In the six short months of Carter's little life, I've received a lot of help. People are always offering to carry things for me, move things for me, give up their seats for me, etc. Just last week I had an adorable bag boy offer to retrieve an extra shopping cart for me so that I wouldn't have to bury Carter beneath bags of groceries. He wheeled that extra cart full of groceries, following me all the way across the parking lot to my car and patiently waited for me to load Carter into the car before he offered to help me unload the groceries into my truck and return both carts to their proper little cart homes.
How sweet? The kid couldn't have been any older than 16 and he was so patient and polite. The more I think about it, in instances like that, it gives me hope that I'll be able to raise Carter to be a loving, compassionate and polite gentleman in today's world. Most days, I'm not so hopeful!
Notice how I didn't say anyone had opened any doors for me or held any doors for Carter and I lately. What is up with that? I run a lot of errands. Carter and I spend as much time away from the house running here or shuttling there as we do inside the house, reading stories, playing games and singing songs. Three days a week I'm in and out of the mall for Stroller Strides. Every Tuesday I'm back and forth from the library for storytime. Target, Kohl's, the grocery store. Granted, some of these places have automatic doors, in which case, Target? You're off the hook. But as for everyone else on that list? What gives? Here are two recent instances that have really just gotten my goat lately. By the way, who says that anymore? "Gotten my goat." What the heck is that supposed to mean?
Carter and I were running into Michael's Craft Store for a few necessary goodies so that we could create a few Valentine's Day lovelies to scatter throughout the house. If you have a baby then you know that Michael's has THE world's smallest carts. So small, in fact, that the infant carseat doesn't fit in them. Good thing Carter finally transitioned into sitting in the front part of the cart like a big boy. I'm not sure how much longer I could have stayed away!
So, it's approximately 6 degrees outside. Carter is so bundled up that it looks like I'm smuggling a hoard of baby blankets into the store. Of course, Michael's doesn't have one of those nice sidewalk ramps right in front of it- as a matter of fact, there wasn't a sidewalk ramp anywhere near the store. What's a mom to do? While trying to keep the blankets from blowing off of Carter, I'm literally hoisting the cart up onto the ginormous curb. Let me just say, this was no easy feat. Where was that good samaritan who was supposed to come along and offer to help? Heck, I probably would have turned down the gesture, but isn't it the thought that counts? Literally FOUR women hurried past me and into the warmth of the store. Four. Once we made it to the top of the curb and were headed towards the entrance, the fifth woman rushed past us and didn't even both holding the door. Umm, hello?! It's not like we're easy to miss! I was shocked.
I guess I have my mom to thank for instilling in me common courtesies such as holding the door for people. Babies aside, I'll hold the door for you no matter who you are. Sometimes, if you don't say thank you? I make sure to say "you're welcome" really, really loudly. I guess I have my mom to thank for that, too. But truthfully, even it means I get to my destination just a few seconds or minutes later because I was holding the door for a mother, helping her maneuver both herself and her baby through two sets of doors? So, what? I did a good thing.
You're not going to believe this next story. As I'm sure you now know (because I talk about it nearly 700 times a week both here on the blog and on Twitter), Stroller Strides meets at the mall three mornings per week. You know, with all the other men and ladies that like to walk the mall before the stores open.
Once again, it's approximately 7 degrees out. Maybe a bit warmer than the Michael's incident, but sub-arctic nonetheless. On this particular morning, I had to wake Carter up from his typical "on-the-way-to-strides-car-nap," so that we made it into class on time. When I have to wake him up, I don't necessarily put him in the jogging stroller right away. I like to give him time to readjust, to stretch and to get acclimated to be into a new place after waking up from a nap. This means that often times, I'll load everything into the jogging stroller and carry him into the mall.
So there I am, jogging against the wind towards the entrance of the mall. Carter on one hip and guiding the jogging stroller with one hand. There is not one, but two women standing in the interior of the mall between the two sets of double doors. Now, we both know that if I can see them, then I'm 99.9% certain they could see me coming. Does either of them take a step or two to open the door for me? Negative.
I stop short to line up the stroller with the door. I push the handicap button so that the door opens automatically. It's tricky, but with one hand I maneuver the stroller inside the first set of doors, Carter and I following close behind. The women break from their conversation to sneak a peak at Carter and I literally had to ask them to move out of the way so that I could reach the second handicap button to open the second set of doors. I couldn't tell a lie. I had to ask them. To move out of the way. So that I could open the door.
And just when you thought it couldn't get any worse, the the third member of their walking party showed up- and the happy little trio entered the mall right behind me.
Who held the door for them? Oh, right. The lady holding the baby and pushing the jogging stroller.
So, what gives? Last time I checked, you're not going to catch the baby-disease by taking an extra minute or two to help a Mama out! Believe me, I would really, really appreciate it.