This past Sunday was my wife's first Mother's Day as a mother. It was also our son's first big excursion out of the house and around the town. He was amazingly calm and content the whole day.
To start the day, we took our son, Jude, out to a brunch with his paternal grandparents, the "elder" Bargers. We went to a typical Mother's Day brunch at a hotel restaurant. I did have to walk around the outside walkways of the hotel with Jude for a while to keep him calm. Later, his grandmother did the same for a little while. But, we were able to have a whole meal together. I thought that was impressive enough and would have been happy just going home at that point and declaring the day a success. But, Jude was ready for more.
Charline thought it would be nice to go to the Cummer Gallery of Art to see their impressive riverfront garden and take some pictures of Jude there. We invited the grandparents and headed across town to the gallery/museum/garden. It went very smoothly, except for the time I wasted trying to figure out how to put the car seat into the stroller (I'll have to figure that out later).
We walked around the good-sized garden and got some nice photos of Jude and the rest of the family. I even managed a group photo of all of us, in spite of the fact that the Cummer forbids camera tripods. A had brought a tripod along, but was told I had to leave it in the van. Little did they know I had a miniature tripod inside my camera case. Ha! You can't stop a determined photographer. The mini-tripod did the trick nicely, when placed on a table on the garden lawn.
Now, once again, I was thinking "This is great. I'm impressed that this has been so easy with a one month old baby." But, Charline was feeling gutsy. When the grandparents turned down an offer to go get ice cream, Charline and I decided to take Jude to his first movie. Yes, that's right. A one month old baby at a movie theater. Crazy, right? Wrong. It actually worked.
We went to see "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy," which was a cinematic version of the renowned book of the same name, which I loved when I was in junior high school. Amazingly, this was the easiest part of the whole day. No crying. No noticeable fussing or agitation. And Jude did well too. But, seriously though... Jude didn't seem to mind the movie sounds or popcorn smells or being in one place for two hours. It was wonderful.
Afteward, Charline said something to me along the lines of "And you thought you'd never see another movie again." It's true. I thought it would be years before we could peacefully sit through a theater movie again.
Of course, all this is due to Charline being in tune with Jude's needs and having good instincts. Also, I think the fact that Jude is breastfeeding makes it easier. Charline tells me you need to lug around a fair amount of apparatus when bottle-feeding the kid. Having a minivan to sit in while changing a diaper helps too.
So there you have it. A full day of activity: brunch, photos at the museum, and a real theater movie. Not bad.