Dear Natalie: Week 4

Dear Natalie,

You and I went on our first solo outing this week to Joann’s for a few scrapbooking supplies.

Before you came along, I never would have classified that as a brave thing to do, but that’s exactly how it felt. It required careful preparation to make sure that you were well fed, in a clean diaper, and good and tired before we left. I eased you into your car seat, holding my breath as you squirmed and fussed a bit while I adjusted the straps. Much to my relief, you nodded off right away, and we headed out.

I didn’t bring a wrap or sling, since I was planning on putting your car seat in a cart once we got to the store. Excellent plan, except for the fact that the carts at Joann’s are not full-size – your car seat teetered on top of the cart, but wouldn’t fit inside.

Well, crud.

You and your seat together are heavy and rather unwieldy to carry, so I shuffled around the store as best I could, stopping frequently to set you down and give my arm a break. I grabbed the few things I had set out to get and was browsing the alphabet stickers when you woke up.

That was my five minute warning.

You started squirming, becoming more and more agitated by the minute – and so did I. I hustled to the checkout counter, rocking your car seat with my foot and juggling my purchases, wallet, and car keys. We booked it out of there and got you back in the car before the meltdown started.

It’s particularly heart-wrenching for me when you cry in the car. I shush and coo and make sympathetic noises, but there’s nothing I can actually do to make you feel better – just keep driving. You continued squalling until we got home, when I scooped you up, fed you, and made everything all better.

I know in the future we’ll have lots more adventures together, ones that reach further than the local craft store. But this one was a success, so I’ll take that win for now.

Love always,



  1. Dear Olivia: Week 4 | Happy Helmraths - August 5, 2015

    […] difference in perspective between that day and my first solo outing with your sister is, well, laughable. I was SO NERVOUS to go anywhere with her. Scared she’d cry (because […]

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