So, here we are in Texas, having arrived last Thursday after three days of driving. It wasn’t anywhere near as bad as I expected it might be. Our longest day of driving was Day 2, when we drove from Auburn, AL to Lafayette, LA (about 7h 45m), and I think that next time, I will try to plan our longest day for day one of driving. By day 2, they were very tired of being in the car, but by day 3, it seemed they had simply resigned themselves to the fact that this car thing was just a new part of life.
Things you wouldn’t notice or think of until you travel with twin infants:
1. Hotel floors are disgusting. Even fairly nice, new, clean-looking hotel floors are nasty. Both babies ended up with black grubby marks on both legs and tops of feet after an evening of crawling around on the carpet, and it happened in both of the hotels we stayed in, in spite of the fact that both really did appear to be clean and recently-renovated. Eeeeeew.
2. McDonalds with indoor playscapes are exciting places. They allow babies plenty of room to crawl around and burn off pent-up energy, and they have decent coffee for the parents in need of perk. However, if you thought hotel floors were nasty, the floor of the playscape at McDonalds is nasty-times-one-thousand. Eeeeew, the second.
3. Oh, how I love waiters who are nice to babies. Seriously. I know what a pain in the ass a table with one infant is, and I know the look of dread when they see one of their four-tops taken by only two paying customers, but seriously. If you see two road-weary parents with two fussy babies, and you still smile at them, and keep the hot plates out of their reach and offer to bring extra rolls or crackers and you don’t smirk at the four thousand puffs those little ones have tossed on your floor in the 30 seconds between the drink order and the food order, well– I can promise you that not only are you a special, kind-hearted person, but I will also be leaving you a big fat tip for your troubles. Yeah, probably not as much as you would have gotten from a table seated with four hungry adults, but still. I’m also not going to throw you any attitude, either.
4. Taking a few extra minutes before you hit the road to calmly make sure everything is in place will save you TONS of time down the road. Also, Target stocks cheap underwear, in case it’s simply not worth it to unpack your entire trunk when you realize you’ve packed every last scrap of underwear in the bag that’s under/behind every other bag in your trunk…
So, that’s what I’ve learned from the road so far. We’re pretty much settled in here in Austin, and we’re working our way through all the various things I’ve found to do with babies around here. Yesterday morning, we went to a local coffee shop (one I frequented back when it was in it’s first location downtown, one that holds a special spot in my memories because it is the place I first met a crew of people who would, little did I know at that point, change my life entirely*) where they have kids’ music on Sunday mornings. The boys really love music, though they were a little sleepy and didn’t get as into it as they might otherwise have. The guy playing was a kindergarten teacher/musician who wrote a bunch of songs about each letter of the alphabet, and the music was fun and funny, not just for the kids, but for the adults as well. I ran into one of my old friends there, a guy I used to sort-of date before H, and he has two kids of his own now. We have chatted plenty in the years since H and I started seeing each other, but sadly, we didn’t seem to have much to say to each other. His daughter needed to potty and Jack was trying to take a flying leap out of my lap, while Henry was attempting to break my glasses off my face. So, no real chance for conversation for either of us, though I wonder how much we’d really have to say to each other anyway (though I guess you’d think with our long shared history and current parenting status, we might… oh, well).
Today, we took the boys to the baby day at the local childrens’ museum. It’s a morning that the museum sets aside for kids 3 and under, and it was really nice to have a space for the boys to play without so much worry about being trampled. However, I think it might have been nicer if they had broken up the time into 18 mos and under and then 18 mos to 3 years or something like that. There were still just too many older kids (siblings of younger ones, I guess), plus age 3 is just a little too rambunctious of an age to interact with kids who are still crawling. Not to mention that there were two different little girls who were obsessed with the boys, one of whom kept shoving Henry out of the way to take whatever toy he was trying to play with, and another who just followed them around, getting in their face, grabbing them, etc. I even took them to this special, fenced-off area reserved just for babies and young toddlers, and this (effing) mom took the little grabby-poky-in-your-face girl in their to follow them! Seriously, dude. Get your kid to back off!
We had fun anyway, though. There was a story time, and song-singing, and some parachute play (I think I need to get a small parachute for Henry for his birthday. He loved it…). There was a small slide structure for little ones and Jack had a blast climbing on it. If we go again, I think I’ll try to get there much earlier (we got there about 40 minutes after they opened and they were mobbed when we left 1.5 hrs later). Also, this sounds stupid, but there was lots of the central-Austin-mommy set there, the ones wearing designer heels and chasing after their designer babies (not that the babies were designed, the clothes/accessories/strollers, etc. were designer, I guess), and lots of the hippie mom set there, infant in sling, toddler in tie-dye/Keens sandals, pregnant-to-here, holier-than-thou (well, more organic-than-thou, really) expression on their face. Anyway, I just felt like there weren’t many normal moms there. I was either over dressed in my jeans and old polo, or under dressed. And my boys were the only ones there not wearing shoes. Considering that they just crawl, and that it’s three million degrees here in this sun-surface town, I didn’t think I should have put them in socks or shoes, but seriously, I heard a mom asking another mom (after pointedly looking at my boys) whether she ever took her kids out without shoes. Other-Mom replied that she almost never took her daughter out without putting something on her feet, that since she was learning to walk, she just loved Pedipeds because they were almost like being barefoot, but kept her feet protected and covered. The whole conversation was spoken at such volume that I have to assume that I was intended to hear what they were saying… or maybe not, I don’t know, but the result was that I felt pretty self-conscious about the fact that I took the boys out barefooted. Whatever. (Side question– Henry has spots on the top of both of his feet where he seems to have blisters that are rubbed raw, and they keep getting rubbed, I assume from crawling. Anyone have any tips for avoiding this? Would socks/shoes help, or just make it worse? Should I just leave it alone and let him build a callous there or whatever? I don’t know…)
So. That’s been our trip so far. The boys have been taking an extra long nap in the afternoon, so here’s hoping I’ll be able to keep up with blogging a bit more while we’re here.
What of you? What’s going on in your world lately?
*I used to date this douchewad and years after I broke up with him, I ran into him at this coffee shop, where he was hanging out with this group of people. After sitting and chatting for a bit, I became friendly with this set and met them several more times at other coffee shops, before settling into a routine of meeting them at a coffee shop called Mo.jo’s, which I pretty much lived at for the better part of my 20s, where I met most of the people I now consider to be my closest friends, where I met the person who introduced me to H, etc. So, that original coffee shop holds a special place in my heart, as it was the spark for what became most of my life today.