When our twins were 6 months old, friends from out of state came to visit their parents in Kalamazoo. We thought it would be great to see our friends and their 10-month-old daughter, so we packed everything we owned and headed out to K-zoo overnight.
We vaguely resembled the Beverly Hillbillies—you know where Granny is sitting on top of a pile of stuff in her rocking chair strapped to a pickup truck. We had the double stroller, two rock-n-plays, a pack-n-play, diapers, formula, dish soap, more diapers and formula, wipes, white noise machines, blankets, toys, clothes, all the bibs we owned, diapers…
We left home just before bedtime. The kids were in their PJs and we figured that with the three-hour drive across the state, they’d be out and we’d just set up their beds and lay them down. Oh, how we were optimistic.
After a relatively uneventful ride there, we pulled into the hotel lot just after 10:30 p.m. The plan was for my husband to check-in and get the room all set up for the kids to go to sleep while I drove in circles around the parking lot. Bottles would be waiting for their dream feed. All we had to do was get them from the car into the hotel without waking them up.
Everything was fine until we shared the elevator with a bachelorette party. The ladies, who had imbibed in several adult beverages, were talking at the decibel level most drunk people use. Then they saw our sleeping babies and decided that whisper-yelling how cute they were would be more helpful. They whisper-yelled the rest of the elevator ride (it was only three floors up, but it felt like eternity) only to find they were on our floor, too.
In our room, the kids were no longer being lulled by the car ride and were beginning to stir. It was after 11 p.m. now and my husband and I were beat. We hurried to give the kids their final bottle of the night hoping that it would send them off to a quiet, restful sleep.
Alas, it only worked for half of our little duo. Our son took his bottle and drifted off. Our daughter, however, took her bottle and stared at me. Just stared. I put her in her rock-n-play next to my side of the bed and laid down, gently rocking her. I drifted off for a few minutes and when I woke up, she was still staring. It wasn’t a blank stare, it was more of a, “Well, now what?” kind of stare. I figured she was safe, fed, diapered and happy, so I let myself doze, waking throughout the night to see how she was doing. Thankfully, she drifted off eventually.
A little bleary-eyed the next morning, we met up with our friends and had a great time.
Our trip home was more exciting. Our son cried and screamed the entire way. At one point we pulled into a rest stop to see if we could do anything. He wasn’t hungry or uncomfortable. He was just royally ticked to be in the car.
Eh. Can’t win ’em all. I’m glad we did it though. An overnighter was good practice for our other small trips. And I’ve noticed that as the kids get older, it’s getting a little better in the car.
One day, we might even be brave enough to take them on an airplane.
– Rebecca Calappi, Publications Coordinator at Beaumont Health System and adoptive parent of multiples