Stuck in the car seat with you

I don’t know what the deal is lately, but Hayden’s been really impatient with car rides. Aside from his normal “Oh, please, Mommy, not the car seat!” rebellion upon opening the back door to the car, he used to be really good. When we drove down to San Diego for Christmas, he could make it almost 2 hours before really starting to lose it.

Two hours has quickly dwindled to about 10 minutes, and sometimes less. And we’re not talking simply being uncomfortable—when Hayden has lost his patience with the car, he throws whatever toy I’d given him to placate him (or his sippy cup) and, if I’m lucky, starts babbling agitatedly. (If I’m not lucky, it’s wailing.)

I assume I am not unique in finding wailing unnerving, especially while wrangling a couple tons of metal in the highway synchronized swimming routine where the penalties are death, injury or property damage.

Saturday night we were driving back from going out with a friend. The trip took, I think, 30 minutes. Hayden was put out before I even dropped my friend off at her car (about 8 minutes’ drive). We finished our conversation, wherein I encouraged her to have children, as she was planning to do, over the tormented wails of my baby. We had about 20 minutes till we got home.

I often try to raise my voice to drown out Hayden’s cries. This shocks most babies long enough to quiet down for at least a little while.

Not Hayden. He was undeterred. He was overtired, too—it was really too late for him to stay out.

Finally, truly in desperation, I tried to get him to fall asleep (something he hasn’t done in months) by singing his bedtime song, “Baby Beluga.” He didn’t fall asleep—but he did fall silent. I quickly segued into his very own song, “Bike Rider.” For the rest of the ride home (and the ride home from his aunt’s tonight, too), he was pretty calm as long as I sang.

It works for us (and it’s a good thing, too!).

This post is part of Works-for-me Wednesday: Car Edition, a blog carnival hosted by Rocks in My Dryer.

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