Nearly a year ago, in this very same space, I wrote a column about my desire to travel with my future-child. I wrote about my apprehension concerning his ability to travel with us, and shared about friends that had discouraged us from travelling with an infant. I was aware that life would drastically change once Oliver arrived, but held hope that our family would continue to travel together. Some friends had suggested that traveling would be impossible, while others pointed out that Oliver could adjust to our way of life.
The creature that was previously growing in my wife’s uterus is now growing in my living room, and we have had several opportunities to road-test our baby. We occasionally travel over two hours north to visit family, and we recently made a couple treks up the California coast. The trips went well. Oliver survived the adventures, and even exhibited a passion for the outdoors. He pointed at sea gulls, put his feet in the ocean, and tried to eat every plant he saw. He was attempting to shove grass and flowers in his mouth whenever he got the chance. If he were a dinosaur, he would be one of those pudgy little herbivores that keep to themselves.
Although we experienced early success as a new family of travelers, we have recently hit a couple bumps in the road. During a recent trip, Oliver shared that he wanted to punch me in the mouth. He may not have used these exact words, but his looks spoke volumes. He wanted to punch my face off.
Oliver initially loved sleeping in the car, but he now struggles coping with traffic, and thus no longer sleeps well in his car seat. During this particular trip, our car was occasionally held up by traffic, and Oliver was screaming threats at street signs and cop cars as we drove past. He screamed and roared as though the other drivers might understand that our baby wanted to keep moving (he must know that other drivers truly care about his feelings). We attempted every intervention possible, but he continued to let us know that he was displeased with our travel plans. We ultimately concluded that he might be scared of the headlights at night, and tried our best appease him. It didn’t always work, but we made a valiant effort.
In conclusion … who knows? He was a fantastic traveler two months ago, and then suddenly became an old man that hates going outside his neighborhood. We have not yet learned whether Oliver enjoys the wide open road. We have learned, however, that it has been fun getting to know him.