I don't know if it was more traumatic for me, for Ezra, or for those shopping around us. If you were one of them, I apologize.
Due to a "situation" on Christmas Eve involving bail money - we needed to return most of the gifts that Mike and I bought for each other. Anyone who's been to any mall or shopping area the week after Christmas knows that everyone and their brother's mother are doing the very same thing.
I needed to go to Kohls, Target, Crate & Barrel, Macy's and Benny's. I had the entire trip planned out, and even planned for a stop for Ezra to eat and be changed. Of course at Kohl's there was a line for returns and Ezra slept right through it, thank goodness. Then I decided to look around for some work clothes and baby clothes because I had some gift certificates.
Ezra was not happy. He screamed and screamed and screamed. If you've met him, you know what I'm talking about. He doesn't have a cute newborn cry, he has a pissed-at-the-world scream. So we went into a fitting room and I changed his diaper. Of course he was happy as a clam looking at himself in the mirror.
He hates that car seat. I think I'm going to have to break out the Jeep stroller and try that out because he HATES being in that seat. The instant I put him back in he started up again. I tried pushing him around, swaying the stroller, shoving a pacifier in his mouth. Nothing worked. And of course I left my handy Ergo at home.
Target was much of the same. I thought he was better and I started to look for some things that I was going to exchange, and once I got to the back corner of the store - more screaming. You'd think I was carrying him around by his baby toe or something.
Lots of dirty looks while I raced to the front door and he screamed all the way out of the parking lot. I contemplated not taking him to the next stop, about 15 minutes away, but he was calm by the time we exited the parking lot and I figured he'd be fine once I fed him.
I should've skipped the next stop. We went to the Providence Place Mall. It was packed. It took me 30 minutes to find a parking space. Then we spent 45 minutes in the Nordstrom lounge eating and changing diapers. Of course the returns couldn't have gone easily.
Then I almost passed out because I was so hungry but the food court was absolutely packed as well. By the time I got my food, ate, and finished my returns it had been 2 1/2 hours. I wanted to go home. But I forgot to pay before I went out to the car, so I had to return and pay for parking.
Then when I attempted to back out of the parking spot, the cars all stopped moving. For about 45 minutes. As soon as we got into the car, Ezra started screaming bloody murder. Like gagging, coughing, red faced, screaming crying. I was stuck in a parking garage, in a car, with a screaming newborn.
I contemplated getting out and going back in the mall, but it was getting close to rush hour time and I didn't want to be stuck in the parking lot and then stuck in traffic on the highway. Plus, I wasn't sure that I could make Ezra happy by going back into the mall. He needed to be calmed by the moving car - but that wasn't happening. I called my mom in tears. My claustrophobia kicked in. I was on the verge of ramming cars and driving the wrong way down the entrance to get out. I figured we couldn't afford to bail me out of jail and fix the jeep, so I tried my hardest to stay calm.
Fortunately, I didn't reach my complete breaking point, and Ezra had a few 5 minute breaks between screaming sessions. I felt like a terrible mother. Who lets their baby scream like that?? I had to choose between stopping, getting out and possibly calming him for 5 minutes until we had to get back in the car, or trying to get out of there as fast as I could so he could sleep in the moving car.
The mall parking garage actually made the 6 o'clock news last night too. Apparently some people were stuck for up to 3 hours. I'm glad that I didn't stop, or I might still be stuck in that garage.
I drove straight home, frazzled, frustrated, and tired. Ezra ate and then was the best baby ever. He slept for a little bit and Mike came home and let me just lay on the couch and watch my favorite bad reality TV for a little bit.
Hopefully next time I can wait to do my returns until the season dies down a bit - and maybe I'll get a babysitter.