This past weekend, HawtWife and I took Nugget on her first “big” road trip. She’s been out and about before, making voyages of over an hour, but this was a bigger test. And, thanks to those smaller trips, we were armed with a little knowledge. Like, for example, the knowledge that, if she starts crying, find an exit, because she’s in need of a change. If you don’t follow through when the siren starts going off, you’ll just end up having to hand wash her car seat, and everything else in it. Because, again, TARDIS bladder. I seriously cannot stress that enough.
So, armed with our past experiences, we loaded the car, strapped Nugget in, and made our voyage 4 hours eastward. Well, if it had just been me and HawtWife, it would’ve been about 4 hours. Maybe closer to 4.5, since HawtWife has this crazy desire to use things like flushing toilets once in awhile. Anyway, it would’ve taken less time than it took with Nugget. Not that we minded, as we really didn’t have to be anywhere at a specific time, but it did amaze me how a tiny little person can add over an hour onto your travel time.
Now, the main purpose behind this trip was so that Nugget could meet family. And meet family, she did. In fact, she met the closest genetic guys to me, which was pretty cool, since it meant that we got to take the obligatory “4 Generations” photo. She was in a pretty good mood for most of it, which was relatively surprising, as she had just spent far longer than I think she was prepared for not really being able to move around or anything (look, even if she wasn’t tiny and carseat-bound, I’ve still only got a small car, so it’s not like she’s got a lot of real estate to cover). Sure, there were a couple of meltdown moments, but those were quickly stifled. After all, it’s hard to cry with boob in your mouth (not that she’ll let something like that really stop her if she’s intent on a meltdown). She was even super happy in the hotel afterwards, and I’m pretty sure she was trying to tell us all about her day, only limited by a lack of consonants, and an understanding of how words actually work.
Of course, this whole mini-trip was setting us up for a much bigger trip later on this year, as Nugget gets to meet her southern cousins for the first time. We’re going to take some steps to try and prepare ourselves better for that trip, including, but not limited to, the following:
1. Leave when she’s going to sleep.
This should minimize the potential freak-out time while strapped in. Of course, this being Nugget, she’ll probably just spend the drive awake for the most part of it.
2. Make sure to grab her favorite toy.
We actually almost screwed this up on the shorter voyage this past weekend, but, if you forget the favorite toy, and you don’t have time to find it, you better find a store that has the EXACT SAME TOY immediately. Or they’ll be able to tell. It’s just like how kids know that it isn’t really the same guinea pig.
3. Stock up on sugar and caffeine.
Ostensibly, this is for me and HawtWife, but I’m tempted to slip some to Nugget next trip. Sure, it’ll jack her up for awhile, but the eventual sugar crash should be worth it.
4. Seriously, get that favorite toy.
I cannot stress this enough.
5. Plot out your course, and find where there won’t be an exit for a long time. Then stop for awhile JUST BEFORE that point.
If not, you’ll have a freaking out baby, a frazzled spouse, and a desire to turn on Nine Inch Nails. And those moments will happen as soon as you’ve passed that last exit.
With all of those tips in mind, we think we’re ready for our next road trip. If not, I’m sure that, in about a month, you’ll see plenty of new stories from me about how many different ways I was wrong.