A little while ago, Z and I had lunch with a friend of mine from college and her new baby. She was in town visiting and wanted us to meet her in Venice, on the westside of LA. For those of you who are not local, this is officially SEVERAL FREEWAYS and, therefore, VERY FAR AWAY from my home on the suburban eastside of LA. But I was super excited to see my friend and meet her baby and her friends and her friends' babies. So I was a Big Girl, picked up Z early from daycare and drove across town.
We arrived at the super hip restaurant with no sign outside (me, peering in: "it looks like a warehouse but beautiful people are eating in there so it's either a soup kitchen for unemployed actors or this is the place"). I quickly found my friend sitting at a long table with smooth wood benches on either side. There were NO highchairs. As my friend and her friends were all holding infants, I was the only person for whom this was a problem. Luckily Z thought it was very cool to sit on this bench, spatter her food around the floor in a noticeable arc, and actually did so with little fuss for the first hour or so of our lunch. After that she spent considerable time lining up her Little People and driving her cars and sticking her stickers to the bench, before finally settling in to ... poop. Which she did, grunting noisily, leaning over, holding onto the bench as hipsters, including the magnificently beautiful actress Rosario Dawson, filed in and out through the nearby door. (Yes, her cheekbones actually did cut a gash on my arm as she passed by.)
After Z finished, she made a few loud declarations, "Poop!" "Mommy!" and "Outside!", in rapid succession. These were, in fact, separate thoughts and separate sentences but just in case the other patrons didn't speak Toddler, I figured it was time to GIT.
All in all it was a great lunch and I'm proud of myself getting out of my hermit shell and for handling an Adventure reasonably well. The oddest thing about the whole lunch was how OLD and WIZENED I felt talking to mothers with 4, 8 and 15 week old babies. They looked full of that crazy love/fear early-weeks-of-motherhood mixture and seemed terrified of their still, mute babies making the TINIEST peeps while my toddler was busy grinding cracker crumbs into the sisal carpet and loudly proclaiming that she pooped. It felt good and strange to feel farther along this motherhood journey. To have advice and support to give.
And to want to try that early motherhood feeling all over again. Someday soon.