Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Practice Makes Perfect

Practice makes perfect: this is a phrase that you'll probably hear me say often. I apologize in advance if it gets annoying, but unfortunately for you, your mommy is a ballerina at heart. Not only that, but I've made a career for myself in neurorehab, which is all about motor learning. Basically, if you ever complain that something is hard, you're doomed to hear same response: just practice it. This will be true for doing homework, riding a bike, and learning an instrument, but it's also true when it comes to tasks that are emotionally or mentally difficult. They get easier with time and effort.

Leaving the house was particularly difficult when you were a newborn. For starters, we have the kind of carrier that snaps into a carseat or a stroller, and I wasn't allowed to lift said carrier while you were in it initially. I tried once when you were about four weeks old, and it made my incision hurt so I stopped. A little later, I tried again and it wasn't so bad, but then it hurt as soon as I got to the stairs. When you were about five and a half weeks old, I discovered that I could do it pain-free. And just like that, we were no longer under house arrest!

The only problem was that I was completely intimidated by the thought of leaving the house alone. Simply the logistics involved are totally overwhelming! I saw other moms do it with ease, and figured that they just must have gotten the hang of it over time. I assumed I would eventually, as well, and decided to make it Future Mommy's problem. I quickly abandoned my procrastination when I looked at a calendar. We had planned to attend your Auntie Jessica's wedding the first weekend of February...in Florida! Suddenly, I realized we were working against a deadline. If we were going to go out of town, we needed to be able to conquer the grocery store first.

So we started to practice. Our first move was to take your Auntie Sara to the store with us. This way, I could use the ErgoBaby for the first time and have someone there to spot me just in case.

I brought your daddy's giant manly backpack diaper bag so we would have been prepared for the zombie apocalypse should it have hit us. Overall, our mission was successful. I was glad to have another person there, but mostly because it assured me that I could do it without them too. I also learned that one of the inconveniences of taking a new baby out into the world is the amount of stuff required! I started brainstorming ways to make this process more efficient.

Behold: the solution.

{via Skip*Hop}

This thing is smaller than an iPad, and it has a pocket for diapers, a container for wipes, and a little fold-out thingie that turns into a changing station. It fits in most of my purses and instantly turns them into diaper bags. Then, depending on how long we're going to be out for, I can also pack burp cloths, a change of clothes, etc. I know it's not much, but it made me feel a little more put together than I do with the giant backpack without leaving me unprepared.

Our next mission was to go shopping. After all, I had a wedding to go to and I had nothing to wear! I loaded up my "diaper bag," and we set out during one of your nap times. The result? You slept through the whole thing.

You were such an angel, I decided to try and push it. After all, practice isn't supposed to be easy! We went to a couple more stores just to run out the clock until naptime was over. When you started to stir, I took you into Trader Joe's and changed you in their bathroom. First public diaper change yay! You started to fall asleep again, and I figured we could make it home before feeding time. But that would be easy, and this was practice time. So, we got in the car and you had lunch.

First public feeding yay! Okay, maybe it doesn't count as a public feeding if it's inside the car with a nursing cover, but hey we were out of my comfort zone so I called it a win.

We headed home, and suddenly you were wide awake. I was concerned that you'd be fussy, given the amount of stimulation you must have had up until that point, but this was the look on your face:

We had survived. And then haircuts and doctor's appointments didn't seem like such a hassle to go to. Walking around the neighborhood was something I looked forward to, rather than dreaded. Everything got easier because we practiced.


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  2. Um yeah you grew up a tad with that saying too...not just dance but piano, etc etc etc. Yup pushing yourself a bit, climbing back on the horse you fell off of, all good stuff as long as not overboard enough to cause stress but sucess!