Friday, March 22, 2013

Kids and Cars - Oh My!

Yesterday seemed to be the day for kid trouble. From them waking up cranky, to coming home from school picking at their siblings, to driving their parents insane with the:
"He's touching me!"
"She started it!"
"I did NOT!"

The last time my kids drove me this close to the brink of having the men in little white coats take me away was right after our daughter was born and we drove to a family get-together several hours away. Being only a few weeks old, we were concerned with how well our infant would handle being strapped into a car seat for that length of time.  

Things were going along so well on the drive to the family function, our worries were for naught. To our great delight, the baby slept the entire way. If we hadn't been so sleep deprived, I think our parent spidey-sense signals might've alerted us to the fact that the baby wasn't sleeping innocently, she was taking a power-nap so she'd have super-human powers later to take over the world and suck all of our brain cells. 

Unaware of our pending doom, we relaxed and spent several hours enjoying being in the presence of family before it was time to load up the kids and head home. After lots of running and playing, we expected our 2 year old to be exhausted and sleep the whole way home. Our new baby had handled everyone holding her and had stayed awake for most of the visit, so we were confident she would as well. Our spidey-sense was lulled into complacency and we didn't know what was about to be launched our way. 

We didn't even make it 1 minute down the road when we heard the baby "Puh-tooey" her pacifier halfway across the minivan..... and that's when the drive from the most nether regions of the earth's core began.  She started crying and got louder by the second. We pulled over and fed her, and she fell asleep but as soon as the buckle snapped on her seatbelt, she awoke and started wailing again.  We decided to use the age-old wisdom of letting her cry it out.  I bet whoever invented that had a great pair of ear plugs - which we did NOT have in the car.  Mike asked "How long can a newborn cry when there's the constant motion of the car to soothe her and baby Beethoven playing as mood music?". 

We found out.  About 45 minutes later and with her wailing ever louder, Mike turned around in the front passenger seat, found the baby's pacifier and plopped it back in her mouth. He gave a victorious grunt and just as he was turning to sit back down, you could hear "PUH-TOOEY"....she'd spit the thing out again. With a grumble he turned around again, found the pacifier and plopped it back in her mouth. He no sooner took his hand away when she spit it out again and started wailing.  And then the 2 year old starts chiming in "Dada, make it stop!" 

As the battle of baby and pacifier vs. 40 year old grown man waged, the 2 year old saying ever louder "Make it stop!" and with as much willpower as I could to try to stop it, I couldn't contain a small fit of laughter that bubbled to the surface.  A dirty look and a cranky grumble to "drive faster" luckily were all I got in return.  Mike finally gave up trying to sit in his seat, or to even let go of the pacifier.  For the next 1.5 hours he had his knees in the front seat with his back hunched over like the Hunchback of Notre Dame and with one hand was holding the pacifier in the baby's mouth, and using his other to brace himself so his head would quit bouncing off the car's ceiling.  With fits of grumbling erupting every so often and the constant battle of man vs. pacifier, I could not contain my laughter.  I started giggling which erupted into a full-fledged laughter when Mike shot me a look.  That really got me going. 

By the time we got home I had obviously lost all brain matter from listening to the battle that was waged and was laughing so hard I had tears running down my face.  If the men in little white coats had seen me, they'd have surely taken me away.  When we arrived home and I took the baby out of the carseat, she immediately stopped crying and fell into that long-awaited exhausted slumber we'd all prayed for on the drive.  It took Mike a good 20 minutes before he was able to unkink his back and get the circulation to return to his legs so he could exit the car.  And with a "next time I'M doing the driving!" he collapsed in his recliner.  We didn't do much travelling after that trip.....

by: Christie Bielss

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