Target today was just crawling with moms and adorable babies. I swear, they just about equaled the number of adults shopping without kids in tow.
Before having any myself, I would just ignore babies. I didn’t get babies. I didn’t have warm fuzzy feelings towards babies, and especially not the babies of strangers. I didn’t know how to interact with them, or what to do around them.
After having one, it all changed. I knew what to do! So I became a sneak peeker. I peek at the baby, glance at the mom and if she’s looking at me, I smile. Because now we are in this club together. Sometimes I add, ‘so cute,’ or ‘adorable’ before I walk away. Even if they’re not. Because to their mommas they are the most beautiful thing in existence.
Since having twins, I’m just a momma on a mission. I’m back to ignoring babies because now I’m ignoring all eye contact with all strangers. Why? Because apparently eye contact means that I want to tell people my life story and in what position my twins were conceived. I literally keep my head down and just get what I need. I have full conversations with my nonverbal tiny babies and just entertain myself.
Besides, I f I wanted to answer strangers’ questions I would set up a booth and charge money.
Today, with my triple stroller, already hot as hell because I parked at another store and walked across half a plaza with my diaper backpack, giant igloo soft-sided lunchbox and pocketbook, and one of the three whining, I tried my best just to get my errands done. But it was just dodging shopping carts full of babies.
I had to look up. If not, I would’ve plowed over the mom that was playing a white noise machine to keep her baby asleep. And no, that’s not a joke. But this trip I just had to pay attention.
I noticed something today strange today. It must be the season, but the seemed to be a lot more new moms in the store. Like every other mom had a twenty tiny baby. And a new mom is super easy to spot even if I can’t see inside the carrier. The way she puts the carrier in the carriage, and even the way she moves through the store. It’s hesitant, and careful and deliberate all at the same time. She is giddily in love and exhausted simultaneously.
I had quite a few glances today, and from a couple of new moms but one in particular stuck with me.When she glanced up from her baby and saw me, it was with a look that can only be described as awestruck relief.
Here was me. Struggling with a heavy and piss-poor turning triple stroller, with awnings over my babies’ heads laden with groceries and clothes because there is no storage and I ran out of arms, a twenty-pound backpack diaper bag on my back, my messy mom bun and my jacket thrown over the cooler that was bumping my knees as I walked.
That new mom, bless her little new mommy heart, was relieved. She was so relieved, despite her new mommy struggles, to not be me.
And so I just smiled back at her.
I may have three times the diapers, three times the screaming, and may be losing my hair three times as fast, but I wouldn’t trade any of it. And I hope I just made her day a teeny bit easier knowing that her struggles maybe aren’t as bad as it seems at the moment.