Last night, I picked the kids up from daycare just before 5. Usually when I pick them up at that time, Rohan is a lost cause. He's hungry. He's sleepy. He does not want to sit in his carseat, thankyouverymuchmama! But last night I threw caution and, some may argue, common sense, to the wind and took the kids straight from daycare to the grocery store.
Oh yeah. Grocery shopping with a nap-ready 8 month old. I would have waited until a more convenient time to go if it weren't for the fact that the contents of our fridge and pantry together consisted of: pasta but no sauce, frozen meat but no veggies, a splash of milk, 2 eggs, enough leftover mashed potatoes for 1 person, butter, 1/2 a handful of Triscuits and Honey Nut Cheerios. So, I steeled my resolve and decided to go for it. Worst case, I figured, he would freak and I would run to the deli, grab a rotisserie chicken, pass through produce for a veggie to cook, and run out.
Much to my surprise, Rohan seemed enamored with the lights above, the people around, and the cart below. Because he spent the whole hour I was there cooing, screeching in excitement, and laughing.
Can I just take a second here to point out that I did, indeed, say I was there an hour. I cannot be the only person out there who enjoys grocery shopping, can I? There is something cathartic and min-numbingly brilliant about those brightly lit aisles full of foods, many of them things I've never even tried before. I could spend a LOT longer than an hour grocery shopping, escaping into menu-planning in my head, grabbing new things to try and admiring the fancy cheeses and variety of ice cream flavors. It's a mildly less enjoyable task when you have a toddler and a ticking time bom---er, sweet angelic baby boy?---along for the ride. But it's enjoyable none the less.
But I digress. In this instance I knew I was lucky that Luca was happily helping me pick out foods while Rohan giggled in the cart. And the cherry on top of this whole experience was after we'd checked out and were on our way to the car but stopped at the in-store coffee shop first. As I was ordering I could sense Rohan was getting restless, and I soothed him and kissed his nose. I turned back to the woman behind the register, heretofor to be known by my only as The Goddess of Customer Service, and she asked me, "Is he usually pretty laid back like that?"
I have to say, I didn't know how to answer this question. You see, my sweet little boy is almost 9 months old and this was the first time in his brief whirlwind of a life that someone has used 'laid back' as a descriptor for him. And I felt like this woman was a saint, truly, as though I owed her a debt of gratitude for using such a kind adjective to describe my son's demeanor.
If you've read my blog or you know me in person, you probably know that Rohan's had his ups and downs. He's a tempermental soul, though I don't like that word for him because I feel like it always has a negative connotation. And his personality is not bad...not by a long shot. But he does have his ups and downs, and he's quick to shift from one to the other and back. He's also very verbal, so you KNOW when the switch has occured. When Rohan is happy, his whole face is light and bright and animated. His smile is all you see, along with the twinkling blue eyes. And when he's NOT happy...well there is no doubt in the frustrated pouting lips, furrowed brow, and angry yelling. When he was a baby I didn't have words to accurately discuss his temperment, so I lied to myself (and, you know, everyone else) about it. I didn't want to admit my kid could sometimes be a total asshole, and I was in denial about the fact that it may never pass.
So, to have a complete stranger refer to my baby as 'laid back', during his witching hour when, instead of letting him sleep, I'd lugged him through a grocery store for an hour? And realizing that this baby we have now...the crawling, pulling up on furniture, laughing and screeching and babbling baby boy? He's not the boy of 8 months ago...or 5 months ago...or even 2 months ago. He's becoming more mellow and adventurous and happy. More...dare I say?...laid back. And I call that dreaming the impossible dream.