The un­ex­pected

En­try #3

Parenting - - Snippets -

Self, try not to freak out, but you missed your flight! How did that even hap­pen? Dang it, mom brain. If Josh were here this wouldn’t have hap­pened. Oh, the joy of trav­el­ling solo. Now I’m won­der­ing what the heck am I go­ing to do. I must talk to the lady at the desk. And stop cry­ing. Stop cry­ing first, talk to the lady sec­ond. Or cry while talk­ing – that could help.

Woo hoo, it turns out they loan car seats for this very rea­son! So now some kind lady called Julie is on her way to pick us up and I am stand­ing on the curb with baby strapped to me and her hired car seat in hand. We are go­ing to be okay. I am re­ally look­ing for­ward to a shower be­cause I am pretty sure that smell is com­ing from my baby’s bot­tom and I think it’s seep­ing into my clothes. I am so glad I packed that spare change of clothes in my carry on. 42 hours, one missed flight, and a few new friends later, we ar­rived in Buf­falo. We did it.

De­spite the crazi­ness, I re­alise how much I have learned about my lit­tle girl over the last two days. The first few months of Mad­die’s life were tough on me – all my but­tons were pushed as I tried to fig­ure out what she needed when she cried. This trip has re­ally shown me how far I have come. I am learn­ing to read her signs and pre-empt some of the melt­downs. I re­alise now that she gets bored (who would have thought?), she drools when she is hun­gry, and when she starts screech­ing it ac­tu­ally means she is over­tired and needs a sleep. This has been a real mom-win.

Bring on the won­der­ful bar­rage of fam­ily and friends. Google and other moms are a wealth of knowl­edge and baby gear. To keep it sim­ple, I bor­rowed as much as pos­si­ble and re­cruited a car seat, stroller and pack-n-play at my des­ti­na­tion.

There is no way I could have done it with­out hav­ing Mad­die in a car­rier on me. There is a Face­book group called NZ Baby­wear­ing Mar­ket Place where you can chat to other par­ents and fig­ure out which car­rier is best for you and your child.

On our trav­els, I was sur­prised that the ‘com­pas­sion­ate eyes’ out­weighed the ‘judgy eyes’. I was amazed how a lit­tle con­ver­sa­tion with those around me ush­ered in a lot of em­pa­thy and even child-hold­ers for when I needed the loo, or dare I say, a break.

I am a strong, in­de­pen­dent woman (like you, I am sure) and even with a baby strapped to me I can lift my bag into the stow-away com­part­ment. So I had to si­lence the, “I can do it my­self” grem­lin and ac­cept as­sis­tance. It re­minded me that I don’t need to do every­thing on my own. Bot­tom line – ac­cept or even ask for help.

I wish I had printed out my itin­er­ary. Jug­gling bags, bot­tles and tick­ets proved to be too much and I missed a flight.

All in all, it was an ad­ven­ture worth re­peat­ing – but hope­fully next time, Josh will be with us.

Stephe­nie is an or­dained min­is­ter who has been work­ing with youth for the last 10 years (six of those in New Zealand) and is now the Na­tional Youth Min­istry Con­sul­tant for the Wes­leyan Methodist Church of New Zealand.

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