When One Baby Is Just Too Hot to Handle

Michael was fat. He was just a big, big baby. The height and weight chart at the pediatrician’s office was always comical for us. His height was just above average, but he spent well over a year “above” the 100 percent mark for weight. And he was hot. If he got too hot, he’d turn as bright as a red-skinned beefsteak tomato. Gracious, he was so cute and mysterious and colorful.

So my mom and I take him to Target one day. He was able to sit up, but not do much more than that. Some parents might think it’s a “normal” thing or maybe even an “easy” thing to take a baby to Target. Maybe it’s a little inconvenient, but certainly some people consider this feat doable. For me, though, this was going to be a grand adventure. I’d had enough experience with Michael (at least a few months anyway) to know that life could switch on a dime, and I was still learning what the triggers were.

We Are Badasses

My mother and I bravely head out to Target because we are total badasses.

We’re in the middle of the infant clothing section, about five minutes into this trip, and Michael starts wailing loudly. Baby Michael turns into this bright red ball of beefsteak tomato and he screams.tomato I’m absolutely beside myself with what to do because I didn’t see this one coming. My mother and I look at each other. I’m close to panicking, so this screaming baby deal is all on my mom. It’s up to her. GO MOM!

I kind of, maybe, mentally left the building (total lizard brain) and reverted to infantile status while my baby wailed and my mother took charge.

I remember people staring. I remember trying not to care about them, though. I just wanted this baby to be okay and to stop screaming and stuff like that.

What will they think? Somewhere, I might have been thinking I was supposed to have the perfect baby that acted flawlessly everywhere in public. Well, whatever expectations I had of a “socially versed” baby got stripped away quickly. I was definitely concerned with what others would think but knew that my number one priority was to get Michael back to his regular color.

My mom is pretty laidback and she is such a practical woman.She stripped Baby Michael to his diaper. For all the world to see, there was fat red beefsteak tomato Baby Michael, down to his diaper. Wailing. Loudly.

Now, one might think we were shit out of luck in a situation such as this with a tomato baby. As fate would have it, we were positioned directly under one of those industrial-sized AC vents in the ceiling. How serendipitous that we needed an industrial-sized AC unit and there just happened to be one RIGHT ABOVE US!

So as a devoted new mother, and with loving, practical guidance from my own mother, I held Michael up like the Baby Tomato Lion King, praising the industrial AC air vent. While I did not belt out “Circle of Life,” I did plead, “Oh, please, I just need him to cool off, return to his natural color, and stop screaming.”

The crying stopped, the natural human color returned, and life was calm again. I have no idea whether we continued shopping or not. My guess is that we did keep going. There’s strength in numbers. There was one small baby and two grown women. The odds were pretty good we were going to be able to handle the baby. As I think back, though, he was always a wild card.

We got this!


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