It still amazes me how different every little baby is. Before I had kids, I figured a baby was a baby was a baby. That there was no real difference from one baby to the next aside from small physical quirks. Oh, now naive was I!
The vast differences between my own two kids surprises and amazes me every single night. Where Toddler was a predictable sleeper, her little brother really isn't. What's this have to do with my car? Well...
For all his mellowness and contentedness, Little Hunter, as the French say, isn't doing his nights. When he was born, I bought him a co-sleeper. I figured with him sleeping at my side, I wouldn't have to get out of bed so often at night and I might, just might be a tad more rested to tackle a day with two kids. Plus, I figured getting to a crying baby quickly would reduce any disturbance to Hunter and Toddler.
That was a mistake. My nighttime Sinatra quickly realized it was nice in our bed and kicked up a giant fuss when we put him back into his co-sleeper. So, now the guy sleeps beside me and like clockwork every morning at 5 a.m., he gets up to sing. It's terribly cute to hear him but after a few nights in a row, it gets tired. I get tired.
Yesterday at about 4:30 in the afternoon, I realized I was missing a few crucial ingredients to dinner. So I piled the kids into the car and we headed down to Safeway. Toddler decided to wear her complete snow suit to the store. Half-way through our expedition, she decided to take it all off in the middle of the store: mittens, scarf, coat, snowpants, boots and all. We Love & Logic-ed our way out of that one and finished up our list. On the way out, it occurred to me that I was pretty tired and that Hallelujah, I could be in bed in three hours. I could muscle through three hours.
I pushed the cart, kids and groceries out of the store and up to the mud-splattered grey car that, in my mind, had a funny license plate. I opened the back door and thought to myself, "oh, how sweet of Hunter to clean out the back of my car. He must have known that was on my to do list." Then I started packing in my groceries. I directed Toddler to open her door and climb in her car seat and set about arranging the bottle of wine I bought so it wouldn't crash around in the back.
That's when Toddler uttered the most horrifying words I've heard her say in weeks, "Mommy, where's my seat?"
"Oh my goodness, this isn't my car!!!" I hollered back to her. Probably too loudly. Feigning calm, I asked Toddler to get out and close the door. I quickly put my groceries back into the cart and hustled off to my own car, which was parked an aisle away.
So, to the owner of the late-model Grey Honda CR-V parked at Safeway yesterday, I'm sorry. Kudos to you though for keeping such a nice clean car. I don't know how you do it. Mine looks like a bomb went off inside of it. Your car even smells lovely. Mine smells like kids.
Sorry again. I won't blame you if you start locking your car.