This week has largely been getting over a cold and recovering from a very fun but very tiring trip to Portland last weekend, so my blogging time has been light, unfortunately. The good news, though, is that I have several posts lined up to post over the next week or two.
Here’s the first one…
We went down to Portland last weekend to visit our families. It was a good visit, very fun to see everyone, and it was overall really nice. While the visit was wonderful, the drive down was a different story entirely. Elanor disliked – nay, hated – the drive, and screamed her little heart out for a good 80 percent of it. For those of you unfamiliar with the Seattle-Portland drive, that’s 80 percent translates roughly into about two or so hours of screaming.
Not fun. Not fun at all. It’s a drive I really dislike anyway, so adding in a screaming baby did nothing but make the whole thing completely miserable.
Thanks to an idea Rachel had, though, I eventually found a way to help the situation. Now, there’s minor law breaking on my part here (namely that I was not buckled), but dude, I had a really, really pissed off baby on my hands, so maybe you can all overlook the law breaking. I’m sure many of you have committed minor law breaking acts for the sake of your children. I can’t be the only one, right? Right?
Ok, maybe I can be the only one. But bear with me.
Back to Elanor. We were about halfway through the drive, and she was freaking out and hysterically screaming again, even though she was exhausted and we’d already stopped twice to feed her, calm her down, and try to get her to fall asleep, stretching the already three-hour drive out even further.
I had moved into the back seat after our first stop so I could sit by her, and this last time she started flipping out, Rachel made a suggestion.
“Leen, could you move over into the middle seat and somehow lean over her and feed her?”
I had actually seen a picture of this somewhere, and even vaguely remembered a story of my sister doing something similar out of desperation.
I said, “Well, I don’t know, let me try.”
So I unbuckled, scooted over, got up on my knees and leaned over. Rachel looked in the rear-view mirror and started cracking up. Brett finally looked up from reading The Fellowship of the Ring to see what I was doing. He laughed, too.
I must have been quite a sight, kneeling on the middle seat, clutching the headrest in front of me, and trying to balance, all while crouching over to let Elanor latch on.
As soon as I moved over and began to get ready to feed her, Elanor got really excited and even more agitated. But the second she latched, she was much calmer. And within about five minutes (a very long five minutes, I might add, what with the struggle to balance as we went around curves, the car seat digging into my ribs, the baby teeth digging into me, and the frantic little hands with very long fingernails clawing at me) she was asleep enough that I could unlatch her without waking her up.
Unfortunately, she woke up about 40 minutes later and screamed for the last 40 minutes of the drive, leaving all of us near tears before it was over, but hey, at least part of the drive was made in peace.
Maybe it was stupid to feed her while we were moving, but clearly, taking her out of the seat and trying to feed her and then put her back was NOT working (she cried so much after the first time we did it that she threw up on herself), and we’d already stopped twice with no results. I don’t know; maybe better parents would just keep stopping…I guess that makes us bad parents, then. At least I didn’t unbuckle her, right? (I would never, ever do that.)
Our drive home was much better, thankfully. We bought a big-girl car seat for her while we were in Portland and she was, I think, much more comfortable in it than she was in the infant seat she was in before. We went to a wedding yesterday about an hour from home, and she only cried for a few minutes before falling asleep. And that is a definite improvement over our last long car trip.
So tell me, have any of you ever done this, or anything equally as ridiculous and dangerous, all in an effort to calm your kid down? Or are you too ashamed to admit it?
Come on, if I can admit that I whipped out my boob on I-5 and knelt on the seat of a moving car to breastfeed my hysterical daughter, you can admit whatever skeleton is in your parenting closet. I promise, I won’t judge.