Joys of Travel
I’ll have to do a proper post about the wonderful time we had in Wales, but for now, a moment on travelling with a baby.
A 5.5 hour drive took 11 hours on the way there, and 9 hours on the way back (on the way there we hit Costco to shop). The way there was pretty uneventful, some fussing and such but nothing severe.
HOWEVER, the way back was…
There is nothing so demoralizing as going through the baby checklist and not being able to figure out what the hell is going on. For those wondering, the baby checklist is:
Is baby intact (not bleeding, no bones broken, etc)?
Is baby warm (but not too warm, cool but not too cool, etc)?
Is baby fed?
Is baby dry?
Is baby burped?
After running through the checklist, it becomes a guessing game of verbal and nonverbal cues from the baby (screaming, hands clenched, red eyes, sweaty, etc). When you are at home, it’s difficult. When you are at someone else’s home, it’s exceedingly difficult. When you are on the M456 and it’s stop and go traffic with 3 lanes because of an accident 5 miles ahead, and there isn’t an exit for 10 miles, it’s WTFMOMMYISNOTAMINDREADER. So baby is screaming and crying so powerfully he is making himself choke, Mommy is in the backseat desperately trying to figure out what the hell is wrong, Monkey is driving 5 miles an hour with no end to gridlock in sight, and poor sister of Monkey is wondering why the hell she ever got a ride home to England with this horror show in the backseat.
There are certain things you always tell yourself you will or will not ever do with a child. I will never strike my child. I will never drink and take care of my kid. I will immunize. Etc, etc. I always said I will never have my child unstrapped in a car. Well, after a solid hour of screaming (and we are still bumper to bumper) that went straight out the window. I tried first to comfort nurse him with him in the seat (apologies to anyone else on the road who saw a crazy lady leaned over from her seat, whip out her boob and shove it in her kids mouth while they were driving), but that made him even more upset. Sigh. Fuck. Sigh.
So, I gingerly unbuckled him, and sitting in my seat, nursed and burped him until he was slightly calm. He settled down for about 15 mins, when I was able to strap him back in. This bliss stayed for about 30 mins, then…he lost it *again*. We made our way to the shoulder, and Monkey got my bag from the trunk. Cue me doing ANOTHER thing I said I would never do – drug my kid. 2 mls of Calpol later (a full 3 mls less than the normal dosage, for those who are about to call social services on me), he was finally asleep, and I was weeping openly (as was poor Monkey’s sis, it was *that* intense in the car). Not long that after the road cleared, and we hightailed it to Monkey’s sis’s house where I could feed/burp/massage my boy in peace.
I still don’t really know what upset him so much – we were stopping every 2 hours for breaks, he was on schedule for feeds, etc. I guess we’ll never know. He took an enormous nap this morning, worn out after his ordeal. Ah, parenthood.