Tuesday Liam had his 4 month well visit and had two vaccine shots. Two nurses did the shots on both of his legs at the same time and he screamed such a high-pitched shriek that our doctor heard from wherever she was for her next patient, and came in to see if he was okay. One of the nurses said he tensed up his leg muscles right as they were going in so they had to press through the muscle to get the needle in far enough…so the spots would probably be sore. The only other time he had shots he was fussy and off-kilter for three days. I had been hoping this would be different.
I nursed him, gave him some tylenol and he promptly fell asleep as soon as we got in the car. However, I feel selfish saying that I planned to meet my sister and four year old niece at Target (I never get a chance to run errands anymore, and never dare avec bebe!) and I continued on with that plan. I was hoping Liam would stay asleep if I padded down his BOB Revolution stroller with cozy blankets and pulled the sun-shade down all the way. But no. He was, however, in a drowsy mood through much of the shopping excursion and my sister and I decided to press my luck and run over to the Applebee’s next to Target for lunch.
In the short amount of time it took to get to Applebee’s Liam was not feeling as jovial. He wasn’t full-on freaking out, but he was restless. When he’s tired he wants to bounce and he’ll also climb your torso like a monkey to claw at your face and gum your neck like a bad date in high school. That was just about the level of communication we had come to while we waited for our food to arrive so I thought I’d prevent a meltdown by changing the scenery. Diaper change with more than one purpose!
I brought Liam into the women’s room and pulled down the changing station. Which neither of us is a fan of. Me because they are all so sticky and gummy and it makes me throw up a little to think about the germs procreating all over it. Liam because they are not so stable feeling and he gets a skeptical and concerned look on his face and then starts wiggling around for an escape route.
So, I cover the station with the paper cover provided (which covers about a third of it) and then top it with our own blankets which will need to be then separated and washed promptly. As promptly as laundry gets to gettin these days anyway. I get the old diaper off and am trying desperately with any available body part to keep Liam from maneuvering either off of the changing station or flipping the station back up and creating some sort of disgusting Liam Hot Pocket. I alllmost have that new diaper pulled over the vital places to be covered when,
the woman in the stall which was less feet and more inches next to us flushes the toilet. The loudest, most violent toilet flush I have ever heard in my life. It caught me off guard.
Which is why I knew exactly what was to follow. When Liam is startled, I mean REALLY scared, as in this instance, his eyes open to full capacity and he locks them with mine for security. His body goes rigid and his legs are out straight and his arms come out like a clawing version of a karate stance. Then his eyes pinch up and his mouth opens into a round O. It takes a second or three, but it is inevitable. The siren of cries go off.
Well, I really wanted to pick him up and hug him. I did. But not before I finished covering him with that diaper. And then I did. I hugged him and bounced him in my arms…but that didn’t stop a lunch-time rush of about five women who came in and set off loud toilet flushes like a display of fireworks. I just wanted to get the hell out of that bathroom but I had my baby crawling up my face and screaming in my ear and our diaper bag sufficiently scattered about from when I had needed to search for all necessary items.
Good God, please make the flushing STOP!! I swear to you that one woman was snickering as she washed her hands and watched me in the mirror. Some day, Lady…what goes around…
I finally made it out because two grandmotherly types realized that if they also went into a stall and flushed the toilet that the baby would probably keep screaming and that the mom was going nowhere fast with all of the wipes, blankets, plastic baby toy keys… oooh that’s where my phone is…
So my two pseudo-grammies cootchy-cooed Liam out of his toilet induced seizure while helping me throw my belongings into my bag. I escape from the nightmare bathroom that I thought I was going to be stuck in until my sister came to find me. Liam, however, is at the point where he wants to sleep NOW. Of course, the poor baby has had shots, an inadequate nap from the doctor’s to Target, had refused to nurse while squished in an uncomfortable amount of space from booth to table and then was verbally abused by the toilets.
By this time my sister was half-way done with her meal, so she took Liam and stood consoling and bouncing him while I swallowed my food whole. (Slow down and relax, my sister tells me. I don’t know how to anymore, I tell her.) My amazing sister, mom of two, works her magic and succeeds in getting Liam to sleep in her arms in a matter of minutes. Not that he wasn’t tired, I was just afraid that we had passed the point of no return. So, not only does she get the kid snoring in her arms, but she is able to transfer him to his carseat without waking him up. I know. She’s good. And wait for it: she even gets the buckles all clicked together. With barely an eye flutter.
Aaaahhhh…can I really finish my meal and feel less guilty because the baby’s getting a nap? I pull the sun-shade down on the carseat, plop down onto the booth, pick up my fork…
CLAP, CLAP, CLAP, CLAP…
The entire waitstaff parades out of the kitchen door that is on one side of us, to shout a stupid birthday song to the table on the other side of us. Clapping and shouting. Directly past the carseat.
Yes. He woke up.