Anxiety episode #11: I’m driving to the store, or preschool, or library story hour, or any place really, when I turn around to glance at the baby in the rear view mirror and see he’s not there. Why? Because I’ve left him at home, all alone.

Recently, Liam shared with me a fear he has when he’s driving someplace, and thinks he’s left the baby at home. I confessed to having the same fear, on repeat, many times a week.

In addition to being irritable and cranky these days, my brain is also very forgetful, cluttered, and generally in a state of constant, frenzied activity.

Since I’ve been on leave from work, I’ve been unable to recall what day of the week it is, never mind the actual date. Early May, right? To me, every day feels like a Saturday. But not necessarily the kind of Saturday you long for and look forward to. Instead, it’s more like a Bill Murray’s Groundhog Day kind of Saturday that’s on repeat, over and over again, where I wake up wondering, OK, how in the hell are we going to make it through today? kind of Saturday.

I can’t ever find anything I’m looking for when I want or need it. The brown baby carrier? One of the purple hairbrushes? (We have three; it should be easy enough to fine one!). Matches for missing socks? Frances’s brown shoe? This stuff has been missing for days. It will turn up soon, I know, as it is likely covered under mounds of laundry.

Speaking of laundry, does it ever end? We’ve only added a baby to the family, not an entire soccer team. So, I’m not really sure why or how laundry has increased twentyfold. I’m starting to feel like we could really use a nanny around here to do ‘light housework’ in addition to cooking and taking care of the kids. This mom needs a break!

OK. Back on topic. Let’s talk about leaving the house for an errand or a trip to the park. A plan is made, preparation begins, and then, forty-five minutes later, we are ready to go. Seriously. That’s how long it takes us to get ready to leave the house. Forty. Five. Minutes.

There’s the packing of diapers and covers for two kids. The packing of snacks and drinks. And blankets and baby carriers. A purse. Maybe a stroller. There’s the nursing of the baby, because of course, he always wants to do that right before its time to go. And then so does his sister, just because. What else? I don’t even know. But there’s always more. 

Now, back to the leaving of the baby. His car seat travels with him at this age, both in and out of the house. And, he’s usually the last thing from the house to get loaded into the car (I make about a hundred trips back and forth, give or take a few). You can see how it would be easy to forget him, right? To leave him behind in the heat of the moment, sleeping peacefully in his seat on the couch?

It’s really a wonder we haven’t done it yet. These minivan engineers should make some kind of sensor that new parents can employ to beep repeatedly when backing out of the driveway as a reminder to look in the back and make sure the baby is, in fact, where he should bebuckled safely into his car seat, and not, as I’ve feared, left carelessly behind, sitting alone on the couch.

Maybe I’ll suggest that the next time I get an online survey from Toyota requesting my feedback.

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2 thoughts on “Anxiety episode #11: I’m driving to the store, or preschool, or library story hour, or any place really, when I turn around to glance at the baby in the rear view mirror and see he’s not there. Why? Because I’ve left him at home, all alone.

  1. Anne

    It was so refreshing for me to read this, being that it is May again & your mama-of- a- new- baby mode sounds so much like mine. We’re finally turning a corner where I feel like my head is above water, but I’be made the Groundhog Day reference to Corey at times. I thought to myself the other day, why are so many flowers up in February! It is still Feb or maybe March n my world! While I haven’t had the fear of leaving baby behind with this guy, probably b/c he doesn’t like the car seat and reminds us when he’s in there, I did arrive at the store the other day and found him laying there unbuckled. That’s my new anxiety episode. When u talk to Toyota, make sure there is a special beep for that!

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    1. powerskirstin Post author

      Oh no! That’s only happened once to me. To Frances. We were driving down the highway last spring or summer and I turned around to glance at her and she was standing UP in her seat!!! I calmly-as-I-could drove off to the side, and hopped out to buckle her. Terrifying for a worry wort like me. Glad to hear things are getting a little better for you. I still don’t know the day of the week half the time, and I’m back to work now, so I feel like I should! It will only get easier. Hopefully!

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