Last weekend, we drove to L.A. with our two-month old son John Haley. Traveling with a little baby isn't anywhere near as easy as going on a road trip alone or with another grown-up. For one thing, there's the matter of diapers. Warning: detailed descriptions of a child's excreta follow.
Normally, we use cloth diapers. We love Kissaluvs because they're really easy to put on and take off, they fit nicely, and they almost never leak shit or piss. However, we didn't really have a good way of dealing with cloth diapers on our trip to L.A. so we used paper diapers. This is basically a new experience for us. We used paper diapers in the hospital right after Boo Boo was born. Also, we sometimes put John Haley in paper diapers when we're out of the house. However, 95% of the time, J.H. is wrapped in fuzzy cloth with a nice woolen cover.
Paper diapers are nowhere near as easy to deal with as cloth. For one thing, we thought we could go longer without changing them. This was not true. What actually happens is that the baby doesn't notice when he's wet. This means that if you don't check his diaper frequently, it saturates and accidents happen. When this happens, you have wet baby clothes and often wet grown-up clothes too.
John Haley hates his car seat. If he's in the car seat, he's either fussing or sleeping. The sleeping part would be nice, except that he's already a good sleeper. Taking long naps during the day just messes up his nighttime schedule. Although the naps make driving easier, we tried to stop fairly often to feed and change our boy. All in all, I do not recommend long car trips with a baby as young as John Haley. We're traveling to Tahoe in a week. That might be easier, both because it is a shorter trip and because we'll have another grown-up in the car.
When we got to L.A., we were pretty tired. We stayed in the Hilton Checkers, right in the heart of downtown. On our first night there, we ordered room service, which was expensive but fun. Sara had salmon; I had chicken. Room service works very well for out of towners who have a small baby, since it's hard for us to go anywhere. Although we ate at the hotel restaurant once, we almost never left the hotel. In fact, we only went three places while we were in town: the hotel, the wedding, and the reception.
When you stay in a big downtown hotel, you have to pay everybody. You have to pay the valet for parking your car. You have to pay the bellman for pushing your luggage up to your room. When you get room service, a 19% gratuity is included in the bill. Nonetheless, the bill contains a blank line for "gratuity." Is that for extra tips? Why don't they just pay their employees enough in the first place?
The wedding was in a small, intimate chapel in a large Presbyterian church. Unfortunately, the wedding started about fifty minutes late: some family members got stuck in L.A. traffic on their way to the service. John Haley was really calm and quiet when the wedding was supposed
to happen but started to get antsy as it actually got underway.
The reception was really nice. David (the groom) and I went to college
together and I was happy to catch up with Melinda, another old friend from St. John's. For much of the reception, I carried a rather entranced John Haley around the dance floor and lobby. I grabbed all of the fish and vegetable appetizers I could find (Sara doesn't eat egg, dairy, or terrestrial meat). Although the dinner was good, I was glad I stocked up on appetizers (including a very yummy shrimp with gazpacho) for Sara: she could eat only green beans and bread. We left early, although not as early as you might think, considering our condition.
On the trip back, there was an accident on I-5 and the highway was closed. We didn't get off at the exit they recommended so we had to sit on the highway with the other idiots, baby fussing. Even after we exited the highway, we ended up sitting in traffic for over a half an hour. Note to self: if the signs say to get off at a certain exit, follow their instructions.