Saturday, March 04, 2006

If only it was just that once

This afternoon I needed caffeine and Ada needed to be outside the house, so we took a stroll to our local couches-and-wifi cafe. (Not to be confused with our best-coffee-in-town-but-too-jammed-with-hipsters-to-sit-around-in-with-a-baby cafe.) Despite myself I like this place. It has a dumb name, but is spacious, friendly to kids, has decent snacks and is only a little further from our house than the really best coffee.

I walked Ada up the street (past the for-sale sign in front of the insanely overpriced run-down cottage on a major street). At the cafe I got a cup and snagged a couch. I alternated drinking and flinging Ada around to keep her from getting too fidgety (read: to keep her from screaming). Cup emptied, I packed up the girl and headed out. About a block down the street I noticed a little breeze at crotch level. Yes, once again I'd left the house with my fly unzipped.

This is getting to be a problem. It used to be that when I used the bathroom I could leisurely pull up my pants, wash my hands, scrutinize my increasingly grey hair. No more. Now a good bathroom trip involves smiling at and waving to Ada as she laughs and babbles commentary from the next room. When she's not in such an accommodating mood, the girl yells (something about how I'm ignoring her, that she's neglected and will never be happy again). Afternoons are particularly hard - Ada is more likely to be clingy later in the day and resents my desire to pee with a modicum of autonomy. So sometimes I forget to zip. I've got a belt, so my pants aren't sagging.

These lapses are starting to erode the facade I've constructed. You know, the one that suggests to the world that I am a competent person and casually put together dresser. Something must be done.

My new plan is to add "check fly" to my leaving the house routine, which currently runs:

  • dress Ada in warm sweater or fleece jumpsuit;
  • run around looking for her shoes;
  • find shoes and put them on her while she struggles to pull them off and eat them;
  • put on my shoes, rain jacket, sling or ergo carrier;
  • hunt around for keys, wallet, baby hat;
  • put hat on Ada and show her what we look like in the mirror to make her smile;
  • exit house and lock door;
  • remember that I've left radio/lights/oven on and re-enter house;
  • fix problem, exit house and lock door;
  • pull hat out of Ada's hands and put it back on her head;
  • remember that the netflix envelope is sitting on the coffee table;
  • re-enter house and retrieve envelope;
  • pull envelope out of Ada's mouth;
  • exit house and lock door;
  • walk purposely away from house before I can remember something else I need inside.

This scenario is pretty consistent, except when I wear Ada in the ergo-carrier as a backpack. Then I am guaranteed to forget to put Ada's hat on until I already have her in the pack. At that point, I can't reach her head and must hope that I run into someone who looks amenable to helping me. (Not everyone is a candidate. A pleasant-looking young woman visibly recoiled from me when I approached her last week. I think she thought I was going to ask her if she'd accepted Jesus as her personal savior. Or maybe if she'd like to buy a healthy white baby.)


  1. ok, I am consumed with curiosity about just which coffee place you are talkin' about.

    the other one (stumptown) we pretty much boycott anymore. when my babe was newborn, we hadn't yet figured out that we were now personas non grata at hipster establishments (since we had a baby now). we were out with the babe and decided to get coffee. you know, cuz we did all the time pre-baby, right?

    so we go into stumptown on belmont and the babe decides to freak out. I'm a brand-new mama, still not very good at breastfeeding, so I'm struggling to get him out of his carseat and attach him to the boobie and he's screaming and the freakin hipster staff responded to my plight by CRANKING the music up while vibing "damn breeders" my way.

    so we don't go there anymore. but when baby #2 arrives we plan to make a special trip and hope that he cries and this time we won't leave...

  2. Sound Grounds ( SE 37/Belmont). Just saying the name makes me giggle a little.

  3. You know the same "forget to zip the fly" thing happens to me too!! It has happened so much that now it's imprinted on my brain to always check my zipper before I leave the bathroom. Before kids, I never had that problem! I blame on being pregnant and wearing those elastic band maternity pants-you get used to like 6 months of not zipping, so i think it was hard for me to go back to remembering-that plus just being so preoccupied with kids.