I feel like I'm about to admit defeat. Ds3 is 4 weeks old. He's a proper screamer - by that I mean high demand baby, I suppose - he has to be held and jiggled and fed and rocked along my arm, all day and all night. Sometimes he will sleep between about 9pm and 11.30pm and then that's about it for the night - a few short bursts and waking roughly every hour or so, staying awake for well, about an hour at a time!
He isn't like my others. He hates the car seat (it's a Pebble - by God I hate it, it looks so uncomfortable) and screams nearly every time I drive anywhere - even the 5-10 minute journey to school.
So we've taken to walking most days. It's about 1.7 miles, we're up a long hill, but that's Ok - it's better to be able to stop and get him out, or carry him when he starts to cry.
So this morning it's raining. Took boys to school - not too bad, apart from getting wet, and horrid trafficky roads but anyway, we got there. I went in to sign up for parent meetings and came out 3 minutes later and he was crying. He's wearing a sleepsuit and a big blanket and a hat which has fallen off.
I take him out, we go out of the playground and sit on a doorstep in an alleyway, I feed him for a few minutes while covering with blanket.
Put him back in pram - he manages 10 minutes, have to buy mousetraps in wilkinsons so we go in there. He cries. I lift him and put him on my arm as he's having wind. He's Ok, get the traps, queue up, he still won't go back in the pram.
Tempted to sit and feed him on bench in wilks but too embarrassed as huge audience of old ladies/rtandom blokes and feel too vulnerable, also not sure he wants a feed.
So we leave and I end up feeding him crouched in a doorway of a restaurant, trying to keep us both dry, in the pouring rain, hoping no one goes past and wonders what I'm doing on the ground.
Finish feed, almost, as someone is coming and we walk, me carrying him along my arm still, he's getting wet, then we encounter a load of wheelie bins which mean I can't get the pram up the pavement.
Manage to find his hat with one hand and shove it on haphazardly as his tiny wet head is making me want to cry. He does not protest miraculously.
Walk home with baby along arm, in the middle of the road, past the bin lorry, and a load of cars. At last he goes in the pram again and we make it, drenched, unhappy, and finish his feed at home.
I feel your pain op! You've received some brilliant advice here, I probably cannot offer you that much more, just a sympathetic ear! I have 4 dds - 6,4,2 and 12 months. My school run for the past year or so has been HELL!
The sling has been a lifesaver, but like you, I do not get on well with the ergo til the baby is about five or so months. I have also never, ever received any negative comments for breastfeeding in public, and I am very confident at doing so. If the baby needs to be fed, ESP in winter, I do not hesitate to get myself a coffee and find the best seat in the house. I also usually have had one or two toddlers with me, it is not easy. But I can placate them with a baby chino (free at Starbucks, up to a pound at other independent retailers!). For modesty and warmth, I have taken to wearing a scarf, like the mumsnet scarf, around my neck. I find it much better than any other mode of coverage. Then I can pull my top down (much preferred to pulling my top up and exposing my belly).
You really have my sympathy. Last night it took me an hour to walk home from gymnastics with 12 month old in ergo screaming, 2 year old holding onto my hand being pulled in scooter, me pushing the buggy with NO child in it, and 4 and 6 year old scooting and complaining about being tired. <disclaimer: we could normally drive this but car is broken down and girls wanted to go to gymnastics>.