As a mother of 4 you have to take advantage of any alone time you can get with each child. One of the ways I do this is when I have shopping to do and my husband can stay home with the other 3. This particular time I chose the baby, Maggie. She’s only 6 months old and honestly she’s kinda fun to have with me. She can’t run down the aisles or hide in the clothes racks. For the most part, she just coo’s and smiles and occasionally she convinces other shoppers that even though we didn’t get to the check out line first, we should check out first. (I love that!) All was going well with our time together until the commute home. No matter what Maggie tells you, this is how it happened.
Every parent on earth knows the pain involved when you are cruising down the highway at 65 MPH and you hear it. It starts with that little coughing sound (aa..aah..aa). I look in the rear view and see her little feet shifting the blanket so I turn the music down slightly being careful not to wake her. I wait…I look….she seems to have put herself back to sleep. A sigh of relief. I think it’s safe now to gently resume the music. I look again..phew…that was a close call. I start to sing the first verse of my favorite song and the little cough starts again. [Annoyed] I decrease the music volume one more time. This time I notice in the rear view mirror that her little blanket is moving violently. She appears to have kicked it off. Uh oh…a slight panic settles in. 30 more minutes until you get home and she appears to be waking up. Nooooo! This can’t be happening. Nothing but red lights ahead of me, it’s 5 o’clock traffic. My heart starts racing and my palms start sweating because I realize that I am entering parental hell. I beg and plead with the sleep gods.. “Please? please? I’ll cruise in this line of traffic and never come to a complete stop just please don’t let her cry. More ”a…a..aah” followed by a sad cry that streams into a grunty cry, her eyes still closed tight. This is the only cry that I can talk her out of. If I wasn’t driving, I could sneak a pacifier in her mouth and settle her back down. Since I was behind the wheel, I went with my only pitiful option. Negotiating!!!! ”Maggie? Sweetheart?..we only have a few more miles [LIAR] and then I’ll make you a nice bottle and rock you while daddy cooks dinner [a girl can dream]“ Silence. No more crying. Ahhhhh…yes! I don’t believe it, the negotiating worked. Then I think.. of course it worked. This is not your first rodeo. This is your 4th freaking kid. I turned the music back up a little and just when I was feeling like one bad ass momma who had her shit together it happened. She went from 0 decibels to 10 in 3 seconds flat. I looked in the rear view to see who the hell pinched my baby? She is supposed to be dreaming about a bottle? Now her face is beet red and she is crying with everything she has. She is crying so hard that no noise is coming out. I tap the brakes to remind her to breathe. She breathes alright. Oh no….here we go. I’m done. The “I’m pissed off and nothing will make me happy until I’m out of this god forsaken car seat” cry. That special birth control cry that makes me swear I’ll never have another baby. It’s the cry that ages me. I tell myself…”I’m too old for this!” I frantically look for somewhere to pull off the road to soothe her but I’m in grid lock. There is nothing to do except turn the radio up and hope the sleep gods come back. This cry continued until we turned into the driveway. 30 miles she screams bloody murder and we turn into the driveway and it completely stops? With a tense neck and shoulders I look in the rearview mirror and see that she has finally passed out. Confused, I took the keys out of the ignition. Shaking my head in disbelief I walk in the door and my husband greets me “How was your alone time with Maggie?” I stare at her sleeping soundly in her car seat waiting for her to wink at my husband and I cautiously answer ”It was great!” Not cool Maggie, not cool at all.
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