Saturday, September 22, 2012

Learning to drive with a baby

028I’ll publish this one anyway, even though, ironically enough, we have decided to get a campervan here in New Zealand. I wrote this one in Utah.

Rant time.

I don’t like driving. I suppose I should explain why because a lot of people really like driving, I think. Well, now that I have a baby I hate driving ten times more. Here’s why:

1. I hate car seats. He has to ride in the back while I am driving on the freeway. If he starts to cry because he is hot, cold, uncomfortable, falling out of his seat, missing his binky, missing his mommy, tired, wet, whatever, what am I supposed to do? I’m driving. On the freeway. I have to listen to him cry. The entire time I’m on the freeway. When I babywear him on the bus or metro, like I did in Mexico, he NEVER cried. He was comfortable and if he needed something, I could attend to it right away. With cars this is impossible.

Here’s Ryder kareoking with Jacob at one of our weekly get togethers in Mexico City.

2. I hate cars. I hate how you constantly have to fill them up with gas ($500/month expense anyone?) I hate how they break down all the time. I hate how hot they get in the sun and you have to open your door with your shirt tail and you have to worry about putting on your melting seatbelt and you have to put your already sweating child in the burning carseat.

3. I hate traffic. I hate road construction, and I hate changing lanes going 80 miles an hour with folks who you know nothing about their skills as drivers. I hate not knowing where I’m going, and having to look at the GPS while I’m driving.

4. I hate waste. Seems like so much gas is wasted to get one little person inside one huge vehicle from point A to point B within the same city.

OK, time to tell you what I love.

1. I love babywearing. I love never having to get my baby in and out of car seats but just hopping in and out of the metro with him practically just an extension of my body. Easy, fast, convenient and I never have to worry about waking the baby up.

2. I love public transportation. I love hopping on a train, bus, metro, or taxi and doing whatever I want while someone else is in charge of getting us there.

3. I love free time that I can spend reading, playing with my baby, or sleeping even when there is traffic. I feel much safer with this kind of transportation than with cars.

4. I love how green public transportation is.

All this is meant to say, I guess this means I am not cut out to be an American mother. I would just stay home probably most of the time, just to avoid the annoyance and hassle of getting from one place to another. Am I missing something? Is driving really that great of an activity? Many people say driving is the ultimate freedom. To me, I feel shackled by its inconvenience, ESPECIALLY now that I have a baby.

Friday, September 14, 2012

The Difficulties of Traveling with a Baby…

IMG_1002are way overstated.

I can’t speak for what it will be like when Ryder is walking, or driving for that matter.

But as a three month old, Ryder is ridiculously easy to travel with…most of the time.

On the 12 hour flight to Fiji, he just slept like always. Babies, I’m told, love white noise and bumpiness. Planes, therefore, are ideal for Ryder.

Hotel rooms? We use the same bed wherever we go, so it’s not a big deal for him.

Crying in public? Just as not fun abroad as at home, but it’s just as likely to happen anywhere.

There’s no need to worry about carrying food around. He flies for free. He doesn’t even play with toys yet. He’s easy. He’s portable. He doesn’t need nearly as much stuff as you’d think. I’ll do a post soon on what we do carry for him.

Venice Beach, Los Angeles


Waiting for his connecting flight in Fiji.

There are two exceptions to this so far:

When we checked out of our YMCA the other day, he had a massive blowout. I was talking on the phone with Air Pacific and didn’t notice at first. Poop on his back, on his blanket, on my pants, on his carrier…it was epic.

And we no longer had a bathtub to use because we were in between homes. I spent 45 minutes cleaning him and me off with paper towels in the YMCA basement restroom. I had to dig around for new clothes for us both out of our suitcases. That is the extent of difficulty of traveling with a baby that I have experienced. It wasn’t fun at the time, but it was amusing to recount afterwards

One more thing. Ryder was sleeping up to 10 hours a night in a row. Now, with the time change in New Zealand, his rhythms are off and he’s back down to only five and we’re back to square one. Dang it.

Other than that, I am here to tell you what I never heard before—traveling with a baby adds to the experience of the voyage. It doesn’t detract from it. Jacob and I can’t wait to see him growing and experiencing the world around him. We’re sure he’ll provide insights we’ll have never thought of. Right now, he seems happy enough just going where we go.


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