Betsy woke me up by putting Henry next to me and informing me that she was going to the gym. Not a surprise, I had promised to take care of Henry the night before. The little guy was having a post-breakfast nap, so I decided to take advantage of the moment by taking a quick shower before Betsy was actually out of the door.
By the time I finished Betsy was gone and the baby was still asleep. Typically these kinds of naps only last about 20 minutes. Predictably, he was soon awake and asking for attention. I managed to get dressed quickly and went downstairs for my breakfast. Henry likes to be held. He has little patience for me cooking and leaving him in his swing or lying in his baby gym. So I strapped him onto my chest with the Baby Bjorn and made a quick fried-egg breakfast.
By the time I finished eating he was done and ready for something else. I put him in his car seat (Graco 32) which I locked into it's basic frame (Graco Snap-N-Go). When I attach the five-point harness of the seat I often play the Mission-Control-to-Captain-Moss routine. He likes that.
His momentary distraction at thoughts of space flight was long enough for me to check the baby go-bag (aka Diaper bag). Bare minimum equipment for Henry outings:
- 1 Baby Bottle with fresh breast milk (enough for 2 feedings)
- 4 disposable diapers (easier to manage than cloth when status Oscar Mike ("On the Move")
- pacifier (not really his thing, but occasionally helpful)
- Burp Cloth
- Change of clothes
- Baby wipes
- Itz Been (a device that keeps track of time since last feeding/changing/etc)
Henry likes to travel (usually). He looks around and enjoys the view. These days he is more and more interested in the environment around him when we go for walks, so the rear-facing Snap-N-Go is limiting in that way. It's also not a very smooth ride even on city sidewalks. It's really designed for indoor use.
Nonetheless, I managed to make it to my office to pick up a few things and then the bank. The teller knows greeted Henry by name (we are well known there) and did the appropriate "Oh, isn't he cute" stuff. Business done, I started walking toward my next errand.
As luck would have it, Betsy was just finishing at the gym, so by 12.30 we were all re-united. We snapped the car seat into it's base in the car and we were off to Long and McQuade. I picked up a device called a "DI Box" so that Kerrie from church will be able to plug her laptop's sound directly in the church's sound system. (I also figured out that this works great with my iPhone, too.) I haven't always gotten the best service from Long and McQuade, but they do have the best stock of pro-audio gear in the city.
Next stop, Li'l Niblets up on Avenue Road. It's our favourite baby store. Since both Henry and his parents are outgrowing the Snap-N-Go, it's time for a new stroller. I'm glad we didn't invest in this before Henry arrived, we have a much better idea of what we need, now.
Buying a stroller is a lot like buying a car. You go in with a price point in mind and set of features that appeal to you. Then you compare different models. We decided to go for the Valco Baby Trimode EX. It has nice, big wheels (similar to a "jogging" stroller), but still collapses into a manageable size. The seat reclines to completely horizontal. The canopy is nice and long for hotter, sunnier days. It has tonnes of pockets for storage. In the future we can also add a toddler seat if Henry has a little brother or sister. They assembled the stroller for us and we loaded up the baby and were good to go.
Incidentally, while we were in Li'l Niblets Henry needed to nurse and get changed. They have some really nice little rooms for this purpose.
While in the shop, I got a random call from a crazy person I had never met wanting money. She explained that God instructs her, by "moving clouds around," that she is supposed to send packages and letters to various influential persons. She went on to complain about how various people have mistreated her (ex, the church, the government, etc.). I tried to be nice, but I'm not going to give her hundreds of dollars just because she wants to send long, crazy letters to politicians. I can do that myself!
Back in the car, the next stop was The Butchers. It's a little out of the way for us, but since I got some beef there in Holy Week to feed relatives I've been really impressed with their service, product, and price. This time, when I went in and asked if they had any specials the friendly butcher simply said, "Whatcha lookin' for? We'll work with you... how's 10% off sound?" Henry's cute smile got us an additional few dollars shaved off the price at the register. The butcher told me that they get all their meat from a particular Ontario Organic Coop. I don't always get organic food, but I try when I can.
As we left we could hear another customer asking for whatever bones they might have. Probably to make stock. Good idea.
Next stop: the shoe store. Less than a year ago I bought a pair of boat-shoe "style" footwear from The Bay. They quickly fell to pieces this winter. The sidewalk salt killed the leather and the sole developed a nasty crack that would leak water whenever I stepped in a puddle. Not good. So I got another pair of my favourite "real" boat-shoes: Sperry Topsiders.
There are several things that make these "real" boat shoes. First, the leather has been treated to resist water damage. Second, the soles are non-marking--meaning they won't leave marks when they slide across a fibreglass deck (which my Skipper Dave will appreciate on race days). Third, the sole is also designed to maintain traction on wet surfaces (also a plus on race day). I found a comfortable pair and checked out around the time that Henry was finished with shopping.
As Betsy picked up our hungry little man, a clerk made an offhand comment about how we were "spoiling" him. Honestly, I don't think it is possible to spoil a four-month-old. He's an infant and he's hungry--we're supposed to ignore that so he can learn that life is hard? We didn't say anything, the woman was trying to be charming. It is interesting, though, how often people make comments in public about our parenting decisions.
We went home and I made BBQ feeling pretty satisfied about my day....