Every time I put Adam in the car seat we go through a routine:
“Here’s your toy!”
“Here’s owl (hung up in the window for his viewing pleasure).”
“And a kiss from Mom!”
Adam hated getting in the car for the first few months of his life. Every car ride would include him crying for most of the journey and me in the driver’s seat trying to reassure him that everything would be okay. At the same time I’d try to reassure myself that he’d grow out of it eventually. When I’d talk to him it seemed to make it worse. I think hearing my voice but not being held/nursed/rocked made him confused and royally pissed off. He didn’t take a pacifier until he was almost six months, so my comforting options were limited. Opening the car window a crack to make white noise would work sometimes, but usually if he got too worked up nothing would calm him down until I got to where I was going and could nurse him back to calm.
After a particularly scary and awful trip in which Adam cried so hard that he threw up and then couldn’t get his breath, we got a new car seat that held him more upright. Then I started planning trips for when I knew he needed a nap so that he would make noise for a few minutes but would eventually sleep. It was kind of hilarious how far I’d go to make sure he’d sleep in the car. My day would be planned with military precision so that the two of us didn’t have to endure a horrible car ride. And every time I’d put him in the car I’d go through the routine and try my best to let him know that Mom was there and that I love him.
Fast forward to today. Adam has actually grown out of all the problems that we had. It got better and better every month and now I don’t think twice about going somewhere in the car with him. He’s old enough that he can babble and entertain himself until we get there or he gets tired and goes to sleep. But we still go through the routine.
Today we were going to the store about five minutes away. I gave him his toy, I hung up his owl, and he looked at them like he was checking them off his list. And before I could lean in to give him his kiss he broke out in the sweetest grin. He knew what I was going to do! I dove in with a kiss and he gave me a little giggle that told me he’s ok back there now.
In other news: Adam is 10 months old today! It took a while to put him to bed tonight, but it’s only because he needed to plant a few kisses on me before he went to sleep. They were the best, slobberiest, most wonderful way to end a day.