...Or at least, the scariest day since bringing Monica home from the hospital:
Yes, that is The Grub sitting in the big kid seat in a shopping cart. Note the look of mild disgust and the fact that she isn't touching anything with her hands....settle down, Grub, I wiped the entire cart down with sanitizing wipes!
Normally, the central factor of any shopping trip is the Grub's car seat, which I place in the basket of the cart. She stays strapped in and I can shop without worry. Purchases are limited to the amount of items that I am able to strategically stack around the car seat without risking a landslide.
BUT..as you can see, today was not a normal shopping day as we were buying a BABY SUPERYARD!
JK and I talk daily about babyproofing. Or at least, I say a bunch of words (we should do xxx, we need to move xxx, she's going to start getting into xxx), and he feigns listening and nods at the appropriate moments. Then we each go about our business and pretend that Monica isn't just moments away from full blown crawling.
Unfortunately, those days are over. Monica is rolling and trying to crawl EVERYWHERE. JK and I are already tired of jumping off the couch and chasing after her every time she ventures off of the area rug and onto the hardwood floor.
An acquaintance had posted a picture of a baby superyard on Facebook with the caption "Superyards: great for keeping kids in and dogs out!" We already have one of the add-on pieces that we use as a dog gate, and they are lightweight and snap together easily, so we figured we would give it a try.
What we did not think about is the size of the box for an entire superyard.
Monica and I packed ourselves up and headed out. When we arrived at Babies R Us, it was raining and all the carts in the parking lot were wet, so I took Monica out of her carseat and carried her into the store. When I found the gate section and saw the size of the box for the superyard, I was stumped - this was not a small thing that I could carry in one hand while balancing her on my opposite hip.
Silently cursing at myself for not waiting for JK to get done work, I went and found a dry cart. I thought I was keeping my cool, but I must have looked distressed, since a nice woman came over and offered me some sanitizing wipes. She must have overheard me explaining to Monica that we were going to use the "big kid seat" for the first time. The Grub might be big for her age, but it's only been about two weeks that she is able to sit unassisted, and I wasn't sure how she would do once we were in motion.
While Monica was perfectly fine sitting up in the seat with the safety belt on, she was a little wobbly once we got rolling. Then she started fidgeting. And leaning. And whining. I basically ended up walking the cart by pushing it with my body while I had my hands on her waist so she didn't rock back and forth like a little bobble head. Oh, and let's not forget the one pinky finger stabilizing the superyard which was balanced on the top of the cart. I wish I had a picture of that, but our fellow shoppers were steering clear of us and our precarious arrangement, so I didn't get to ask anyone to partake in a photo shoot.
She settled down once I let her gnaw on a cardboard package of bibs (yes, we did buy them!). Somehow we actually made it through the store and the checkout line without incident. I even declined the offered help getting everything taken out to the car - I had made it so far on my own, I could handle the last stretch!
We made it home and JK set up the superyard while Monica took a nap. She woke up to a very fun surprise!
Here it is! Our baby superyard with a cute little Grub saying, "Well, Daddy, aren't you coming in here to play with me???"
Daddy's offscreen saying, "Hold on, Grubster, let me grab your dog brother so we can get a cage match going."
We had talked about putting a blanket or sheet over the area rug to (a) soften the abrasiveness of the carpet, and (b) catch barf stains. Then JK had the genius idea that we could stretch a fitted bed sheet under the entire play area. It's a perfect fit!
Monica had a GREAT time exploring her new play area. She liked it SO much that she actually crawled going forward for the first time! A super exciting ending to a super scary day! Here are some pictures of her exploration...
Assessing the perimeter:
Playing with the caterpillar that JK won for her on the boardwalk last summer - yes, when she was still just a little fetus in mommy's tummy :)
She was laughing the entire time, I am just not good at catching her laughter and smiles on camera :)
JK and I definitely have some peace of mind with this setup. We feel comfortable that she is safe and secure, and that we can leave the room for a few minutes to grab a drink or use the bathroom - all without worrying that we'll come back and find her under the coffee table, licking stray dog toys. I just can't believe how big she is getting so quickly!