Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Over the river and through the Bronx

We're back from Kyle's first road trip: a weekend adventure at my parents' place in Massachusetts. I was a little nervous before we hit the road; as a new parent, I had no clue as to how to pack for the little guy. I was used to the old days, when Jennifer and I could take a weekend trip on a whim, quickly packing just enough stuff for ourselves and the occasional hitchhiker. Now we have this little person who requires diapers, wipes, toys, blankets, burp cloths, bottles, and a billion different little outfits. The list of things we needed was long and far-reaching, and that's why I took it upon myself to let Jennifer handle it. I did, however, handle the actual packing into the car, and I'm proud to say that I did not accidentally put Kyle in the trunk.

Once we were able to fit ourselves into the vehicle, the ride itself wasn't so bad. It was, however, very long. What once was a 4-and-a-half hour trip from New York (2.5 hours on days when I can outrun the cops), suddenly became a seven-hour slog. Our breaks were twice as long as usual, as Kyle would demand that we would stop for a diaper change or food. While he appreciated the diaper-changing tables, Kyle quickly became disappointed in the food selection at the the gas station convenience stores (mostly stale doughnuts and beef jerky), and would have to settle for just milk. The little guy turned out to be a good traveler: he rarely cried, he loved looking at the moving objects outside the window, and he was great with a map whenever we became lost. Having the extra driver also helped - Kyle hit only a couple bicyclists (they were hogging the lane, anyway).

The visit to Kyle's grandparents home coincided with their annual Labor Day cookout, which meant that there were lots of people around. We had feared that Kyle would have had a difficult time adjusting to his new environment, but as soon as he realized that he'd be the absolute center of attention, he felt at home. The little guy was passed around from relative to relative, and he performed with smiles, laughs, and the occasional spit-up. Kyle reveled in his new celebrity status, and he probably would have forgotten his parents completely had he grown teeth or learned to use a toilet. But, as we all know, fame is fleeting, and soon the relatives were all gone, and Kyle had to re-adjust to being spoiled by just his grandparents.

(Above: Kyle rests after a busy weekend)

Yesterday it all ended as we left Massachusetts and returned to New York. Kyle celebrated the completion of his first trip by napping in his car seat. Jennifer and I were just glad that we could take him places without having to wear ear plugs or ponchos. Next month is the real test, when we try flying. We'll make sure to bring his pacifier along, so that the pilot won't have to make an emergency landing to let us off.

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