All I wanted was a chance to go outside and take a walk. I wanted coffee: a piping hot latte, or maybe a mocha, that I’d curl my gloved fingers around. Oh, and possibly a big fat cinnamon bun. My sister had purchased one earlier while on the phone with me and just hearing her describe it had made my mouth water. Plus, it was only -15 degrees today. Tolerable walking weather, I imagined.
I got the process started: pulling on my fleece lined leggings, plopping a red knit cap on Luko head. As soon as I started to stuff one chubby leg into the blue snowsuit, he got upset. As I’ve said before, he’s not a fan. And I can’t blame the kid. He looks like the Michelin Man when all is said and done: very fluffy, very soft, and with almost zero range of motion.
Once we were set, I grabbed the Ergo from the closet and buckled it around my waist. The fun part started when I tried sliding a strap over my shoulder. It went over, but barely. Once Lukas was in and I tried sliding on the other strap, I noticed it wasn’t going all the way over. And darn it, the first strap was starting to slide back down. My coat was too big and slick, I had on too many layers, and the Ergo just didn’t want to stay put. I was in the bathroom at this point, staring at myself in the mirror and trying to figure out how I’d get the back strap buckled without a second pair of hands to help me out. It wasn’t looking good. Lukas was fidgeting. I imagined a drop of sweat running down my back. Standing around in a toasty house while wearing outdoor gear suitable for negative degree weather…not so fun.
I stared longingly at the back strap, willing it to buckle itself. Or move slowly in the right direction. Neither of those two things happened.
“It’s okay,” I told the fussy baby, “I’ve got a back-up plan.” He stared at me skeptically, not convinced. I started pulling out suitcases, in search of the Baby K’tan my sister had sent me. If the baby carrier wouldn’t work, maybe a soft, unstructured wrap was the solution. Of course, I had completely forgotten how to use the two circular pieces of cloth, so I plopped Lukas on the floor (more angst) and pulled up a YouTube video. After several tries, I got him into the sling. Sort of.
“Dude, I think the coffee just isn’t going to happen,” I said to the baby, who was halfway in the wrap, halfway out. He just stared at me. “But we ARE going for a walk,” I said determinedly. “We’ve got all the gear on.”
That first step outside was heavenly. I turned right out of our driveway, ready to explore a section of street I hadn’t been on yet. What I had assumed led to a river instead took us to a dead end and posted, “No Trespassing” signs.
“Okay, not a problem,” I said to Lukas, who was slipping slowly from the wrap. I don’t think I had it on right. I hoisted him up and made a silly face. He stared solemnly back at me. “Let’s go the other way.” We made it a hundred feet down the road before I realized it was more icy than I expected. The kiddo also kept slipping out. I think all my outerwear was making the wrap too snug. It was much tighter than when I last wore it in a tank and shorts and the fabric wasn’t stretching out far enough to provide the warm cocoon that Lukas and I were expecting.
“Well, darn.” Our adventure was turning out to be oh so short; like of the ten-minute variety. “This is just ridiculous,” I announced, before stomping (carefully) back into the house, my slippery baby in tow.
Before you start feeling sorry for us and imagine me and Lukas holed up in this house until the first thaw, I’ll tell you that this post was written last week. Since then, my mom came up with a brilliant solution.
There’s always snow on the roads here, so it’s the perfect plan. Plus, I’ll be able to tuck a blanket in around the wee chap for extra warmth. It’ll be great.
Unfortunately, I’ve quickly learned that unlike in the lower 48, Alaska doesn’t enjoy the complete Amazon Prime experience. We get the free shipping, yes, but there’s no such thing as 2-day shipping. It’s a hard first world pill to swallow. Luko snazzy toddler sled has been ordered, but last I checked, “We need a little more time to provide you with a good estimate,” Amazon said. That was three days ago.
As soon as that sled arrives, there will be a photo of Lukas in his sweet new ride, with me smiling bid in the background, coffee cup in hand. Pinky promise.