About three days into motherhood, I started to get a bit antsy. I needed to get out of the house.
It would be my maiden voyage with the little man. Of course, I made it a practical one.
You see, the miniature-sized baby care products that the hospital provided were running low and I had to stock-up. A&D ointment. Alcohol swabs. And some itty bitty t-shirts. No one told me I couldn’t use the onesies until the umbilical stump fell off. For the past nine months, all I heard was “you can’t have too many onesies, you can’t have too many onesies.” A lot of good they’re doing me now. Thanks for the advice.
I decided we’d take a trip to Target.
So I packed up the diaper bag, bundled-up the little guy with about eighteen layers, strapped him in his car seat/carrier and hit the road.
After a hyper-cautious drive that took what seemed like an eternity (you know, first time driving with a kid in the car and all), the big red ball was in sight. As I pulled-in, the place seemed almost desolate. There were only about 20 cars in the lot. As a regular old working girl, I usually did my Target shopping on the weekend, along with what I thought was the rest of the city. It was 10:00 a.m. on a Tuesday. Totally different scene. I was about to embark on a new adventure.
I was thrilled to get front-row parking, but there was an eerie tone about the whole thing. When I walked through the giant sliding doors, things really got weird.
It was quiet. Too quiet. And yes, empty. It wasn’t until I got to the accessory department that I saw the first living thing. And I’m using the word “living” quite loosely here. It was a fellow mom with a newborn. She had a car seat/carrier perched on the cart just like mine (YAY…I did it right). But she looked so…aimless. Staring at a hideous handbag for the entire 30 seconds it took me to walk by. How could it possibly take her that long to contemplate its ugliness? Was she okay? Was she breathing?
A few aisles down was another woman with car seat/carrier on her cart. This one had the added bonus of a toddler. “Mommy, mommy, mommy, mommy.” The woman moved forward very slowly with a vacant stare that was framed by her stringy hair. I don’t even think she could hear her little boy.
As I made my way to the baby department, I noticed an undeniable trend. Save for a few retired types, Tuesday morning Target shoppers were Moms. All moms. Mostly moms of newborns. All buying sundries and a brief escape from the confines of home. Moms with their carriers perched on their carts.
A warm feeling rushed over me. I felt like I was part of a club that I never even knew existed. And I felt kind of excited. Maybe even a proud. I was a mom. This is where I belong.
But these women…would it kill them to run a comb through their hair before they left the house? And hey, maybe even wash it now and again? And when did pajama bottoms become appropriate outerwear? Sheesh. Ratted, tattered and clearly torn, they all looked and acted like zombies. Target zombies.
Maybe I didn’t want to be part of this club after all.
I picked up my supplies, checked out and was pleased that my little man slept silently through the ordeal (more than I can say for a lot of the other kids that were there). Turns out I didn’t need the four diapers, change of clothes, pacifier and umpteen million other things I packed in the diaper bag. Nonetheless, it seemed as though our maiden voyage was a success.
When I got home, I left the little man in his carrier as to not disturb his slumber. I went to the bathroom and caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror. I gasped at the horror of what I saw. I suddenly remembered I hadn’t showered that day. Or maybe even yesterday. Wait…did I shower yesterday? I most certainly hadn’t combed my hair. My teeth felt like they had sweaters on them. And my maternity yoga pants (which looked so cute with my 8 month baby belly) looked an awful lot like pajama bottoms hanging off my rubbery, flubbery middle section.
The realization hit me like the ton of onesies. I was one of them. Whether I liked it or not I was a part of the club. I even had the uniform down pat. I was a Target zombie.
Oh…and I forgot the A&D. And the itty bitty t-shirts.