Driving Miss Baby

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With my husband and family returning to their usual schedules and obligations last week, I was left primarily to fend for myself with an angelic to fussy to will-the-crying-every-stop newborn girl. (Give it up for single parents. How do you do it?) So the week included many firsts for me since I delivered Little D that I consider serious gold stars on my new mommy board, including driving miss baby...solo. Up until last Wednesday, I had ridden in the back of the car with D as my husband drove, or I drove with someone else in the car who kept D occupied (translation: kept her from crying). You see, I'm simply not big on cars. Until I reached my third trimester, I actually took the metro to work. And outside of work, I left driving to everyone else. So, when I had to drive miss baby D to a doctor's appointment on Wednesday on my own, it was a big deal. I'm not alone in considering this a big milestone, am I, parents? Did I have everything I needed to venture out into the big unknown of solo baby driving? • BABY ON BOARD sign for car. Check. • Baby mirror to see D in rear-view mirror. Check. • Rockabye CDs loaded in player. Check. (She is so addicted to the Foo Fighters lullabies BTW.) • Window shades. Check. • Emergency hospital pacifier. Check. • Obsessive, nervous mommy. Check, check, check. I actually got D out of the house in record time, but, man, carrying an almost 12-lb baby in a bulky car seat to the car (it's summer, we leave the seat in air-conditioned home) ain't easy. I clicked her safely in the seat base, got in the driver's seat, turned on the engine and took a deep breath. I looked in my mirror and could see D in hers and said, "Here we go, baby girl." I think she kind of smiled back. The sound of mommy's voice can do that even when baby isn't looking. And then we were off... I talked her through every minute of the car ride and she contently sat through the trip without even a frown. Maybe she liked riding solo in the back seat? (Note to self.) In the end, the 15-minute car drive to the doctor's office was the least stressful part of the trip. (Hello, is the doctor's office fun at any age?) And you know the nice revelation on the way back as we got onto the freeway ramp to return home? Car + baby + parent = carpool access. Yeah, baby... Teena

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