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4 lessons from a road-trip with a baby

30 September 2013

We’ve been home for a week, and my house still looks like a vacation exploded in it. I blame car trouble, and Husband’s burgeoning art career.

Pictures are uploaded, stories are being shared, and I’ve had time to process the fact that we drove several thousand miles with a nine-month-old baby in the back of the minivan. Here’s what I’ve learned:

1 – Pennsylvania has the best rest stops east of the Mississippi.

Husband wasn’t feeling well, so he was walking a couple laps in the parking lot to get some air. I walked into the Women’s room and was immediately confronted with a door, adorned with a plaque that simply read, “Mommy and Me.”

A sink, a changing table, a toilet, a mini-toilet, and … wait for it … this thing:

Blog 1

No, he’s not sitting in a urinal. It’s this:

Koala Seat

Where has this been all his life?

I eagerly strapped him in and sat down to pee. Then I washed my hands – both of them – at the same time. Without trying to hold him on my lap, or stand him on the dirty floor and hold one arm so he didn’t crawl on it, or sit him on a wet counter and alternate securing him with one hand while I washed the other.

Dear Illinois – get on this.

2 – Sometimes it’s okay to party at midnight.

It was 11:50 PM on the first day of driving home. We really wanted to make it to Cleveland, and we were about 30 minutes out when he woke up screaming. I don’t know how he does that, but somehow his vocal chords start to vibrate as sleep begins to fall off and by the time he’s awake he’s just screaming.

But only in the car seat.

I crawled into the back seat next to him. I stroked his hair. I sang the bedtime songs. I spoke sweetly and rhythmically. I did everything that ever puts him back to sleep. No go. Finally, I clicked on the dim light that points at the chair I was in and handed him an empty water bottle.

He snapped the rest of the way awake, started attacking the butt-end of the water bottle with his eight vicious teeth, and we chatted and sang and giggled to Cleveland.

Sometimes – nay, usually – midnight is when you go back to bed. But sometimes, midnight is when you wake up and have a good chat with someone you love. Is it going to mess up your schedule in the morning? You bet. Is it worth it? Absolutely.

(Stay tuned for Lessons 3 and 4 on Thursday.)

Have you ever done a long road-trip with a baby? What did you learn?

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Alease permalink
    30 September 2013 7:53 AM

    OMG! I see those in Japan a lot. Mostly in the malls. They have them in each bathroom stall. I always think to myself “what a wonderful idea for mommies”

    • Lex permalink*
      30 September 2013 10:38 AM

      In each stall?! That’s amazing. Japan must love their mommies more. 😉

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