Archive for November 5th, 2009

seventeen hours.

so here’s a little story. our drive from austin to nashville took seventeen hours. straight. no stopping, aside from the odd gas/pee/food pitstop. the trip usually averages 13-14 hours.

we decided to drive overnight. that way jude would likely sleep through the bulk of our trip. that day, however, she refused to nap. she begged to go night night as we finished packing, an hour past her bedtime. i put her to bed for awhile as we loaded up the car, and she woke up wired before we could execute our flawless plan of moving her from crib to car without her waking.

and wired she remained for the next four hours, ie until nearly 2 am, as we drove into the rainstorm that would escort us all the way to memphis, ie 3/4 of the trip.

i confess that a little tylenol/benadryl combo action did the trick for awhile, finally.

yeah. so. that rain. it came down in sheets. i white-knuckled it on the highway for hours, barely going 45mph. it was just me and those asshole trucks on the road, and over and over they splashed past my wee hatchback at 70mph, leaving me blind and hydroplaning every time.

we did pull off at one point, and i was grateful for the free wifi at texas rest stops. the radar showed a slow-moving, large loop of dark green and red rain hanging out all over texas and arkansas. we continued onward.

by daybreak, the rain had slowed enough to be simply annoying. when jude woke up for the day, she was resigned to her fate of being strapped in her carseat for the rest of her life, and coped remarkably well. we’d brought along this busy cube thing of beads and numbers and letters and a squeaky phone and lights, and that kept her entertained. this toy is only for trips, and i cannot overstate the importance of the novelty-factor.

[bonus tip from jude’s gabby for trips with toddlers old enough not to choke on small parts: blow about $10 on cheap toys from the dollar store. introduce a new one every 1-2 hours. you will thank her forever.]

our saving grace for the jude-awake part of the trip? two yo’s:

the yo gabba gabba album
yo yo ma’s greatest hits

(ok, so it’s technically three yo’s.)

yo gabba gabba is jude’s favorite program. she sure does love those catchy tunes. over and over. she’d sign “more more more” as one song faded out, afraid that it would be alllll done forever. she is just now beginning to comprehend the wonder of repeat.

nothing works better than classical music to pacify my angsty child. yank that fm dial down to about 89.1, and whatever is playing will zone her out. the trouble with arkansas is that there are many hours with no classical stations whatsoever. i happened to have some yo yo ma on my ipod. and he alone kept my child from erupting into a wailfest.

i have no idea how to end this meandering post, other than to say this: we did finally make it to nashville, where it was sunny. and that night in bed, i had visceral dreams of hydroplaning. the end.

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