I love those Tollhouse crackers. The Flip-Sides. It’s a toss-up between which side is better- the smooth, buttery cracker side or the crunchy pretzel side with its big chunks of salt. Well, if yesterday’s post about the negatives of driving 12 and 9 hours in a car with an almost-one-year-old was the crunchy, rocky pretzel side…. Then it’s time to enjoy the smooth, buttery side. And yes, this may seem buttery… Nay, cheesy, at times. But, to all of life there is a flip-side, and there certainly was to our road trip with our lil angel.
You see, MOST (probably 85%) of the time, she was good as gold and super happy. There is nothing quite like listening to a babbling, happy child playing with her toys in the backseat, content in her own little world. She talks to every toy she owns like it’s her best friend. She loves to sing along with the radio. And the best part is when she’ll randomly say “mama” or “mom” just to get me to turn around- so she can smile at me. Nothing beats her giggle when I tickle her toes.
She has recently resumed waving at everyone she meets (she quit this for a couple of months for some unknown reason as she gained several new signs), and it was super fun to make stops with her and haul her in places bc she had so much fun waving at the gas station cashiers! Heck, she even waved at the cleaning lady in the Bucee’s bathroom WHILE getting her diaper changed! It was around 8:30am and the poor woman looked like something the cat drug in who was NOT even 1/10 the morning person Becca is… Poor lady, I think if Becca had not come along to brighten her day she might have felt the need to o.d. on coffee and those fabulous kolaches they sell there. Yes, we did consume too many of them… Did avoid the coffee tho. But, I digressed… Then there was the cashier in Atoka, OK, who fell in love with her- said she was the first baby to wave at her all day- and then proceeded to teach her how to give a high-five. Too cute for words.
And then there was that moment in McKinney. We’d been driving for hours and she was becoming her typical squiggleworm self. I was driving and looked in the fisheye mirror to see a bright red face and started hearing little grunts. Oh dear. She has been pooping on the potty, with only one poop in the diaper for almost two weeks. How will this work? She looked as though and explosion would occur any moment. So, since we were in a city, I pulled off at the next McDonalds (it’s amazing how many fast food restaurants DO NOT have changing tables… But that’s a whole nother blog post) and proceed to carry her and her backpack of bathroom junk into the McDonalds, just certain a large gift awaits. And I was right. In a way. The look of explosion and sheer panic came from my blessed little angel WAITING for a potty! Sat her down on her first ever public potty and she had almost instant relief. We did our traditional wave byebye, (Don’t judge. We wave byebye to poop in this house. It’s what we do.) and got a new diaper and hit the road again. Seriously. Only had a couple of misses in the whole pooping on the potty experience the entire trip. And hey, that’s what diapers are for, so no worries! But if anyone had told me my eleven month old would hold her poo to wait for a bathroom, I would have said they were dilusional.
So then there was the stop for lunch (no, my story is NOT in chronological order. It’s prioritized in my mind.) at the Dairy Queen in Hillsboro. Someone seriously needs to help that company get up to speed with the rest of the world and healthy menu options. No orange juice. No bottled water. Only deep fried PROCESSED chicken (it is SO not real chicken) or hamburger or corn dog for kids- all with french fries and a free ice cream treat. Now I know why America’s children are getting seriously obese. Thankfully, I have taught Becca to enjoy REAL foods that are healthy for her. My non-picky eater who will consume anything took one bite of her heavily breaded chicken-substitute nugget and was done with lunch. I felt like a horrible mother as I broke it into pieces, gave her chunks of my toast and bites of french fry. But my girl stood strong. It was better to not eat anything than to eat that crap. You go girl!!! I went from feeling guilty to feeling a deep sense of pride. Then on the return trip, we ate lunch at Popeyes and again she was given chicken nuggets and this time a biscuit. Girl knows good chicken when she tastes it! I kept off the breading, gave her the REAL chicken and her biscuit, and she ate well. To say she has a refined palette may sound hoity-toity. But it’s true. This girl knows real chicken vs fake when she’s presented with it. And she won’t eat fake chicken. Nor will she eat french fries or overly buttered bread. You go, girl! If she ends up obese years from now, it won’t be because she wasn’t started off right. (By the way, for those of you wondering if she got any lunch that day, I did have a fruit pouch in the car and some whole grain cereal and goldfish. Not a stellar lunch, but better than processed chicken and fries, apparently!)
And then of course, the highlight of the trip was all the times I looked back to see her sleeping. Only a parent can understand that immense feeling of love you feel when you watch your child sleep. It’s like someone has poured warm syrup over your head and it slowly trickles down until your entire body feels warm and fuzzy. Normally to get this feeling one must do a lot of sneaking and careful door opening and closing and tiptoeing. That’s the magic of the car. A simple glimpse in the fisheye mirror or over the shoulder can provide this feeling at a moment’s notice. And she slept an amazing amount of time. I of course couldn’t resist snapping a few pictures. So I’ll leave you with them… And the knowledge of why neither of us actually pulled any hair out over the trip… And the reason WHY we survived. Because really, it was quite enjoyable. 85% of the time. The other part? Well, you read about THAT mess yesterday. Or if you didn’t, you can read about it here: https://butterbeesandbumbleflies.wordpress.com/2013/05/28/survival-of-the-parents/. (And by the way, her car seat cleaned up great and so did my car! Like new!)