Last fall and winter, I joined a bunch of Meetup.com groups, in hopes of meeting people and learning about interesting places in Portland. One was a group called New to Portland Moms. Well! That’s exactly who I was (or who I was about to be)!
They are a very active group, with outings most days a week. But most of the meetups are early in the morning. So when I saw an outing for the Crystal Springs Rhododendron Garden at a 11am (an hour past a feeding), on a Thursday, it was like, “Bingo! That’s perfect!” It was close by, I hadn’t been there before, it wasn’t too early, and I wouldn’t have to feed them there. Finally, an outdoor outing that I could feel comfortable attempting by myself!
The garden is a lovely network of paths ambling among trees and around water, with lots of colorful rhododendron bushes everywhere. All seemed to be in peak bloom. It was a perfect day to stroll, just the right amount of warm. The paths were nice and shady to keep you cool. There are some small hilly sections that were a little bit of a challenge with my big stroller, but for the most part it’s easy to roam. There’s a large lake in the middle. I found a few moms from the group with their kids–all bigger than mine–and after a little loop of the flowered paths, everyone hung out on a lawn while the kids roamed and snacked.
I laid out a muslin on the grass and took the babies out of the stroller. In less than two minutes, the fussiness started.
They weren’t screaming or anything, thank goodness, or even crying very loud. It was just clear that they were unhappy. I tried to deal with it for awhile, and a fellow mom even held one baby for a couple minutes. But finally I decided that the hassle wasn’t worth it, and I packed them up again.
So it wasn’t the greatest outing in the world, but it wasn’t the worst either. I guess I just need to take baby steps–ha!–in getting these babies out and about in the world.