Sunday, September 11, 2005
A Screaming Road Trip
Our family headed to the great Northwest yesterday. I don't mean Washington or Oregon. I'm talking Grand Rapids, Hoytville and McComb. We trekked north to the corner of Ohio that is way too close to enemy territory.
Dan is from this region of Ohio, so we spend quite a few holidays and nights visiting. We made this a day trip, leaving early Saturday morning and returning late that night. We spent lunch visiting his father and step-mom. Around dinner time we arrived at his best friend's house, for his annual birthday bash.
Aveline slept and was quiet the entire trip north. She acted delightfully for grandma and grandpa, cooing, flirting and smiling on cue. She even performed her favorite trick, the roll over and air swim, for the adoring couple. We had her sit in a high chair for the first time, while we enjoyed spinach salad, grilled chicken breasts and a fantastic chocolate Kahlua cake and coffee. Overall, she was charming.
When the time came, we put her in the carseat and headed toward Hoytville for the birthday barbecue. We only spent 20 minutes or so in the car, but she still fell asleep. We put her in her stroller at the party, since we were going to be outside.
This is where the fun started. The Cortez's are like Dan's second family. They even call him son. This was the first time they met Aveline. And she screamed. The entire time we were there, she wailed. I felt horrible. She is always so happy and laid back. She was cranky and let everyone know about it. I fed her for a bit and she was fine. We suspected she was too warm and stripped her down. She still cried. We took her for a walk, which appeased her for a few minutes. I retreated to the house, to cool her down and try feeding her again. Nothing worked for more than a few minutes. I put her in the carseat and took off in the car. I meandered through the barrio streets of Hoytville and the narrow grid of Wood county roadways. She was still screaming. I began to sing to her. She quieted down and eventually fell asleep.
After a good twenty minutes or so, I returned to the party with a calmer baby. I handed her to Dan and tried to get a bite to eat. I snarfed some standard barbecue fare before I had to head to the house again to pump. Now, for us, going places is always an ordeal. I am pumping my milk for Aveline, so I need to drag the machine, bottles, flanges, coolers and tubing where ever I go. Along with the pumping paraphernalia comes the search for the perfect place to perform the pumping. Something semi-private, comfortable with a power source is ideal. I again took off for the house. I toted my equipment into the living room, rooted out a power source and set up camp. I spied a multicolor afghan that would serve as my modesty shield, grabbed it and got down to business. There must be some sort of allure of the rhythmic hum of my machine, because I always seem to have spectators during my sessions. I also made the mistake of putting football on the TV, so I deserved the unwanted attention.
Dan came in with Aveline twenty minutes later, just as I was finishing up. She was crying again. We changed her into her pajamas and decided to call it a night. We hastily loaded the car, said our premature good byes and left the party at 7:45pm. Wow.
The drive home started out ok. She screamed for the first twenty minutes, until she succumbed to sleep. Dan stopped to get coffee, and she woke up screaming. She kept screaming and wouldn't stop. We ended up stopping at a Bob Evans parking lot in Lima and I crawled in the backseat. She snuggled up to me after I took her out of the carseat. We sat there for a half hour. She quieted down as soon as I held her.
Once she was calm again, we headed home. I stayed in the backseat and entertained Aveline in her carseat. She didn't fall asleep until Dayton.
We put her right to bed when we got home. She stayed asleep until morning.
We never did figure out what happened to make her cry so much for so long. We did figure out that our lives truly will never be the same. A simple trip up to visit family and friends will always be a huge ordeal. No wonder people with kids don't get out much.