I’m sure you have grand visions for this trip: showing your kid quirky landmarks, playing fun car games, singing songs together as a family… It’ll be downright idyllic!
Well go ahead and set that picture on fire because that’s a better representation of the fresh hell that awaits you on the open road.
Unfortunately for us, half of our family lives four hours away, and we happen to actually like them. And they really like the baby, and seem to think “spending time” and “building a relationship” with him is important or whatever, so that means road trips are a necessity.
With a few of them under my belt now, I like to think I’m at least prepared. In my experience, these 5 things will definitely happen on any road trip with a baby:
- You will pack everything you own into a too-small car. Do you need all this crap? Yes! No. …Maybe? Ok, probably not, but you just never know if the baby is going to want his polka dot monkey or his striped monkey, and he can’t possibly take a bath without his full suite of squirty toys. And obviously you need the stroller and the carrier, and maybe the infant car seat just in case? Sure, he’s been in a convertible seat for a month now, but you just never know when you’ll need an extra car seat. Plus, you’d better bring the high chair, swim float, bath seat, extra crib sheets, a box of diapers… Ya know what, just get a U-haul and call it a day.
- The baby will not sleep. Even if your baby is a great car-sleeper, he will somehow know he’s in it for the long-haul and stage a sleep strike. He’ll drift off for a 15-minute power nap, and then be pissed that he didn’t magically wake up somewhere else.
- The baby will scream. Whether out of anger, excitement, frustration, boredom, or most likely, sleep deprivation… It doesn’t matter. It will be loud. Pack Tylenol.
- The baby will have a blow out. This is just Murphy’s Law. Expect it. Prepare for it. Bring air freshener.
- You and your spouse / significant other will fight. Oh, you’re both mature and reasonable coparents? Throw that bull out the window at 70 mph. Your husband will tailgate. You will have to pee too many times. The baby’s incessant yelling will drive you both to your wit’s end, and you will both silently seethe until he rips a loud fart (am I referencing the baby or the husband? You decide.) and breaks the tension.
Bottom line: you better be REAL excited about wherever you’re going, because you’re going to hate life by the time you get there. But hey, enjoy your trip!