Wednesday, June 22, 2011


I will admit that I am one of those people that is constantly afraid their baby is going to make a scene with a public meltdown. I assume this is something that fades with experienced moms who have more than one kid. But whenever I go anywhere with Jack, I fear a meltdown. He rarely has one, partially because they are rare for him and partially because I don't test the waters too often.

Lately, the past week or two, Jack has been pretty damn cranky during the day. Always seeming tired, easy to cry, etc. I know it's because he's sleeping like crap during the night and therefore isn't well rested and happy during the day. I'll post more on that later. But this past week I really needed to go to the mall to get a wedding present so I decided to risk taking Jack out. We make outings every day to Starbucks, the grocery store, etc. and he is usually great. Super excited to see everyone and everything. I figured the mall would be even more exciting with more to look at. As we walked into Macy's he started cooing which is always a good sign. We took the escalator down to the Home department, started walking around and BAM, without warning, crying and screaming. And not just the whiny cry. For some reason he went into the high-pitched "I'm in pain" cry. He wasn't but I am sure he was just trying to make his mom look like she was abusing him to the many many eyes that turned to face us. I tried to calm him but it didn't work so I beelined to the nearest exit which emptied into the mall. I figured we could just stroll around and he would look at things and mellow. Wrong again. Even louder crying and bratty teenagers staring at me. I have to say that this was all quite a change from the usual gooing and ga-ga'ing I get from strangers for my cute kid. No, these were stares of pity and eye rolling, depending on the age group. I fought to find an exit to the outside because the one thing that always works for the little guy is outdoors. He loves it. We made our way outside, my post-partum out of shape legs walking as fast as I could. Of course, as luck would have it, the outside didn't calm him for a second. It was just his time to have a meltdown and he would be damned if his mom would stop him. Stubbornness. His is so strong it's admirable. So I did the only thing I felt like doing, walked the mile back to the car in the mall parking garage, put him in the car seat, and drove him home with him crying the whole time.

So, a meltdown. Not terrible because there were escape routes. But for the next few nights I have had nightmares about flying with him. We will be doing that very soon. Trapped on a plane for 6 hours with no bouncing ball, no pool fountains, no trees to distract him. I'm thinking about just taking three Dramamine and passing out and hoping that John does his best.


  1. Oh, Lisa - I feel for you guys. Flying is no fun with babies. Nursing is helpful, but as you know, you can't actually nurse the kid for six straight hours. We had the problem that Simon wouldn't sleep (he still doesn't) on the plane. He'd spend some time in his car seat listening to us read stories, but mostly we had to hold him and jolly him up as much as possible.

    I wish I had some advice that worked. The only thing I can think of is this - get as much rest as you can beforehand. As you can imagine, entertaining a baby who refuses to be entertained on a cross country flight is totally exhausting. Also, pack a little ziplock (one quart) with stuff for one diaper change into your usual bag so that you (or John) don't have to haul your entire bag into the bathroom - there's not enough room.

    Finally, try to ignore everyone else. Even if Jack wails the entire time, after an hour or so, no one will really notice anymore. There's always one baby on the flight who cries the whole time. Sometimes it's someone else's baby and sometimes it's yours. I personally find this way, way less annoying than the little kid who kicks my damn chair the whole flight.

  2. omg lisa! i appreciate your sense of humor here, but this must have been pretty awful. at christmas my sister and i took violet to the beverly center to buy my mom's gift, and when violet started to crank after about 5 minutes in ann taylor, we grabbed the first thing we thought could work (a red coat that she ended up liking) and beat a hasty exit. violet's screams echoed as we took 8 escalators and made the long walk across the parking structure. good times. we'll laugh someday. :-)

    on a related note, i can remember being the annoying teenager giving the side eye to crying babies, and now i'm the put-upon mother giving the side eye to annoying teenagers. oh life, you and your irony. it's so funny now when i say something about the baby to my student workers that i think is "universal knowledge." from the looks i get, you'd think i was trying to hypnotize them with a soiled tampon.

    that meltdown picture is classic by the way. i can see it in his wedding slideshow already.

  3. "trying to hypnotize them with a soiled tampon"

    Stacey, you are hilarious. I know those looks exactly.

  4. I think you're on the right track with your mention of drugs....make the recipient JACK and you're good to go! A little Tylenol (his ears will probably hurt a bit)? Have you discovered / abused Milicon drops? They are MAGICAL and the Target brand is CHEAP and effective. There's no overdosing and it's miraculous. I put it in almost EVERY bottle and you can just squirt it down his throat between =). Another crazy tip is earplugs. Not sure how tiny you can get them, but you know how band-aids cure ANYTHING for a kid? I think ear plugs have the same effect. When Jeremiah was scared at Disneyland once, I stuck some in and suddenly everything was FINE (weird, I know, but he LOVES the haunted mansion now....) Maybe there's a Costco load of them and if JACK doesn't go for it, you can just widely distribute them from the beverage cart.
    Good luck! Wish I had answers....

  5. ...bring the "California Baby" bottle? =)

  6. Oh girl. I'm so sorry--we have left several grocery carts full of items to beat a hasty retreat home. I keep thinking if we can make it until the babies can talk, then maybe we can reason with them??