Monday, September 9, 2013

Notes From The Road - Seattle - Part Four

The Blogger app has this really nifty feature where if someone calls you while you're in the middle of writing a new entry and you take the call everything you just spent the last HOUR working on gets deleted.  ...

It's day 372 of our trip to Seattle.  What's that?  It's only been six days???  Well, I don't know what kind of calendar you're using, but I assure you we've been on this trip for over a year now.

When I think that just one week ago Kurt and I thought we could operate according to a plan, all I can do is shake my head and have a good laugh.  We were so young and naive back then.  Turns out there's no such thing as a plan when you have a four month old.  For example:

The whole we're-never-using-formula plan?  After it took us seven hours to go 250 miles on Wednesday I called the pediatrician who surmised that Monty probably wasn't getting enough to eat.  He is probably going through a growth spurt and a cognitive surge (according to the schedule all babies keep apparently).  The Doc, despite being all into homeopathy and all natural remedies and shit, told me to stop beating myself up and get some organic formula and some sleep. 

Side note on formula: My reticence to use formula was not because I thought it would make him stupid or whatever.  The main concern was about how it interacts with good bacteria in the gut and can cause some g.i. issues.  Considering that my gang name is Gaseous Clay, I want to do everything in my power to ensure that Monty has a stronger system than I do.  A secondary reason for my opposition to formula is that I think the formula industry is evil and has caused a lot of harm in the name of making money.   Formula is a wonderful convenience for people who need it.  But the marketing has made people think it's comparable to breastmilk and has made giving up on breastfeeding far too easy when it is far and away the best thing you can feed your child for the first six months of his or her life (at the very least).  The real trouble with this is that the popularization of formula has caused all kinds of problems (from health to financial) in poor communities here and abroad.  Like a multivitamin, formula ideally should be used as a supplement not a replacement (Please note, I'm talking about people who have no or few actual problems breastfeeding and/or can't pump for whatever reason.)

Getting off my soap box now.

One of the supposed benefits of formula is that it takes longer to digest than breastmilk so it helps babies sleep longer.  The night of the day we introduced formula was a personal best for Monty if his goal is to make our lives completely miserable.  He woke up NINE TIMES between 9pm and 5am.  For those of you who have trouble with math, that's once an hour plus one.  And who has two boobs and fed him EVERY TIME HE WOKE UP like an asshole?  Need a hint?  It was me.  Kurt finally came in at 5am, found me weeping while feeding Monty for the 6000th time that night and insisted on taking him so I could sleep because he is an awesome human being (also he knows that without sleep I may go on a murdering spree).

So, the ONE THING I wanted to do while we were in Seattle was visit Pike Place Market and go to a seafood joint I'd seen a segment on on The Travel Channel.  Our PLAN was to get there at 10am, go to town on some crab cocktail and chowder, then head back over to see the family one last time before getting back on the road for home.  But Kurt let me sleep til 10:30 and we didn't even get going til noon.  I'm not going to get in to the details of it because living it was traumatizing enough.  But here are the highlights:

Pike Place Market on a Sunday is a MAD HOUSE of tourists and I have a rough time in crowds.  Pike Place Market has no directory or map, so good luck finding anything.  Monty took a huge dump just as we found the seafood place and we forgot the diaper bag in the car.  Kurt demanded we go back and get the God damned crab cocktail because we had to "conquer this".  We had to move the car from an underground lot (Which, incidentally was the lot for City Target which is a fancy way of saying "The Target that doesn't stock anything you need" and at which we stopped because I lost my pumping bra.  They didn't carry the pumping bra, so I got a sports bra and cut slits in it.  It works just as well and is half the cost of a proper pumping bra.  And if you guessed that the pumping bra was in a side pocket of the pump bag all along, you win!) to an above ground lot which aside from costing $17 for an hour would have meant the dogs would have died from heat stroke. 

We didn't get the crab.

By the time we got to Kurt's brother's place all I could do was sit in the car and silently cry.  I was crying because I was exhausted.  I was crying because I was hungry.  I was crying because I was overwhelmed and completely in over my head.  I was crying for my loss of freedom.  I was crying because I was angry at my son.  I was crying THAT I was angry at my son.  I was crying because I JUST WANTED TO DO ONE THING WHILE WE WERE IN SEATTLE.  One thing.

So, we're on the I5 again.  The PLAN was to take the 101 on the way back down and sightsee.  Hilarious.  We made it back to Halsey, Oregon last night.  It took us about four hours this time.  We stopped at the same Travelodge we had on the way up.  We felt like we had just survived a tornado.  We ordered dinner from the trusty Pioneer Tavern, got a six pack of local beer and nonchalantly discussed which five albums we would bring to a desert island while Monty ... SLEPT.  And then I cried again.  This time for the enormity of this job we have taken on.  We know we have to start letting Monty soothe himself back to sleep when he wakes up and we know that sitting on the other side of that door while he screams for us is going to be monumentally hard.  It will be hard for him, sure, but it will also be hard on us.  All we want to do is make him feel loved and safe.

Monty slept from 8pm to 1am and then again til 5.  He's also on his third nap in the car right now.  It's amazing what a full supply of bottles can do.  That and I think he's done with this particular cognitive surge.  I'm expecting him to be able to do complex algebra any minute now.  And so, probably very foolishly, we're making our way to the 101 thinking we might actually get away with a stop or two in a nice scenic town.

We are out of our fucking minds.

Desert island albums:

Paul's Boutique
The Bends
New Favorite

Is it just me or does my man look like Alfred Hitchcock?