Our summer is finally winding down and your sister starts preschool this upcoming Tuesday which means things are about to become glorious for you. It is true that your parents overextended themselves this summer and we planned several lengthy trips back-to-back but hopefully I can look back at them at some point in the future and laugh. It was a tremendous amount of work but I’m also really happy we got the chance to do them.
One trip in particular was a trip we took to Washington D.C. to visit with your Great-Grandpa and then from there, we flew to Boston to spend a week at Cape Cod with your Aunt Sarah, Uncle Jason & Cousin Jack. We took the dreaded red-eye flight out because apparently I’m a glutton for punishment. The flight came just four days off the cabin trip from Hell so you can imagine my anxiety with being trapped in an airplane for almost five hours with the baby who likes to cry and doesn’t like to be held sitting down surrounded by angry child-hating individuals who want nothing more than to sleep peacefully undisturbed. You can also bet on the fact that if the smallest chirp leaves your lips, I as the parent holding the disgusting midget will receive a glare of death only seen in the pits of Mordor that will make me feel like the pond scum they think I am for even attempting to bring a child on to an airplane. I think your pediatrician took mercy on me because after I explained my anxiety to her she looked down on me and smiled – birds flew out behind her, clouds parted, animals gathered and rejoiced. A ray of sunshine unlike any other ray I have ever witnessed, beamed down upon your doctor and as angels sang their beautiful music in the distance, your doctor uttered the most wonderful word I have ever heard in all my days . . . Benadryl. I couldn’t believe my ears. There was a simple solution to this madness? I stepped out of your pediatrician’s office with a bit of a spring in my step at the endless opportunities of this beautiful majestic liquid gold . . Benadryl.
We arrived at the airport way too early at the suggestion of your Father and you were excited and hyper over the new sights and sounds you were witnessing around you. The two hour anticipation proved to be a little taxing on you because you managed to spit up on your pajamas, projectile vomit on the waiting area seat and started to warm up your vocal cords for the long flight. As a parent, the worst thing a child can do is to start crying hysterically right before you board because it exposes me as the parent to the screaming baby to everyone that will be on the flight with you. If you start crying on the plane, I may be exposed to the few rows around me but not the entire plane. I’m basically telling everyone on our flight, ‘LOOK AT ME EVERYONE. I’M THE ONE WHO IS PLANNING ON MAKING THIS FLIGHT MISERABLE FOR YOU. ENJOY!’ At this point though I’m feeling OK because I’m armed with liquid magic.
We make our way to our seats after fumbling with a computer bag, an extra large duffel that could get us through an apocalypse if it occurred while on the plane, a diaper bag, a Toddler car seat and your cherished lion. Several adults en route to their seats actually stopped to gush over you. I looked around perplexed that adults with no children in tow were actually being decent with me and were not throwing their trash in my direction or hissing through their teeth upon seeing you. You rubbed your eyes and started to nuzzle in and for a brief second I thought, I actually may not need to drug my child. Nope. You started your barrel-rolling on my lap in an attempt to get comfortable with no success and you began to vocalize your frustrations. It was time. I pulled out the diaper bag and went to the outside pocket that I reserved especially for this special special concoction. My hand pulled up nothing. I went to the other outside pocket. Again, my hand came back empty. Beads of sweat are beginning to form at my forehead and I feel my face beginning to turn hot as your Father’s eyes are burning the back of my head. I begin to panic as I start to pull every item from the diaper bag with no luck. I turn to your Father with empty hands and a defeated heart at the realization that I must have left the small Ziploc bag of hope at security. I thought to myself, ‘how could this be? I was so careful. No no no. There is absolutely no way I would leave behind this gift sent to me by the Heavens.’ With all the energy I had mustered in my body, I jammed my arm back in the bag and reached with all my might and wait . . . could it be? Yes, YES!!! The Benadryl was beautiful and it was saved from the depths of the diaper bag. I was once again victorious as I stared at this little vial of clear liquid resting on my tray table. I took that syringe and filled it up. I filled that syringe all the way up as concerned adults walked by me with questionable expressions on their faces as to why I was inserting a vial of fluid in to my baby’s mouth. It took only ten minutes and you fell asleep and it was pure unharnessed joy. You slept the entire duration of the flight and I didn’t even care that I had the worst case of restless leg syndrome I have ever experienced or the fact that my bladder could have exploded with a sneeze. You slept and it was everything I could have dreamed of and more.
You acted pretty much standard issue on all the trips. You woke up, were happy for roughly thirty minutes and then you cried the rest of the day. Pardon me, you didn’t cry all the time – you have developed the lovely habit of screaming at me when there is something you want or when I need to pick up the pace on something. I wasn’t aware that babies could yell but I guess there is always something to learn with children. The Cape Cod trip really was a very enjoyable and memorable vacation that brought such memories of first steps (yes, you took your first steps while I was in the shower – thanks), introductions to Emack & Bolio’s chocolate and peanut butter ice cream and the term ‘poop fingers.’ Yes, knowing you have a dairy sensitivity that causes your intestines to bleed when you consume dairy products, I did in fact share my ice cream with you. The reason is actually two-fold; A. you were screaming at me – I mean really screaming and I needed you to stop and B. it was really really good ice cream and I almost thought it to be child abuse if I didn’t share.
In case you’re curious, poop fingers was a term coined for the unfortunate event when a parent goes to check on their child’s diaper to see if it is wet and instead of gently tugging on the side of the diaper to peer in, a finger accidentally slides in to the diaper and thus poop finger occurs. It is absolutely disgusting and unfortunately a common occurrence among parents. I had the amazing luck of doing this on several separate incidents while on this trip and I only hope one day when you are a Father, you have the same joyful experiences.
In all honesty, this summer was a whirlwind of activity and I have some horrible memories that have surely caused some bleeding ulcers to erupt in my body and I have really good memories with you playing with your sister and cousin on the front lawn of our Cape Cod rental. You are growing leaps and bounds by the hour and your food consumption is disturbing. You have just about sworn off all baby food and instead opt for a whole banana, a whole Salmon patty, a handful of crackers and a full sippy cup of almond milk. . . all in one sitting. You have started self-weaning off of breast milk and this leaves me a little melancholy because I know my baby is growing up.
You are my adventurous little boy who enjoys pushing Olivia’s doll stroller when she’s not looking and throwing yourself down a flight of stairs – luckily your head got stuck on the top second step. I hope you’re not counting my bad parenting moments because I do and the number would frighten you. I hope you realize that most of the things I do are simply out of pure survival – they are obviously not my first choices when approaching a situation but when I have both you and your sister in tow, drastic times call for drastic measures. You still have all your limbs so I think it’s working so far. I do love you sincerely and I only ask that you slow down growing just a wee little bit. I’ve seen what toddlers are capable of and I am in no way, shape or form ready to go down that road with you yet. Please stay sweet and bashful and remember who loves you more . . . me.