Can you tell we went for an outing today with the stroller? It was hovering around freezing and mostly sunny so I figured I’d treat the kids to a walk to a park we hadn’t yet visited. I asked Helen if she wanted to go on Mama’s back or in the stroller. She indicated stroller and I was happy because I thought carrying her around on my back was somewhat cumbersome, and even more so when I also had to carry the diaper bag because I was without sweet hubby Travis.
Oh, things started well enough– I got Helen all bundled up in her Sorel snow boots, her fleece jacket, her balaclava, her 2 pairs of mittens and then, the cutest little snowsuit ever. I bought her this adorable snowsuit from Hanna Andersson a few weeks ago when I realized that her snow bibs are really big on her and her parka wasn’t really cut out for this level of coldness. When it arrived the other day she put it on and then I couldn’t get her out of it. So I did what every good mother does in such a situation: I made the bigger kids get dressed too and sent them all out to play in the cold.
So! She’s in her snowsuit that she loves. She’s in the stroller, which she requested. We set out, all happy and all that.
That lasted about 15 minutes, which didn’t even get us close to the park, because I had mistakenly taken the wrong gate out of the compound, and so we had to walk way out of our way to get going the right direction.
Then she started crying. Then she was really crying, and also trying to get her mittens off. Then she was signing that she wanted to eat.
I took off her mittens so she could eat one of those pouches they make for babies. They’re all organic, so you know they must be very healthy. (actually, they are life savers in many situations, but I was feeling a little pissy at this point. Sorry it’s showing.)
After a few minutes her hands were frozen and she was crying again. I pulled over, asked her to please not cry sweet baby because it’s cold and your tears might freeze on your face. (later I thought about it and realized that tears have salt in them, so maybe they don’t freeze at 32? And then I thought wow, how cool is God that he made it so we could cry and not have our eyes frozen shut? Especially because when it is really cold with a bitter wind and your baby is crying all you want is to sit down and cry yourself.)
But I didn’t cry. I braved on. We were going to make it to the park, no matter what. And really, turning around at this point didn’t make sense because we were getting close to where I thought the park was. And I figured if she could run around a little, and nurse, then she would return to her happy self and we would be fine on the way home.
We finally made it to the park. She wanted to swing; we swung. (is that the correct word?) She wanted to slide and she did. She had a blast. She watched the fat pigeons pecking at ice. Then we nursed (quite a feat let me tell you, when I’m in a parka, she’s in a snowsuit and it’s about 32. Then she fell asleep. While she was nursing I told her it would be great if she could fall asleep because I would put her in the stroller and she could sleep. She didn’t like the stroller part of my sentence, but went to sleep anyway.
Then I put her in the stroller. She woke up. Of course! And she screamed. Of course! I understand all that, but then she didn’t stop. For over 20 minutes of me walking as fast as possible down the streets in Moscow.
And then she determined that the source of all her troubles was her mittens. So she started furiously waving her arm trying to get them off. From a distance she looked like she was waving to people. So they would smile at her. But then they were close enough to hear her. Screaming, red-faced. Then they looked at me. I don’t know what they were really thinking, but it looked like what a horrible mother you are. Don’t you see her crying?
She was finally successful in getting off her over-mitten. It went soaring off to the side of the road, where big brother retrieved it. Then she decided to try the same technique with her boot. But only her right one. So, there she was, kicking her leg up and down to get off the only protection against the cold for her sweet little baby toes. She got it off 3 times and I put the boot back on 3 times before she went back to just screaming. Until about 2 minutes from the embassy when she fell asleep.
Oh, but wait, this post wasn’t about my day today.
It’s about this fabulous new coat of mine that I will be wearing from now on when I go out with Helen. Because Helen being grumpy for a couple of minutes while I get her situated on my back is a small price for the freedom of simply walking where I want, when I want. Even if I have to figure how to carry the diaper bag without the aid of a stroller.
And I haven’t even told you all about how how it is impossible to cross under some of the roads here with my stroller.
Breathe, Sarah, Breathe.
The coat is a Suse’s Deluxe KinderCoat and it’s pricey. But it is a parka and a fleece that snap together. So you can use one or the other, or both. And you can use it with or without baby, and without baby it really looks like a normal parka. And with baby, well, you get to surprise everyone you pass on the street and listen to a stream of coos as they realize you have a baby in there.
And you don’t have to dress the baby super warmly. Just regular clothes. Because they don’t lose body heat- you are sharing body heat between you. Which means when you walk around town super fast because it’s super cold or you really just need to get home so you can pee because the potties are… well, I just try not to use them at most places…. you actually make the baby warmer.
In fact, most times I have her in the KinderCoat we are sweaty when I take her out of it.
|Where’s the Baby?|
|There’s the Baby!!|
|Oh, and I didn’t even mention how I simply can’t imagine riding the metro with a stroller. There are NO elevators, people. But here we are, riding the escalator easy-peasy.|
Oh, and when she’s super cranky and tired? She buries her head into the warmth of my back and sleeps peacefully.