There is a rule at our house, much like in baseball, there is no crying at Target. It is a magical, wonderful place and no one should be sad there. Well, this time of year 2 years ago I completely broke that rule.
Let me back up for some reference. Grant was born in September, came home the end of October and then we were home. All day every day at home. I LOVED it. I love being home and I LOVED caring for and figuring out our new life with our little man. But because he was a preemie we were under strict caution to not be out and about, especially in the winter time. His immune system had not developed the way other full term babies had and the risk for a cold, infection and RSV (to name a few) was HUGE. Not many people are prepared to have preemies but with that comes the unknown of all the things to be cautious for. When he was that little, there were constantly things to think about, caution about and honestly, be terrified of. So while it seems simple and almost silly, leaving the house was a BIG (and scary) deal.
Once we felt a little more comfortable we would run errands on the weekends as a family and one person would run in the store and the other stayed in the car. Other than that we were at home and didn’t budge. (I would escape to the gym when Blake got home from work most days and that helped a ton.)
So a few days before Christmas in all of my new mom/maternity leave delirium I decided we would go to Target. Again, I was delirious and almost oblivious to that fact it was Christmas time. We had a Milk Snob cover we kept over his car seat to go to the doctor and a sign on his car seat that said something like ‘I’m a preemie, your germs are too big for me, please no touching'. I thought ‘okay, we will just go for a few minutes to get out of the house, I will keep him covered, wipe down the cart and we will be in and out.’ I gave myself a pep talk, got everything gathered and we drove to Target. Once we got through the traffic (it was still not clicking with me that pre Christmas chaos that was happening) and parked it finally dawned on me. And to say I lost it was an understatement. There were a million people there and it was straight up insane. I KNEW I could not take him into Target. The germs were multiplied times a million with that many people and it just wouldn’t be safe or smart.
I felt so defeated and sad and mad at myself for thinking this was a good idea. I called Blake and just lost it on the phone to him. I couldn’t do a simple task, like go to Target (my most favorite thing to do) and it just really crushed me. When I would venture to Target on my own I would see other moms with their babies and be SO JEALOUS. Admittedly, this was not my finest hour or reflection of my character but it was the one thing I wanted to do most with my baby and I couldn’t.
I would NEVER want to change our story but there are just so many unknowns when having a preemie that you don’t even know will come up and when they did/do sometimes it is such a shock.
Funnily enough, Target is now Grant’s most favorite place to go. It could be because he gets a muffin and juice from Starbucks every time ;). He asks to go almost every day and often says, ‘I like Target!.’ Me too buddy and the fact that we can now go together makes me SO happy. (Don’t worry, I still wipe the cart down like a crazy person.)