Firsts, Firsts and More Firsts


Doing something for the first time makes me nervous; anxious, really.

About two years ago just after my youngest son was born I went to Target for the first time by myself with both boys. I had a 2 1/2 year old boy and a 2 month old. By myself. In Target.

That may or may not sound scary to you but to me it was terrifying. Little boys who are 2 1/2 like to run around in places like Target. This is why I had always securely buckled my little tot into the front of the cart (and allowed to eat popcorn while I shopped.) But now the baby carrier was in the front of the cart. Where was my 2-year-old going to go? I tried letting him sit in the basket portion of the cart but he only stood and tried to climb out. So … I put the baby carrier in the basket and securely buckled my 2-year-old in the front (where he ate popcorn while I shopped.)

The baby being in the basket portion, though, meant I now had nowhere to put the groceries. For several months, when shopping alone with my boys, I could only buy as much as I could fit on the bottom rack.

By now of course, shopping with both kids is “normal,” but at the time it was new and I was unsure of how to handle it.

A few weeks ago I felt just like I did on that first shopping trip when I flew on an airplane with both boys. I about had a nervous breakdown on the way to the airport and had to call the hubby for some last minute reassurance that I could do it. We made it fine, of course, but not without our rough moments. It’s not so easy to check luggage, go through security and install car seats on airplanes while your kids “run free.”

And tonight I did it again. It, that is, experienced a new first, alone with my boys. We went to a movie. You’re thinking, “A movie? What’s so stressful about taking kids to a movie?” Well, for one carrying the tub of popcorn and gallon of drink into the theatre takes two hands, leaving me no hands to hold onto the kids. So I was directing them with my voice and kind of corralling them with my body. I was afraid my older son would need to potty during the movie, meaning all of us had to get up and venture to the bathroom, or that my youngest would not sit or would be loud or both and we’d have to leave the theatre altogether.

Fortunately, none of those things happened and it actually was pretty enjoyable. The best realization I get out of these nerve-racking firsts is that there is hope, and, if I’m lucky, they’re spaced out enough that I don’t remember how bad they really were and will be fooled into trying other “firsts.”

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