Thursday, September 27, 2012

Baby Power!!

Happenings
Today Mark asked me to do a simple task for him -- go to the IRS office in Montpelier and drop off our tax payment. "OK," I thought, "this should be easy." Mark interjected some other instructions and said that I should have everything I need in terms of paperwork. "Not to worry," I said, "I should be fine, and I have baby power if anyone gives me any trouble."

Baby power is amazing. When E grows up, I'm not sure what I'll do without it. Everyone is nice to me all the time, smiling at the baby, cooing at her. Meanwhile, I could be robbing the grocery store, and no one would notice or care. If I don't have proper paperwork when I go somewhere, it's "no big deal" as the workers grin at E. If I'm late for an event, the baby obviously delayed me, which is "totally fine." Doors are opened for me, aisles clear at the supermarket. You get the picture.

I got to Montpelier and parked on the street. As usual, I got out of the car, and E's adoring public gathered. Three elderly women stopped as I pulled E out of her carseat. "Oh, what a beautiful baby you have... and look at those eyes. She is sooo cute," one said. As if on cue, E waved and smiled, and a soft round of "awwws" erupted from the women and passersby.

I looked in my purse as I bundled E up in my arms. My wallet wasn't in there. "That's strange," I thought. Then I remembered, E has been on a purse-raiding spree lately. As soon as we get in the door at home, I drop my purse on the floor, put E down, and she crawls as fast as she can to it and pulls my wallet out. It has a little, irresistible, lime-green zipper pull on it. I realized she must have taken my wallet out, and in my rush to get out the door, I had scooped up my purse not noticing it was missing.

"Oh well," I told E, "I doubt I'll need my wallet. Besides, we have baby power!" I walked to the crosswalk watching the busy street, prepared to wait awhile for a break in the late-afternoon traffic. Prior to having a baby, my passive waiting stance and non-curve-accentuating clothing rarely stopped traffic, even when I was waiting expectantly at the crosswalk. But, behold, the power of baby! Traffic came to a complete halt before I even got to the corner. I crossed quickly, and halfway across the street, I held E's hand up in triumph and whispered, "Baby power!!" in her ear. She giggled at my excitement.

I walked through the large glass door into an extremely sterile, cold, and unfriendly environment. Behind me, now on the other side of the glass, was the glow of late-fall in Vermont, reflecting orange foliage, birds singing, bees buzzing, old ladies giggling at my girl.

Now I was face to face with a very solemn-looking guard in full uniform. And the first thing he said to me was, "ID?"

"Um... what do you mean?" I choked.
"Ma'am, we need to see a photo ID to let you in the building."
"What? I, um," I stuttered innocently, "I don't have my ID."
He just shook his head "no."

Okay, baby power... come on.

"Sir, you see..." (nervous laugh) "my baby has been taking my wallet out of my purse. It's really quite cute, but I didn't realize until I got here that she had taken it out, and now I'm in Montpelier and can't go all the way back home for my wallet... and..."

"Ma'am. I'm sorry," he said with finality.

I glanced at his guard partner on the other side of the door. He just looked at me sympathetically over his bi-focals.

What? ... But? ... No baby power...? Apparently government officials are immune to the effects of E's smile.

I went out to the car to call Mark and admit my defeat. The payment had to be in today, so he had to leave work and drive to Montpelier, get the paperwork from me and, using his ID, go inside to leave it off. E and I were left to wait while he was on his way. By this point, I was downright pissed off! I was mad at Mark for putting me in charge of a task I was obviously incapable of doing with a baby (irrational anger, I know). I was mad that I hadn't gotten a chance to eat lunch, that I brought E out at her nap time, and she was not getting a nap in, meaning cranky baby later who I would have to deal with.

After 3 walks around the capital building, I was even more exhausted and angry. Mark showed up, and though we were civil to each other, we were both mad. He went in the building to pay the bill while I took E off to the toy shop.

It was at that point that she decided she was done with the stroller and started wailing. I picked her up and carried her an entire block in my arms while pushing her stroller. Ugh. Luckily, she loved the wall of stuffed animals at the toy store and cooed happily at them until I got a text message from Mark telling me he was done with the payment, and I walked her back to the car where we met up.

He was upset, feeling guilty for putting me through this task and 2-hour wait with a baby and for having to leave work in the middle of the day unexpectedly which meant working late into the evening tonight. Then E chose this moment of angry parents colliding to fill her diaper, to the brim.

I had to do another back-seat diaper change (2 in one week!), arms flailing, feet hitting me in the face. She always manages to escape down onto the floor behind the passenger seat, and without fail, poop ends up somewhere it shouldn't be -- like my sweatshirt! Ugh.

I finally picked her up and lifted her out of the car to go around to the other side and put her in her car seat. Mark was standing in front of her door. When she saw him so close to her, she yelled, "Da-da!!!" and lunged for him, almost knocking me over. Instead of leaping into his arms, though, she grabbed his shirt and pulled him close to us. She grabbed onto my shirt too and pulled me closer. Mark and I crashed into each other with her in the middle. I slipped my arm around his waist, and snuggled my family. We looked up at each other and smiled.

Baby power...

Quote of the Day
Me: (cough) (cough)
E: (hysterical laughter)

Listening To
Stand By Me, Otis Redding version

Weather in VT
Sunny, cool, perfect!

4 comments:

KJ Gifford said...

I bet this was harder to live through and to read about. It sounds like my life only substitute two pugs for E. This was hysterical and touching at the same time!

Gretchin said...

Aww, thanks!! E keeps trying to get into the garbage this week... Sound familiar? Haha! Love you!

Molley Mills said...

WHy do they think it's easier for us to do these things with babies in tow... It's just NOT!
Thanks for hooking up to the Hump Day Hook UP

Rabia Lieber said...

I miss "baby power." My kids are still cute, but they just don't get me as far as they used to! We do get free cheese at the grocery store, though!