The debate on the baby’s first outing began when his 30th day approached. As per tradition in my house, babies are taken on their first outing on their 30th day and it is always to a temple. My parents were hoping we would do this. They began hinting as much.
“Shall we go to the temple next week?” they would coo at the baby. A baby is a very handy thing to have if you want to drop hints without actually mentioning the topic to the relevant person.
The reason they were stepping around the topic gingerly is because neither D nor I are big on religion or tradition.
D and I had a discussion and decided that we would like to take him somewhere where he could commune with nature. So we decided on the Botanical Gardens. We also decided that we would take him whenever we bought a stroller, not exactly on the 30th day.
Buying a stroller is an activity that can be postponed for an extraordinary period of time. Meanwhile, we began to take the baby for a short walk around the block in our arms.
These were of course not official outings.
Finally around the 45th day we got him a stroller. We triumphantly bundled him up and decided to do a test drive around the block before taking him to the Botanical Garden.
This was just as well. The baby began to bawl and any ambitious plans for nature-communing would have ended up with nature sporting a torn eardrum.
The next day, we tried again. Luckily he got better at the gig.
Clearly we had to ease him into the real world. After a couple of days, we decided to take him to the nearby convenience store. This was again in the ‘test drive’ category and would not qualify as his real outing we decided.
The experience was not bad.
Then my birthday rolled around and we wanted to go out for lunch. A dash to the food court in a nearby mall seemed to be in order. Not overly ambitious. Perfect for the rainy climate since we go get a taxi at each end and won’t be out in the rain at all.
But, hmmm. Did we really want to take the baby out to the mall for his first outing?
Wouldn’t that make us shallow?
The thought of hot Channa-Batura at Komala’s won me over. You could not parcel that kind of stuff.
Besides, this was really my birthday outing and need not be counted as the baby’s first outing. We would go to the Botanical Gardens next and that would be the baby’s first official outing.
A good time was had by all at the mall. My Channa-Batura tasted nice enough and D held the baby during a moment of fussiness, letting his food go cold so I could finish mine when it was hot.
The weekend rolled by. It was still rainy and not ideal weather for a nature trip. Besides, the baby had decided that he did not like being put to bed. So apart from fussing during naptimes, he decided to fuss at bedtime as well. D and I were both bleary-eyed when the weekend began and not in any mood to dress ourselves and the baby up and go stare at some flowers.
Then around lunch, one of D’s friends messaged to check if we wanted to meet up. A couple of them and their families were hanging out together.
“No. I am too tired. I need to nap myself or else I won’t be in any shape to handle tonight” I protested.
“They are headed to this awesome microbrewery”, D said with a gleam in his eye. I could see thoughts of cold beer and greasy food were already swirling in his head.
“Right. I can nurse the baby and have a bath in half an hour” I said, gearing up for action. I was not going to have any cold beer. But greasy food and other grown-ups was beginning to sound good.
We were in a taxi before I thought to weakly ask “is it a good idea taking a baby to a microbrewery?”
“Why not?” D said “Besides it is actually a restaurant, it is indoor, won’t be crowded now and everyone else is bringing along their toddlers”
Ah. Other babies. I am not such a bad mother after all.
We got there. D drank his beer. I chomped on the food. The baby, after having stayed up all day, finally napped in my lap through the music, lights, conversation et al.
Forty five minutes later when we left, all three of us were feeling much better.
“So is this the baby’s first official outing?” D asked.
Both of us knew better than to say “a microbrewery” if sundry relatives asked us about the baby’s first outing.
“Na, I think we better make it the mall”