This morning I realized that I didn’t have anything to cook with. Mgo usually stops at the store on his way home if I need anything. But today I was in the mood for an adventure. I needed an onion for my lentil soup. I wanted to step out of my comfort zone. So I decided to take Emi on an adventure. We took a trip to Trader Joe’s.
Believe it or not, this was the first time I took her to the grocery store. As a first-time nursing mom, outings with a newborn were stressful for a long time. When we first had her around, we would have to time things just right. I would nurse her, and then it would be a mad dash out the door. Diapers? Check. Nursing cover? Check. Blankets? Check. Pacifiers? Check. Diapers. Check again. And we would have an hour or two before she needed to be fed again. It was crazy, but once in a while, we would do it. Sometimes, I just needed to get out. It was cabin fever. It was an excuse to change out of our pajamas.
The first time I went out with her on my own, I believe it was something along the lines of packing up the diaper bag, strapping her in her car seat, going through a Starbucks drive-thru, and coming home. I was so proud of myself when I got home. Success!
Today I fumbled with my keys, put the shopping cart cover on backwards, fixed it, forgot my list in the trunk, then slowly rolled the cart through the double doors, making sure she wasn’t bobbing all over the place. I went toward the produce section and completely blanked on why I even came here. Do we really need anything? What was I going to make tonight? Oh yes. An onion! I proceeded to fill my cart with things I normally don’t buy, and now know I don’t need. As I surmised a bottle of ranch dressing, a woman casually strolled by.
How adorable, she said.
Thank you, I said.
She’s cute, so be careful, she continued.
Yeah, someone might snatch her away, she said with a straight face.
I smiled and mumbled a thank you. Then I rushed away awkwardly because my legs suddenly felt like jell-o. I started sweating profusely. I mean, really? REALLY?
We perused the aisles, and she was mesmerized by all the colors and sounds. I tried to get her attention, but she barely heard me. She was too busy taking it all in. So I watched her, and I really didn’t buy much. I even almost forgot my onion.
While I loaded her and the groceries in the car, a homeless man came around with his own cart. He kept pushing for some change or food or help. I wasn’t really sure, because I was busy trying to juggle it all – I wasn’t used to doing this with a baby in tow. And when I finally got us in the car and turned on the ignition, the man bumped my car with his cart, upset that I wasn’t paying attention to him. Kinda scary. Kinda crazy. I kinda almost cried.
But I did it. I took Emelia to the grocery store all by myself. I got my onion. It was fun. It was kind of empowering.
So what if we ended up ordering take out tonight?