On Friday, Jake and I went to the DMV. We had to register the new vehicle in the family: a 1982 diesel Mercedes. Jacob never got over selling the old Mercedes he drove in college and so when the time came for us to become a two-car family his eyes ran with lust to Craigslist. The illustrious purchase was finalized last Wednesday.
And in a moment of profound charity I offered to do the DMV visit.
Woe to the good old days of small-town-registering-a-car in the Gillespie County Courthouse where you walk up to a desk and a sweet lady processes your paperwork while she tells you about how she just took her mother to your parents' clinic and recalls all the various times your siblings have been in the newspaper recently and then sends you on your merry way.
The DMV is not like this.
The DMV is like purgatory. Lots of people and lots of waiting.
This time I got wise though and made an appointment. But so did everyone else, and when I arrived at the loathsome place, the appointment line was even longer than the non-appointment line. So there I was, carrying the sleeping Jake in his car seat in line between a woman from Sweden and a man from Australia who were carrying on a conversation over me about passports. I'm not a fan of toting the baby around in the car seat but I felt like he was more protected in it from all the smells and stares and sounds that are the DMV.
I was feeling pretty put together. Jake woke up right as I was going up to the first counter to get my number, but I only dropped one piece of paper that someone had to pick up for me. I juggled the car seat and the baby and the bag and the papers relatively adeptly as I made it to a chair to sit and wait for my number to be called...Jake was doing pretty well. He was a little fussy because at home I'd had to interrupt his breakfast in order not to be late for my 9:40 appointment, but I thought he could hang in there till this was done. So I held my slightly-fussy baby while I watched the numbers tick by SO SLOWLY all the while praying that he wouldn't get fussier. But he did. So...I contemplated whether or not I was going to let him nurse in the middle of the DMV.
You see, at the DMV, people have nothing to do but watch other people while they wait, and it's socially unacceptable to watch people in this country. HOWEVER it is totally acceptable to watch babies. So we were getting a lot of attention. But after the poor little guy had rooted and rooted against my shoulder and fussed and fussed, I finally gave in. I covered up with his blanket and let the little porker chow down. In the middle. Of the DMV.
Again I was quite proud of myself. I'd managed to get the kid nursing without a big to-do and he finished right before our number was called. The clerk cooed at Jake and commented on how he was making the cutest faces. (I elected not to tell her that this particular series of faces was his filling-my-diaper routine.) We paid our bill and ascended to the only slightly less purgatorial parking lot and hightailed it homewards.
Home again, home again. Nothing like a productive Friday to usher in the weekend. I replayed the event in my mind feeling like it had really gone off without a hitch, and I entered our apartment with the glow of success.