We have all experienced it as parents: The anxiety. The panic mode. Endless to-go box dinners. Shopping disasters. Diaper blowouts in public. Projectile vomiting on the outfit you just bought for date night. Babies are ticking time bombs. Period.
Last night was a prime example of our ticking time bomb story. My husband and I live in Nashville, but we go to Franklin (a suburb of Nashville) quite often for groceries or for shopping (It’s about a twenty minute car ride.) Well, we decided that we were going to make a trip to Costco and stock up on groceries for awhile, with our twelve week old monster in tow. Before we even left the house, (we were literally getting ready to walk out the door) Monster decided to poop. Well, after a big poop, he decided he was starving. So once again, before we left, he started wailing. Eating his hand. Just plain starving (Even though he ate right before that.) He decided he just wanted to eat at the exact time that we wanted to leave. His timing is impeccable. My husband made him a bottle, and I fed him in his car seat on the way. Long gone are the days of riding shotgun holding my husband’s hand while we go somewhere.
We stop by to see some of our friends before we make the trip to Costco. Monster was sweet and cuddly. Alert and smiling. We leave after about an hour and head to the store. About two minutes away from the store, he starts screaming. Like a banshee. I get out a bottle and start feeding him. He eats a little. Then screams. Pushed the bottle out of his mouth. We sit in the parking lot for about thirty minutes trying to calm Monster. I even get him out, cuddle him. Nothing. He hates us. The screaming gets louder. We put him back in his car seat and drive, hoping and praying that the driving will calm him to sleep. He screams louder. We stop in another parking lot, my husband gets him out and starts rocking him in his car seat. He was good for about a minute. Then he screams again. I change his diaper. Nothing. Take his hat off. He’s still mad. So, we decide to go into the store despite his crying and hope that some new sights will calm him down. I put him on the cart, and he stops crying. Are you freaking serious?! It worked. He talks to me and smiles for about an hour into the shopping adventure. And then we hear it. The grunting. The little whimper. The little tick before the bomb goes off. Please no! I think to myself. We still have so many more groceries to get.
Monster completely loses his mind. In this moment, I am entirely grateful that we aren’t in a library, but nonetheless panic mode ensues. I get him out of his car seat and hold him against me. Nothing. The screams start again. I face him outward and bounce him. He finally stops crying for about twenty minutes. At this point, my arm is like Jell-o. My husband said he would hold him. Big mistake there, Papa Bear. (Monster is quite the Momma’s boy) The bomb once again starts ticking, so I quickly grab him again with my almost lifeless, numb arm. In less than two minutes, he passes out against my chest. Finally, we get to the check-out. And wouldn’t you know that my husband’s debit card doesn’t work. With Jax asleep in my arms, I start to hear the little tick of the bomb again. And I know that in about thirty more minutes he will be hungry. I sit him in his car seat. He sleeps about five minutes this way, and then wakes again. Pissed. Completely pissed at the world. I grab an empty cart, put him and his carseat on top and run like hell to the car, leaving my husband to sort out the debit card situation.
I get to the car, make a bottle. He eats a little and screams. I get him out. Cradle him. Pissed. I turn up the radio. Pissed. (I know he likes country music, but not in this moment…Sorry Keith Urban, blue was not his favorite color) I try to feed him again. Pissed. Finally, after trying everything possible to soothe him, I come to terms with the fact that he is just overtired; my husband comes out, and we drive home.
He screamed. The ENTIRE drive home. Fighting sleep. Twenty minutes of torture to our ears. I get home, make him a warm cereal bottle, put him in his swing. He gone.
A ticking time bomb. That’s what parenthood is truly like with a baby. A child. A toddler. A teenager. It never ends. You better be ready for the explosion because more often than not, it gets messy.