Cooper is at that glorious age where he thinks road trips are awesome. For the simple task of sitting in a car seat he is awarded the highly coveted and rare occasion daytime movie and a fast-food fix: "Orange W Store" (a.k.a Whataburger). Although, after the amount of time we've spent in the car this summer, when we pull up to the window he is quick to spout off: "I need a hamburger with extra pickles and only one dip-it, KETCHUP!" Yikes.
Sister, at 12 months old, is an entirely different story. The things we do to keep that girl happy in the car are so outrageous that I finally got Kyle to admit it is easier to drive the entire way than to scramble around entertaining her.
Here's my list of all of the crazy things that go on in our car...
Roadtrippin' Baby Craziness:
*** In order of escalation.
- The Inaudible Adult Conversation - All babies sleep in the car, right? Cooper did. It used to be so easy. If you started driving during his normal nap time we were always blessed with 2-3 hours of peaceful baby sleep. With Sister, car sleep is elusive and unpredictable. She may fall asleep right away, sleep for 30 minutes and be done or not sleep the entire trip and fall asleep right as we meet our destination. So, when sleep DOES happen and we get the rare moment for an uninterrupted adult conversation, you better believe we are talking at a volume so low only our dog can hear us. In fact, to actually understand the other person, you have to turn your head towards them and read lips while the non-driver leans over the middle console. Kyle always remarks on how crazy we would seem if we were somehow caught on hidden camera. #truth
- Snack after snack after snack - I worry about this one. "Oh, you're upset? Here's a cookie! Raisins! Yogurt! The rest of my hamburger!" Oh well. A chewing mouth is a happy one when in the car. We'll undo the "eat to feel better" thing another day, because right now it makes us all better. And calms the urge to jump out of the window. Really, it's for our safety.
- Toys and non-toy toys - At some point the snacks run out or Sister gets full, usually the former. I start frantically digging through my diaper bag in search of all toys. Music playing toys! Squeaky toys! Squishy toys! Big brother's toys that suddenly become fair game! You name it, I've pulled it out. And, since every toy we own seems to entertain for a maximum of 30 seconds, we also pull out the non-toy toys. "Here's an empty water bottle! A box of wipes! Oh lawduhmercy, please do not strangle yourself with my iPhone charger!"
- Family Sing-a-long - When we are out of toys I usually start singing, Kyle's favorite. There are the classics, which usually have Kyle saying "IF YOU SING PATTY-CAKE AGAIN I'M GOING TO CRY" and "PLEASE SING PATTY-CAKE AGAIN OR I'M GOING TO CRY", all in the same breath. There are also the made up songs like "Sister, Sister" and "Please Stop Crying", all to the tune of "Are you Sleeping" (oh, the irony). If you find me in the loony bin one day humming this tune quietly to myself you'll know why!
- That's it. I'm coming back there. - Despite the fact that our car has bucket seats in back this is a common practice. In a final act of desperation you can find me crawling around in the back seat hand holding, tear wiping and ear shushing. When Sister was younger, I may or may not have mastered the trick of nursing her while she was strapped into her car seat. Sorry, I'm not sorry.
And yet we still manage to get back on the road! The journey is worth the trip, or something like that. Please tell me this happens in your car, too. And, better yet, please tell me your magic tricks to avoid this happening in your car!