Motherhood After Dark

Driving with Baby Charlotte


I’ve been driving for a number of years and I would never typically classify myself as an anxious driver. Heck, I’m not an anxious person in general. But, when Charlotte came along, I started to question EVERYTHING when it came to both of us being in a vehicle. The first time we had to drive alone came when my darling husband was running late for work and decided that we should drop him to work as opposed to the train station (significantly shorter drive). Now, if you don’t already know, the Hubster works in the heart of downtown Toronto. If you’re able to drive downtown at any point in time – you have a special skill. Much to my dismay, I knew that he was right. We had to drop him to work it if he was going to get there on time for his noon shift. The problem wasn’t getting in there, the problem was when I would have to jump into the front seat and leave Charlotte in her car seat in the back.

So, the journey began and at first, it wasn’t so bad. I merged into the traffic smoothly and decided to take the local roads to avoid being on highway. I figured that if I do it this way, if she started to cry, I could pull over and tend to her in a quiet street. Needless to say, about 20 minutes if not more of driving, Charlotte began to cry. I tried to talk to her in a soothing way to calm her and myself down but it wasn’t working. This little person only got louder and louder! I found myself driving in a neighbourhood somewhere by Sherbourne and Bloor Street East. I parked quickly, flew out of my seat and jumped into the back. I took her out and started to nurse her. After that, she fell asleep, I gave myself a little pep talk and proceeded to get back behind the wheel and start my journey.

Unfortunately, before I could make it home, Charlotte began to cry again. By this time, a good hour had passed and I was only about half way home. Meanwhile, I had decided to take a chance and get on the highway to finish off the last leg of my journey home. When I heard her start to cry again and saw the traffic that was on the Don Valley Parkway, I exited the highway so fast you see! I ended up driving along Eglinton Avenue East and realized that I was near a good girlfriend of mines. I called her and asked if I could just stop by and have a few minutes to collect myself, feed and change Charlotte and then I would continue home.

The rest of Charlotte and I’s day together was absolute bliss. The weather was beautiful and the love and care we were shown followed suit. My girlfriend, C, took care of the both of us. She fed me breakfast (I hadn’t eaten for the day and it was after one in the afternoon) and took care of Charlotte and her own children while I caught up on some sleep. She ensured that I had dinner as well and that by the time the evening rolled around that my confidence in driving with this new person was restored.

The day ended with Keith meeting up with me so that I wouldn’t have to drive downtown again to pick him up after work. By the time I saw him again, I was just so relieved to have him jump into the driver’s seat, only God knew the amount of joy that filled my heart at that time. All-in-all, it was a nerve-wrecking experience but I mean, Charlotte was literally eight days old. Now, the little munchkin is seven months old and although I am still anxious when I have to drive alone with her, I have gotten MUCH better. I have a little routine that includes making sure her belly is full, she’s freshly changed, and if she is sleeping when I put her in her car seat – even better! Her cries no longer scare the heck out of me and I am able to stay focused (for the most part). I don’t mind driving on the highway with her but you won’t catch me during rush hour time. Also, since it’s winter my preference is to not leave out with her once there is snow on the ground (*shrugs*).

As we grow together, she gets better at being in the car seat and I get better at driving with her behind me. So, we’re getting there, my sweet Char & I.

See you in two weeks!


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