Last night T Rex Dad and I ventured into the "real world" for a family outing - one of our very first since we became a family of three. Where did we go? Well, no where spectacular - just our local mall. We live in a small city so our mall is not very large and it is relatively family friendly.
Both T Rex Dad and I needed various items from several stores so we decided to divide and conquer and then meet back together for " play time" and dinner. "Play time" is getting on and off the ride-on toys and collecting change from the change machine. (T Rex won't actually ride anything but prefers to just climb on and around them.)
During our outing, we encountered other parents with their children. It made us reflect on parenthood and how we really do feel like we belong to a secret club. Oh, how different life has become since we joined this club.
I carried Little Girl in the sling and T Rex rode in his stroller with T Rex Dad. During our shopping I encountered another baby wearing mom. We only passed each other as we walked but there was a glance exchanged between the two of us - like there was this unspoken connection. It was as if we could read each other's mind - "Ahh, you're a baby wearing mom, too - isn't it wonderful? Okay, keep moving so the baby doesn't wake up. Get what you need and move on..."
Before we had our kids I was admittedly critical of my friends who scheduled their lives around nap time and bed time. I used to think, "Come on, who rules your lives?" or "Get a sitter already." I have now come full circle. Life stands still from 12:30 to 3:00 in our household as that is precious nap time. The phone is turned off, the door bell is turned off, the dogs are locked up...kids sleep and I study. Last night, we packed T Rex's pajamas so he was all ready for bed in case he fell asleep in the car - don't want to disturb the bedtime routine.
One of the items on my to do list for our mall trip was to exchange some clothing items for larger sizes. They were gifts for Little Girl and she has way too much small clothes and not enough larger clothes. Before kids I used to always purchase tiny clothes as gifts. Now I know it's better to purchase one small item and then something in a bigger size, ALWAYS including a gift receipt if needed for exchange. I have also learned that kids sizes are often not accurate. I used to buy size 12 month if the child was 12 months. This was NEVER accurate sizing for T Rex. So, now I purchase one size larger. I am certain my friends who received these gifts from me before I had kids of my own just shook their heads and said, "She doesn't know better."
Pre-kids I used to be so annoyed by my child-raising friends who would talk all about kids when we'd go out to lunch. Having kids now, I find that's my favorite topic of discussion and I often have to remind myself not everyone is as into my kids or kids in general like I am. Speaking of which, here are some photos...
To all my child-raising friends who had to deal with me before kids, accept my apologies for being judgmental or purchasing non-useful gifts. I understand you better and know you understand me all too well.