The other day, the BFF’s oldest kid was celebrating her 4th birthday. Elliott and I were invited over to their place for dinner and some cake. As the husband would be at work, I decided to drive. It would be the very first time that I’d be driving solo with E so naturally, I was apprehensive. On previous car rides where I’d be sitting beside him, he would fuss whenever the car stops but it was easy for me to calm him then. Not so easy if I’m driving with him seated at the back!
Tried to chicken out by calling for a cab but as Fate would have it, there were no cabs (but of course). I decided to bite the bullet and drive. Solo. With my 8-week-old in his car seat. At the back. Alone.
It started out ok. He stared out of the window quietly, taking in the sights. I kept glancing at him through the baby in-sight mirror (a God sent!). “Oh joy! It’s not too bad!”, I thought merrily.
Less than 10 minutes later, as if realising that he’s alone in the car seat and FACING THE BIG BAD WORLD ON HIS OWN, he started to bawl whenever the car stopped at a red light.
Car stops. Bawl. Car moves. Stops bawling and stares out of the window. It was as if someone was hitting a start/stop button!
Here’s video evidence:
Now. Imagine this scenario repeating itself no less than 10 times. Of course, Murphy’s Law also dictates that every bloody traffic light I meet will be a red or orange one. Each red light also felt like it took FOREVER.
I tried everything.
I turned on a soothing Mozart tune meant to calm babies. Didn’t work. His cries were louder than the music. I called out his name and told him that IT’S OK! MUMMY’S RIGHT HERE! DON’T CRY! HUSH HUSH! Repeat x 20 times. Didn’t work. I reached out and tried to hold his hand (at the red light, not while driving!) but couldn’t quite reach him.
Nothing worked. He continued to bawl his eyes out. Oh my poor heart!
Finally, after what seemed like forever – it was probably a 20 minute drive – we arrived at our destination. His eyes were red and teary and his little body was shuddering from all that crying. I felt like the world’s worst mother.
Thankfully, everything got better once we got to the BFF’s place. She has 3 kids so everyone in the house is an expert with little ones. Before long, he was happy and contented again. Here’s the little screamer sitting on the cheery sofa:
I couldn’t stand the idea of him screaming on the drive home so I sent a text to the husband to PLEASE COME AND SAVE US! Bless his heart, he came by after running some errands to drive his son and the traumatised mother home. This time round, there were no tears. PHEW.
I don’t think I’d be attempting another solo drive with Elliott anytime soon! Not until my shaken heart is settled. It must take nerves of steel to be able to drive and ignore the frantic cries of your child in the backseat. However, I am sure that one day, I CAN DO IT! AND I WILL!