Monday, March 31, 2008

06 Rant Easter Travels

Talk about exhausting. I thought traveling from my hometown of Sycamore to Macomb each holiday was tough, and I typically wasn’t driving. But doing it with a three month old was excruciating. What is normally a three-and-a-half to four hour drive turned into five hours of “Take the next exit”, “Wahhhhhh”, “No, don’t take the exit, she’s sleeping”, “Damn, take the next exit. She must be wet.” “What? Now we need gas? Seriously? But she’s asleep. Can’t we just coast on fumes for awhile and wave our arms out the windows?”

Our trusty blue Honda Civic did a beautiful job of transporting my family (Me, my husband and my three-month-old daughter Ada) to see my Mom’s side of the family for Easter. It was baby Ada’s debut to the relatives on that side and boy were they ready to meet her. After five grueling hours in the car, for which we had to stop numerous times to change her in the front seat, fill up the gas tank, nurse her so I didn’t explode, take food and bathroom breaks, and just plain stretch, we finally arrived at my aunt’s house. She was waiting patiently on the porch in the cold to get a glimpse of the baby.

It was a calm but eager excitement. I unpacked Ada from the car seat and passed her off for the oohs and ahhs. Then came the necessities-- change her diaper, feed her, and put on her Easter dress. We went with disposable diapers for this trip since we have a bag of size ones to use up before she outgrows them. But I’m a firm believer in the cloth diaper. (More on that later.) So we changed her, and changed her again.

Finally we head over to my other uncle and aunt’s house for Easter spaghetti dinner prepared by my grandfather. Again, oohs and ahhs and ogoling. She was great and dinner went well. She posed for the paparazzi that is my family and my aunts took turns holding her during dinner. What a nice relief to be able to eat dinner at the same time as my husband while the food was still hot. Overall, the evening was pretty uneventful.

We stayed at my cousin’s house. Ada started out in her pack and play but magically spent most of the night in our bed since she was gasey from what I can only guess was the mushrooms, garlic or tomatoes. I can never tell what foods I eat that will make her unhappy later but my grandfather’s spaghetti is definitely up there at the top of the list. But it was so good. Probably not worth losing that much sleep for but oh well. I’ll know better next time.

Morning rolls around and it is trying to snow. Some silly family member thought 9 am was an appropriate time for Easter brunch. We arrived fashionably late at 9:30 after asking my cousin to load all of our stuff in the car, brush off the snow and give Ada her bottle while we frantically got ready. He’s such a great guy (he’s single ladies…).

At brunch we ordered and things were going well until Ada got fussy and had to be changed. My husband took the first shift. He returned to say, “At least the bathrooms are big so I had enough space to change her on the floor.” Great. One of those. For those of you who have never had to change a baby on the bathroom floor of a restaurant, it’s never good. You never know what is on the floor. You try not to let the baby touch the floor at all but the changing pads that come in diaper bags are not very big and with the way babies squirm it is difficult to avoid. Overall, it is a nasty experience and one that should be avoided. Just trust me on this one.

After five hours in the car ride home with more of the same wet, hungry, uncomfortable, sleepy, cranky baby, we made it back to the city just in time to park the car, unload all of our stuff, and pickup the house before heading to bed. It’s unfortunate that my mom’s family is so far away. I’m thankful we get to see them a few times a year and even more thankful we don’t have to do the drive very often.

Moral of the story: Avoid traveling with small children, avoid changing babies on the floor of public restrooms, and avoid marrying someone with a big family that is spread out all over the world if you plan to procreate.

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