We went to Babies R Us the other night…and unintentionally broke our daughter’s heart. (Side note: do any of you remember when I completely crushed and traumatized my son a few Christmas’ ago? Oi!)
We only went to hand over our expired infant car seat. Whether we replace it there or not is immaterial. Just knowing it isn’t sitting in my basement or a landfill is enough for me. Really, though, we had no other drive to go. This is our third baby. There are no baby showers or excited inquirers requesting a registration. Amazon allows me to quickly peruse my options for the things we need to buy or replace. This world isn’t new to us. No. There’s been no reason to spend hours scouring the aisles of a baby store like we did with our first.
It’s a very different, albeit just as beautiful, experience welcoming a third child into the world.
We intended to go straight to Babies R Us. It was our priority. However, an emergency preschool potty break had us making our Target run first. Then we had another emergency potty break after leaving Target. At that point, we decided supper was a great idea to keep everyone going. So at bedtime, we finally made it to our originally intended destination.
Throughout the evening, Miss Harper kept asking us where we were going. “Babies R Us,” I told her. “It’s a place where you get things for babies.”
Harper’s face lit up hopefully. “Baby...store?” she said. “Yes!” I replied, proud that her still limited but growing speech put the two words together. “The baby store!”
Her excitement didn’t surprise me. This girl is obsessed with everything baby. She speaks to, hugs, and kisses my stomach; tries to shove food in my belly button; and pokes my stomach before seriously ordering Moglett to, “Go!” I’m pretty sure she is going to be my little mama. When she repeatedly asked throughout the evening when we were going to the "baby store," I didn't think much of it.
The baby store ended up being a good time. We picked out an outfit for coming home from the hospital. Harper and Matt test drove carseat/stroller combinations. We even took time to see if the small selection of bassinets had anything that would work well for putting Moglett in our bedroom for those first few months (SIDs reduction, suggestion #4). It's that or new beds for the older kids so we can swipe the crib/toddler bed from Harper...while fulfilling our year old promise to get Jake bunk beds.
After an hour, we bought the going home outfit and a small hat. We wheeled both exhausted kids out of the store in a shopping cart. As we pulled up to the car, Harper started crying. Her sadness was palpable. It was more than being out past bedtime.
“What’s wrong, Harper?” I asked.
She looked up at me with sad, tear-filled eyes and a quivering lower lip. “Baby?” she asked, pointing at the store.
My eyes flew wide as they met Matt’s and all the details rushed clearly together. “Matt,” I said almost frantically. “The baby store. She thought we came to the baby store to get the baby!”
That little girl had spent the last five hours excitedly anticipating the arrival of a new baby. Her barely controlled excitement and wiggles made so much more sense. She wasn’t excited about bottles, clothes, and baby toys. She was excited about a baby!
We soothed her as best we could as we got her out of the cold wind and into the car. I heard Matt reminding her that the baby will arrive at the hospital. She sniffled. We could see her trying to be brave and pull herself together. Throughout the drive home, she randomly cried tears of sadness while asking if we could go to the doctor instead of home.
Oh, my mama heart.
The next morning she came in bright and early to wake me up. “Doctor?” she asked before anything else.
Sweet, beautiful girl. I love you and your anticipation so very much. That you thought we were going to the store to pick up the baby was adorable and honestly preferable to pushing one out of me. I’m sorry we misunderstood and broke your heart a little bit.
I promise the extra little bit of wait will be worth it.