling is eating. But trying to have dinner at 7pm or 8pm at a restaurant with a jet lagged baby who normally is in bed at 7pm (remember other cultures don’t necessarily serve an early-bird special) poses some meltdown challenges. So, to have a more enjoyable meal out, I would feed, bathe, and pajama baby as usual, but him down early–like at 6pm. I’d let him nap until 7:30pm or so, then pack him up and put him in the stroller and take him to the restaurant with us. Be sure to pack plenty of snacks or make good use of the bread basket and, above all, stay close to home base in case there’s a real meltdown that requires you to book on home.
  8. Have fun with food.This is sort of a takeoff on No. 7, but enjoying

    Bon appetit!

    new foods shouldn’t just be a traveling perk for you. So, don’t bring all the food or diapers or wipes that you could possibly need for a week or 10 days. It’s not worth the work of carrying all that stuff, especially when you are traveling alone. Just bring enough to get you through a few days until you can buy stuff on site. Not to mention when you buy locally, you can introduce your baby to some new flavors. Just check out what the French consider appropriate for those babies 6+ months: apples with kiwi and pineapple, couscous with veggies, and salmon with rice and green veggies. My kid also downed a few croissants and Petit Beurres, which are wonderful French delectables.

  9. Bring hand sanitizer. I won’t go into details, but I’ll say that you

    Nasties no more

    shouldn’t expect Baby Koala changing stations wherever you go. I went into one public restroom that advertised a baby changing station and came out within 30 seconds, telling my mom and aunt that I would rather have my kid sit in his own feces for another hour+ than change him in that bathroom.

  10. Yes, you will be able to use the bathroom on the plane. So, the en-route changing station question isn’t that big of a deal. There will be one bathroom near you on the plane that has a changing station, if not every bathroom on the plane. (It’s above and behind the toilet.) It’s small (my kid barely fit on it), but it’ll get the job done. The real issue when traveling with infant is what you are going to do when you need to go to the bathroom but baby doesn’t need a diaper change. On my outbound flight, I had one very nice woman across the aisle from me (three kids of her own) ask me if I wanted her to hold the baby so I could go the bathroom. I’m not going to lie. This sounded very tempting, after having tried one strategy earlier where I kept the changing station down with the baby on top and held him while I tried to bend and scoot underneath to do my business. (Not recommended.) But for as good as that sounded, honestly, I didn’t know how it would look if I just handed my baby over to a stranger. (She did seem nice and where was she going to go?) I declined and tried a different strategy. Yes, I actually sat him on the floor of the airplane restroom. He was fine–turns out the toilet paper is right at eye level and can be pulled out and ripped up very easily–but I was pretty much disgusted with the fact that my kid was on the floor of a nothing more than a slightly less stinky PortaJohn. (This is why you need to heed No. 9.) But these are the types of choices you will have to make, so just try not to let germs ruin your vacation.
  11. Let people help you. For people like me, who are used to not only doing things their way but doing them completely on their own, this is a tough one. But it’s important to realize that, when traveling with an infant, letting someone share your burden doesn’t mean you are a failure. So, let that really nice, generous person who offers to carry your diaper bag on or off the plane do it. Everyone knows you can do it, but why not save yourself a little bit of effort?

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A Traveling Mom’s Sanity Saver

As anyone who reads this blog regularly knows, I travel long distances with baby a lot. And mostly on my own. Because I don’t usually have the luxury of an extra set of hands (or knees) to help me, I have learned to be quite disciplined when it comes to packing.

Anything that goes into one of my three bags–one suitcase (for both me and baby), which gets checked; a diaper bag that doubles as a purse and primary carry on; and a smallish, soft-sided cooler stocked with boob milk (for baby) and snacks (for me and baby). Everything that goes into my bag meets one, if not more, of the following criteria: versatile, efficient, or convenient. (And yes, I totally miss packing things that were cute, fun, or “just in case.”)

The convenience is so worth the coin

At any rate, given my self-imposed packing restrictions, I’ve fallen totally in love with Johnson’s Take Along Packs. These pre-assembled packs may not be the most economical–they run around $4 to $5 for the pack–but the convenience when traveling is so worth the extra dimes. The pack consists of five trial sized–about 1.5 oz–mini bottles of baby essentials–baby shampoo, head-to-toe wash, baby lotion, baby powder, and diaper rash relief. Granted, when we’re at home, I use other stuff than Johnson’s, but when I’m traveling it’s not worth the headache to lug all those big bottles–or worse, go through the tedium of pouring them into more travel-friendly bottles.

As a total aside, I recently found out that Hyatts dole out these little gifties to hotel guests when they request a crib (complete with sheet and light flanne blanket) in their rooms–along with a super cute long-sleeve onesie with the hotel insignia on it. How awesome is all that?

But back to the take-along packs…

The biggest criticism I have of the packs is that I’d prefer a larger packet of Desitin and a smaller amount of baby powder to what currently comes in the pack. But that might just be me; I’m not big on the powder. Other than that, the size, quantity, and mix is just right for a good 5- to 7-day trip. (I’m going to see if I can stretch it to 10 days on a single pack during my next trip; we’ll see.)

But for as much as I love these totally smart packs of baby essentials, I’m completely confused by this on the reverse side of the package:

Does anyone else see the irony in this?

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Filed under babies, baby travel, bathing, hygiene, travel

Where Sleeping Dogs Lie

As a mommy, you learn to pick your battles. However, for me, between the baby and the puppy, I’m pretty sure I’m losing every one that I can even muster up the energy to try and fight.

Case in point was my trip this morning to the doggy dentist. Yes, that’s right, I’ve got a knack for picking animals that end up needing expensive, specialist care. My six-month-old puppy now has something close to veneers on four of his front teeth.

Incidentally, I was informed this morning by a colleague that February was Pet Dental Month. Whoops, I guess I missed that and any possible discount that doggy dentists in my area might be offering.

At any rate, the appointment was for 8:30am–prime rush hour for D.C. And I was totally late getting out the door.

I attribute my inability to get anywhere on time these days to events similar to the ones I found myself dealing with this morning. First, baby woke up later than usual. And for some reason, I always feel I can’t leave the house without baby getting something in his belly, which always takes longer than I think it’s going to take. Then the cleaning lady, who I adore, showed up and wanted to dote on baby for a few minutes. (I may or may not have ripped him out of her arms as I ran out the door.) When I get baby and dog out to the car, I realize that my wonderful hubby never secured the dog barrier or the spare tire floating around in the back of the truck, so I had to try and work minute magic on some ratchet straps to fit the dog in. (And I’m not so good with the ratchet straps, I have to admit.) Then there was the pit stop at the other car to grab the umbrella stroller that I conveniently forgot to bring into the house the night before. Did I mention the construction happening on and all around my street?

At any rate, I’m on the road (finally) and just as I start to think, “Gee, I might make the appointment,” traffic comes to a screeching halt. Literally. The dog pretty much goes flying into the dog barrier thing that’s supposed to sequester him in the back of the truck so he doesn’t clobber the baby; it collapses down on him. As I look in the rear view mirror, all I see is a giant nose and two giant paws hanging over the backseat.

Crap.

Next thing I hear is baby making some mildly irritated noises. I crane my neck around to find this:

big dog + small baby = hysterical mommy

The 50+ lb dog is literally curled up on top of the baby in his car seat. I start yelling for him to get off and trying to wildly reach around to grab him by his collar and yank him off the baby. My monkey arms prove to be too short. Out of the corner of my eye, I see the dog slinking down further into the baby seat, further out of my frantic reach.

Now, I’m in bumper to bumper traffic, there’s no good place to pull off, and I’m nearly losing it on the dog when I get a small moment of clarity: The baby’s not crying and the dog isn’t moving. In fact, when I swivel my head around again, I see baby taking his fingers and poking the dog in the nose and giggling to himself. I’m the one who’s flipping out for apparently no reason.

So, I say screw it (or something like it) and keep on trucking. I guess that’s how we roll these days.

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