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4 lessons from a road-trip with a baby, Part 2

3 October 2013

Monday we started four lessons from surviving a huge road-trip with a nine-month-old baby. You got busy and I got self-conscious about posting a huge piece, so here is Part Two!

3 – Your bladder is bigger than you think it is.

Being a parent teaches you all kinds of new things about yourself. It pushes you to become better in so many ways – even ways you don’t necessarily want to be better.

But when you have 15 hours to drive, and the baby is sleeping, it doesn’t matter how badly you think you have to pee, you are about to discover amazing new things about the capabilities of the human body and the elasticity of your bladder. Do not. Wake up. The baby.

4 – Other people at rest stops are tired too.

Early Sunday afternoon, the After Church Nap hit Husband, and we parked at yet another rest stop for a quick snooze in the car before finishing the drive home.

The Meatball, of course, doesn’t sleep in stationary cars, so we went inside to kill an hour or so.

Maybe this is just me, ’cause I’m a fat jerk, but when I’ve been on the road for two days, and I pull into a rest stop out of some kind of necessity – hunger, bladder swollen to new capacity, sleepiness – I’m usually thinking about me.

I’m usually scanning the top of the walls for the Restrooms sign, or surveying the neon signs for something that promises coffee. In line, I’m usually staring at menus, or my phone, or doing a funny dance – kind of the opposite of a rain dance. If I look at the tables and chairs, it’s usually to find an empty set.

I never think about what I look like, or what expression I’m wearing, or what my body language might be communicating.

Not The Meatball

Blog 3He scanned faces, looking for any one that would meet his. And when someone noticed him, he dished it out – big smile, usually a sigh or a coo of some sort, sometimes a point or a wave, occasionally a squeal.

And I watched him, because I love him and he’s adorable, but after a little while he pointed at someone else and I followed his chubby finger to the man he was greeting. A man who smiled and waved, and then walked away a little taller.

Next was a pair of middle-aged ladies who shuffled in, yawning, stretching – until they saw him. They returned his smile and his waves, and walked away laughing.

Person after person, pair after pair, walked in tired and withdrawn, but walked away smiling. We walked in circles and dished out joy for an hour. Would that I could remember to do that on my own. He’s working on me, though, and I’m learning.

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