Brenna and I spent the day together yesterday hanging out at the mall. She had been quarantined from the babies the two previous days on account of having strep throat. We sent her to stay with my mom for one day and then my grandma the next day. It's like we were told she had leprosy. We immediately sent her off to the leper colony (aka Nanny's and great-grandma's house) so she would not contaminate the babies. Fortunately for her, she really enjoys the leper colony. When she got back home, I decided to spend some time with her so off we went to the mall while Nanny watched the babies.
I have already told you all how I see things differently now and don't take anything, even breathing, for granted, but my new views on how the world works don't stop there. Take an ordinary shopping trip to the mall for example and here is what you get.
Cade has outgrown all of his sleepers, so we were on a hunt for new ones. I wanted to find the kind with the snaps because those make it easier to feed him with the g-tube without having to completely undress him. I was having a hard time finding that type in his size which is, by the way, 12-18 months now! I finally found one, but I instantly put it back. It had little police cars, fire trucks, and ambulance vehicles on it. Almost immediately, I hung it back on the rack as if it were burning my hand. "I will not be dressing him in that," I said to myself. That was a sure-fire way to tempt fate. Sure enough, as soon as I would put that on him, some emergency would arise, and there he would be in his prophetic sleeper riding in an ambulance. The paramedics would comment, "Oh he got dressed up for the occassion." I would sit there feeling guilty for dressing my son so irresponsibly. Why would any parent want to put their child in a sleeper with such dooming signs of emergency and danger? They may as well make a sleeper with cartoonish figures of ventilators, IVs, syringes, and feeding tubes in cute, pastel colors. I'm sure those would be big sellers!
On our way to the food court, Brenna asked to ride one of the kiddie rides. I got some change and let her ride. Fotunately, Bath and Body Works is located right next to the kiddie rides. We went in there to wash our hands to remove all the kiddie ride germs. Their sink is lined with an array of anti-bacterial soaps in every color and every scent. We were in anti-bacterial heaven and oh, how sweet it smelled! Could this really be the highlight of our shopping trip - trying out the various soaps and anti-bacterial hand gels?
Now we were ready for lunch. We got our Chick-fil-a nuggets and had a seat. Just a few tables down, I couldn't help but notice, a lady with a double stroller parked next to her table. Her twins looked to be about 9 months old (actual - not the 9 month olds who were really like 5 month olds like ours). She was feeding them from a little jar of baby food. I watched in amazement at how their little mouths just flew open like the beaks of baby birds at the first sight of food, their mouths popping open at every spoonful so obligingly. Their perfectly synchronized tango of eating continued, this one takes a bite, that one takes a bite, this one takes a bite, that one takes a bite, and so on and son on, until the food in the little jar vanished as if by magic. Oh, so that is how it is supposed to work! I held back the urge to yell across the food court, "Lady, you don't know how easy you have it." (On the same token, I once was seated across from a mom with quintuplets at a Chick-fil-a. I'm sure she would have liked to yell the same thing at me.)
As I people watched, I noticed lots of babies in strollers. Some looked to be only about a month old. Not one of these babies was covered. Didn't these parents know we were in the middle of RSV season? They strolled about willy-nilly to the dangers lurking around them. "Look at all these irresponsible parents," I said to myself. Of course, I realized I am the anomaly, the germ-freak, overprotective mother, but I have earned that title and I carry it proudly.
One day I hope to go to the mall pushing my double stroller with my daughter trotting alongside. We won't see danger looming in unsuspecting sleepers or run to "anti-bacterial heaven" after riding a kiddie ride. We won't spend our entire lunch staring at a woman feeding her babies or think badly of parents strolling their infants uncovered. We will simply enjoy our outing - one day!