For Thanksgiving, we decided to visit Todd’s mother and stepfather down in Naples –a two and a half hour drive.
Having been through some less-than awesome car rides with Colt before, we decided to really think this one through.
We stopped for a big breakfast, pulled over to give Colt a chance to run around, packed plenty of toys to keep him occupied. For once, we thought of everything.
Our plan worked brilliantly until the last 45 minutes of the trip. Colt was tired of being strapped in his seat, and was venting his frustration by doing that uber- annoying whine-cry thing. Like a bad violinist playing in between the two of us.
“Colt Hush!” Todd said in his father-bear voice.
Ahhhhhh aahahhhhhhh Daaaaaa Daaaa
Alternatively, I tried shooshing him in my sweetest mommy voice, “Shhhhh baby, you’re fiiiiiine.” I said smiling.
Todd and I looked at each other. Desperate.
(This feeling of desperation is probably the most common parental emotion – besides unconditional love.)
Suddenly…. Mariah Carey, circa 1994, took over my body.
“Iayyyyy don’t want a lot for Christmas…..there is just one thing I need….and Iayyyyyy don’t care about the presents underneath the Christmas tre ee….”
Todd’s eyes widened. (He was obviously impressed with my skills.)
“Hark the Herold Angels Sing!!…. Joy to the World!!!… Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer, Silent Night…” I sang them all gleefully.
Colt smiled. This was clearly the most fantastic montage of Christmas carols he’d ever heard in his 16 months of life.
But 10 minutes into it, I was already tired and running out of songs. I paused for a brief moment to take a breath.
Aaaahhhhhhhh ahhhhh maaaaaa maaaaaa.
“Start singing again!” Todd yelled at me.
“I don’t know anymore songs!” I snapped back at him.
Ahhhhhh aaaaaaaaahhhh maaaaaa maaaaaa
“Jingle Bells Jingle Bells Jingle all the way! Oh what fun it is to ride… in this car!!!”
What? We still have 20 more minutes? Kill me now.
I suddenly realized that I should have been preparing for this day months ago.
I remembered feeling the same way when Colt was first born.
I felt compelled to sing to him, but couldn’t think of the words to a single lullaby. (Rock-A-Bye-Baby doesn’t count. I refused to sing it. THE CRADLE FALLS OUT OF A TREE – BABY AND ALL. Is no one else appalled!!?) I was so angry at those hospital nurses. Sure, they’d showed me how to breastfeed, but no one bothered to mention that I should be brushing up on my sing-along songs.
By the time we got to Todd’s parents’ house, I was hoarse and exhausted, like I’d just starred in a KISS concert.
I’ve learned my lesson. Since Thanksgiving, I’ve been listening to Christmas Carols 24/7. In the car (94.9 FM plays them every day until Christmas), at work (thank you Pandora) and at home, sorry Todd.
I sing them constantly – like that crazy Christmas lady in the Target commercials.
And I’m not gonna lie, Colt loves it.
Poopy diaper changes? Nap time? Putting the toys away? No match for “Santa Baby.”