How to Go to the Mall with Your Baby
So your baby is six months old already (when did that happen?) and you haven’t yet been to the mall. Not the strip mall with the boring supermarket and flower store, but the mall mall, one of those enclosed chicken pens which make America a great place to live in. You stopped going when you were eight months pregnant because you found you were spending more time in the bathroom than in DSW. Plus, it wasn’t as if you could fit into anything that wasn’t in Mimi’s Maternity!
Once baby came along, you restricted your car trips due to the heavy volume of desperate crying in the backseat. Furloughs to the grocery store, pharmacy or doctor became your daily adventures: lock the car seat into its base, hop into driver’s seat, wait for high pitched cry. Sing at the top of your lungs. Say silly baby nothings. Get to the store. Take baby out of car seat once she starts wailing. Hold baby in one arm, push shopping cart with other. Crash into aisle corners and oblivious shoppers.
After six months, you say enough is enough. You need some new clothes, now that the extra 10 lbs seem to be hanging around for another while, and you won’t let baby win. You are the boss of her, after all. Who made you, huh, huh? Who did? Who carried you for 9 months and suffered after a c-section? Who doesn’t get enough sleep or see other adults? Nobody puts mommy in a corner!
You change into nice adult clothes and nurse baby as a precautionary measure. You have a baby carrier but decide not to bring it to the mall- it won’t work if you have to try on those fabulous new clothes. You cram the Peg Perego stroller (ebay, okay?) into the trunk , strap baby into the car seat and commence your twenty minute journey into the unknown.
Once finally parked at the mall, you gauge baby’s mood and notice she’s smiling at you and waving her hands and feet. Great, she’s in a good mood! You transfer her to the stroller and are swallowed by the large sliding doors of the mall.
Once you’ve located the elevators and gone up a floor, baby has already started to whine. She’s a homebody, you see. How dare you pull her from her familiar, cozy environment and drag her into this den of debauchery! You hunt for your cellphone in your purse, desperate for some comforting words from your husband. Nothing doing, you’ve left your cellphone at home. Genius.
You find a public phone, walking with the baby in one arm, stroller being pushed by the free hand. Sounds familiar? Hah! You drop a quarter and dial. What, they want another quarter? Oops. Times sure have changed. Why do they still have these devices, anyhow? You decide to locate Macy’s and beg your way into a fitting room. You do just that, limping across the mall, and a very nice lady let’s you use a fitting room to nurse. It is nice and wide and easily accommodates your stroller.
After you’re done nursing, baby lies happily in the stoller playing with her toys and blabbering and cooing while you quickly hunt for a nice skirt to wear to your cousin’s wedding. You try on a few of them, settle on the only one that fits (it’s a small! but in your previous life you would have fit into an extra small…), pay up and head to H&M; Mediocre quality, nice European fit, great prices. You grab some stuff that’s on sale while holding a rebelling baby. In the fitting room, you let her scream in the carriage while you try the clothes on at the speed of light. Once out of the store, it’s time to find some shoes.
At Spring they have some amazing shoes at low, low sale prices. At this point, baby is near hysterical so you try the shoes on, one at a time, while holding her. Great fun! You grab one pair (must go back for more! more shoes, gimme, gimme!) and head downstairs towards the door to the great outside.
You bundle baby up amidst cries of protest, settle her in the stroller and fly across the parking lot to your car. Load your meager purchases, strap baby in, cram stroller in back, rev up. Baby cries, turn radio to static channel (104.1 in the NY area), drive home. Get home, notice that baby is asleep. You contemplate driving around for another hour to let her sleep. She never, ever sleeps. Gas is too costly, you gently lift her and walk into your house.