Well, we did it! We survived an actual road trip […]
Well, we did it! We survived an actual road trip with both a toddler and an infant in tow. What normally took me around seven hours to complete turned into a nine-hour stretch. While that sounds like an eternity to be in such close quarters with two littles, it was surprisingly not that bad!
Lately when Akira wakes up in the morning, he just coos. He’ll lie in bed talking and cooing for a while—sometimes up to 30 minutes—until one of us rolls over and wakes up with him. I think it’s adorable and sweet and is certainly much better than waking up to a crying baby. What I’ve noticed, though, is that once he wakes up, he isn’t interested in nursing at all. It’s most likely because an hour before he’s actually awake, he has a very long feed while he’s still asleep—and about an hour or so after that is when he’s awake for the day.
Upon waking, he’ll have a little snack here and there, but he won’t really latch on long enough to fill his belly. Interestingly, he isn’t even fussy about it. He just wants to be up! So, that morning after he woke up, I took him out of our bedroom and put him in his crib in the kids’ room while I got breakfast set up and finished our last minute packing. While I was having breakfast, he talked himself to sleep! I was really happy about this because it meant that he was taking his morning nap, which meant that I could really get a lot done before we all headed out.
Let me tell you—packing for two children for a week-long,out-of-state trip really makes you evaluate what you actually need to bring. I think we pared down Akira’s needs to the very basics: his co-sleeper, a bouncy seat, clothing, a blanket, a baby carrier, the baby monitor and my breast pump. Everything else we packed was for collateral peace of mind.
After packing everything, he woke up just in time for me to nurse him and give him a bath. I normally give him a bath every other night before bed to get him in the routine of winding down. And because he loves baths so much, I decided to give him one before we left for two reasons. First, he’d be fresh and clean! Who doesn’t enjoy smelling a fresh baby? And second, it would relax him before going in his car seat and would hopefully get him to sleep. It worked!
For the first leg of our trip, he slept the entire time. We stopped three-and-a-half hours later at our halfway point in Valdosta, Georgia. We pulled into the Cracker Barrel, which to be honest, isn’t my favorite place however it is consistent, has clean bathrooms, has a ton of food options and is entertaining. (I mean, they have an actual general store!) While there, we grabbed some lunch, and I was able to feed Akira and give him a diaper change before we headed out. Our pit stops usually take about 45 minutes but on this particular trip, it doubled. An hour-and-a-half later, we were back on the road, rested and fed.
With another three-and-a-half hours to go, we persevered. There was typical Thanksgiving traffic coupled with delays due to road construction and we were just trucking along. We couldn’t believe how well both kids were doing!
With an hour left to go, Akira had finally had enough. And we couldn’t blame him. He had been a trooper the entire time and finally wanted out. He started whimpering and fussing. It would come in waves. Sometimes the lull of the drive would get him to calm down. But then he’d remember that he was still stuck in his car seat. Poor guy—he was exhausted. And so were we.
Finally, we made it to my aunt’s and uncle’s house where my family awaited. After taking Akira out of his car seat and Anaïs was unbuckled and out of the car, we all sat down with one another to homemade paella, copious amounts of wine and espresso panna cotta. We laughed, recounted the drive and everyone got their turn holding and passing Akira around. It was an awesome end to a very long day. And a great start to the Thanksgiving holiday that was just beginning.