When Harper was born, I was fortunate enough to have my super fabulous Mother come and stay to help us for the first 2 weeks. She is like a Mommy goddess that has the most amazing Cafe Con Leche waiting for you at 5:30am to get your day off to the perfect start. We may have been entering that horrendous sleep deprivation stage that comes with having a newborn again, but, we were going to eat like we were kings for the next to weeks. YES!
Having my Mother stay with us was such a blessing. It seriously made the terrifying transition from one child to two, so much easier. Even though we were just taking the kiddos to the park or Target, I felt at ease knowing I had a second set of hands on deck at all times. And then she left. That’s when all hell broke loose.
Let’s fast forward to 2 weeks post-partum. My Mom flew back to Florida, I was a sweaty hot mess with a 17 month old, 2 week old, and zero sleep. Fun times. I decided that our first outing together (without my Hubs or Mom), would be to the park. I figured nothing horrible could really happen at this park, it was a no fail plan….
Brody was running around like the wild toddler he is while Harper was peacefully sleeping like a little angel in her Britax B-Safe carseat that was attached to our City Select. I was following Brody around as he walked up a little mountain that he loves. We got to the top, and without warning, he took off over a bridge that just ends out of nowhere. At the time, he had zero understanding that if he didn’t stop, he was going to plummet off the bridge and break every bone in his body. So naturally, I ran after him to make sure he wasn’t going to plummet to his death. As I not so gracefully grabbed Brody by the arm just in time, I look over my shoulder to make sure Harper was still OK. The stroller was gone. W.T.F! I had that instant hot all over my body feeling and in slow motion looked to my right and saw my stroller. ROLLING DOWN THE HILL… WITH MY BABY INSIDE!!!!!!
If someone had taken a picture of me in that moment, I could only assume I looked something like this….
As my tiny, squishy, 2 week old baby is rolling down a hill at top speed, I am screaming for someone to save my baby!!!! I’m dramatic like that… Not one Mom helped. Want to know who jumped into action? A 10 year old little girl who was playing nearby. She ran over, grabbed the handlebar to the City Select, and caught the stroller as it was bumping into a ledge and about to topple over. Can you believe that? I’m pretty sure if I saw a stroller rolling down a hill, there would be 2 strollers rolling down said hill because I would go running after it! I’ve got two words and one finger for all those super helpful people that just stood by and watched that day….
Every time I think back to this day, I cringe. I clearly remember thinking to myself, Wow, this is going so well! And then 5 seconds later, shit hit the fan. It traumatized me for about a week. I was so scared to the leave the house with both kids alone. What kind of a Mother was I that I let my 2 week old baby roll down a hill!!??? Ugh.
There are a few reasons I am sharing this story with you…. One, to make you laugh. I mean, seriously, the situation was kind of comical after the fact. If I didn’t laugh, I would cry. I don’t have time of that. Two, to bring up a few safety best practices.
1. ALWAYS have your infant properly restrained when they are in their car seat. It doesn’t matter if you are just sitting at a restaurant eating dinner. Always, have them properly restrained.
2. Remember to put your brake on. I wish I could say the above situation is the only time this ever occurred, but it’s not. I found the brake difficult to remember in the beginning. Maybe it has something to do with me being a horrible driver…
3. ALWAYS make sure your infant car seat is attached to your stroller properly and you are using the correct adapters. Too many times I see an infant car seat just sitting in a regular stroller seat… this is terribly unsafe. Just think of what could have happened if harper hadn’t been snapped in properly.
4. Never put your infant car seat on the top part of a shopping cart. This is NOT SAFE. Many car seats have fallen off the shopping cart or the shopping cart has tipped backwards due to the added weight. This is a little off topic, but I’m throwing it in here anyways.
And last, give yourself a little break. Being a new Mom is HARD. Really HARD. You will make mistakes, you will get pooped on, peed on, and probably cry. A lot. But, it’s the greatest gift you will ever receive. My children are my world, and even though I am a raging lunatic 99% of the time, I love every minute.
So, moral of the story? Drink more coffee. And always put the brake on.
Good luck to all my new Mommas out there! I will say a prayer for you…