This weekend we traveled to my hometown to visit my parents, grandmother, and my uncles who were in town for their high school reunion.
We got on the road around 7 p.m. Friday night to make the 2-hour drive down. Thomas usually goes to sleep around 6 and we’d kept him awake so he’d be nice and tired for our trek. He fell asleep as soon as we started moving so I was feeling pretty proud of how I was finally getting this mommy thing down.
Forty-five minutes later – I was thinking that I should never, ever feel proud of myself.
Apparently, he thought being in the car meant he could just take a 30-minute nap and then scream his head off the rest of the way. We stopped at one point and I fed him, thinking maybe that would help him sleep. No. He started screaming as soon as we started moving again.
I tried playing his musical toy, reading him books, giving him a pacifier, letting him chew on my finger. I tried shaking his car seat, talking to him in a soothing manner, and making silly noises. And then I started blowing in his face.
Gently, I promise. But it always startles him and I thought maybe he would take a breath and realize he wasn’t really as upset as he thought he was. But apparently, he was really upset.
Finally I started singing. I sang every song I’ve ever learned. I was in quite a few musicals as a child, but even I ran out of songs after about 30 minutes. So I had to start singing Christmas carols. And I sang Silent Night for the last 15 minutes of our ride. It was the only thing that kept him quiet. Awake, but quiet. He finally closed his eyes when we pulled into my parent’s driveway. (Of course!)
The next day when we saw everyone, my aunt asked us how Thomas does in the car. At the exact same time I said, “Terrible,” Kevin said, “Good.”
At first, I assumed he must be joking. Or drunk. Or completely insane.
How, how, how can you say Tom is good in the car? I mean, I know he was driving but we don’t have a big car. He could hear Tom.
So I asked Kevin what he was talking about. He said he thought that Tom was usually good in the car and that the night before had been a fluke. And I pointed out that Tom pretty much cries whenever he’s in the car longer than 10 minutes. Kevin disagreed because apparently he’s never in the car with me because if he ever was he would know that I’m telling the truth and he is full of lies.
Kevin got a chance to prove his theory when we drove home Sunday afternoon. We timed the drive to be around a nap. I checked the clock and Tom began screaming after we’d been in the car 14 minutes.
I asked Kevin if he still believed Tom was good in the car. And Kevin stood firm. Say it with me now: AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!
Tom screamed until minute 62 when I realized this time my singing wasn’t working and the only thing that would help him was a half-dose of non-recalled generic infant Tylenol. In my defense, Kevin and I rationalized that maybe his gums were hurting him since he’d been chomping and teething all weekend. Yes, that’s it! (We drugged him. There, I said it.)
He took a 30 minute nap and then woke up chomping. This time it was a hungry chomp. So I fed him and he was happy until we got home. Thank. God.
I decided not to discuss this further with Kevin. Because if he thinks a baby screaming for an hour each way is “good” then I’m not so sure anything I could say would sway him. You can’t rationalize with crazy.