Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Driving with a Baby Around Town**

It was a beautiful spring day the first time I drove with Teddy in the car.  I got him loaded up for just a quick drive to Sonic for a watermelon slush.  I’d gotten the all clear from the doc to drive again (have a mentioned what a pain a c-section is?), was off the pain meds, and TJ was back at work.  I put my big sunglasses on, opened the sunroof, rolled down all the windows, turned up the radio and started singing along to my old school mix of Jay-Z’s, “99 Problems,” and I was off.  I backed out of the driveway and was a happy camper.  I had driven maybe 30 seconds and peaked in my rear view mirror.  I damn near swerved into oncoming traffic!  His blanket was flapping in the wind, he was in full sunshine, and I was officially the worst mother on the planet.  I immediately turned off the radio, rolled up all the windows, and closed the sunroof.  I spent the next 3 minutes of the drive to Sonic apologizing to Teddy but promising one day he will understand how great it is to drive with the windows down. 

I learned my lesson pretty fast and got used to windows up, radio down driving.  We continued this way without incident for a few weeks.  This spring was glorious and I spent most days at the park with several friends.  We were trying out a different park and it had stairs so I was going to leave my stroller and car seat and just carry him.  I made sure to pick a shady spot because my black car with black leather seats heats up pretty quickly.  Mental high five for being one step ahead.  We had a great time and a few hours later it was time to pack ole Teddy Bear up and get ready for the nap.  Ut oh.  He fell asleep in my arms on the walk back to the car.  Ut oh.  The sun had moved and my car was sitting there baking.  Ut oh.  My back was already hurting from the long walk and lugging my little chubby fat fat baby.  Panic.
I opened the door and felt the heat wave wash over me.  I immediately cranked the car and blasted the air conditioning.  Do I leave the cranked car to walk back to my friends? There’s no shade for me to sit and wait.  It’s either roast the baby standing in the parking lot or roast the baby in the warm car.  I decide to walk back to my friends and just let him sleep on me, when I look back and see them packing up too.  Crap.  Fine, I’m going to risk it in the car.  I check the buckles and they weren’t hot so I loaded him up.  I don’t know what was more dangerous: the fact that I had a baby in a warm backseat or the fact that I was driving 50 mph on back roads. Mother of the year – I am not.  I arrived at our house and jumped out to check on him.  News articles of babies dying from being left in the heat are running through my head and I can feel my heart beating.  Did I just kill my baby?  I swing open the door and there is sweet little Teddy, sound asleep, peaceful, and happy (albeit a smidge sweaty).  It was a balmy 75 degrees and I just knew that I roasted the baby.  It’s official.  I’m a crazy person.

Fast forward several months to last week and we are on a nice Sunday drive.  Teddy is 7 months old and we are in TJ’s truck.  Teddy is babbling in the backseat and TJ has to swerve kind of quickly to miss some debris in the road and Teddy literally starts yelling.  It’s the cutest thing we have ever heard.  He can now reach the shade on the car seat so he plays with it and just has a fun ole time.  TJ turns a little too quickly to see what Teddy would do (enough for me to give him a look and him to say he was sorry).  Teddy braced himself for the rest of the ride home but was laughing the whole time.  I think we might have a racecar driver on our hands after all. 
Here a couple of pics from the day TJ was driving.  Seriously, the kid is hanging on for dear laugh.  I wish I had recorded his giggles.

*We just drove four hours for some Labor Day fun and that post will be coming soon... "Driving With a Baby Damn Near Caused a Nervous Breakdown"

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