Something is wrong with Liam and his carseat. Despite so many people telling me that it is normal and he will outgrow his, let’s say, adverse reaction to the thing, I really think I need to talk to someone about this. I feel like maybe I’m not describing it accurately enough for the appropriate response which should be OH MY GOD, THAT IS NOT NORMAL AND YOU ARE PROBABLY CAUSING PERMANENT DAMAGE TO YOUR CHILD!!
Let me try to explain here. He begins with the crying right away, I usually can’t even get from buckling him into the seat and buckled into my own driver’s seat. There might be a whimper or two as a warning but he doesn’t give any consideration to being calmed by a soothing voice telling him everything’s okay. He very quickly turns the cry into the “car alarm scream.” I believe I’ve described it before…it goes from a low pitch to a high one over and over again like the car someone brushed up against in the mall parking lot whose owner has just walked into the building for a 3 hour stint.
Soon he’s choking on phlegm and gasping for air, but not enough to stop the screaming; it’s basically a simultaneous act. His voice gets hoarse. AND HE NEVER FALLS ASLEEP FROM EXHAUSTION. I should state that this has only been tested on a forty minute car ride as it’s longest comparison. Perhaps at the hour…2 hour…3 hour mark he would conk out. Or hyperventilate.
The screaming is grating. As a 6 week postpartum mom it is particularly difficult to focus on the road. And soon my eyes overflow with tears too because all I want as a mommy is to make this baby feel better and I can’t do that without staying home. Believe me, at this point, if I’m leaving the house at all it’s for a damn good reason because I can NOT drive this way.
But this is not all. In the least. When you actually go to take this poor soul out of the carseat…I’m not sure I can give the description just accuracy…I’m going to say it’s half Exorcist and half like the kid has Freddie Krueger popping in and out of the back seat threatening to shred him. His eyes are bugging out of his head. His body is completely rigid and he stares out in this REALLY creepy possessed way. That stare might be as bad as the screaming, except that I can’t see it while I’m driving. His face is MAGENTA and he has sweat beads popping out of every pore and streaming down his face. His clothes are soaked through. His core body temp seems to have sky-rocketed in an alarming way.
So have other people REALLY gone through this with their children, like I’m told?? Because if so, they are awfully calm and secretive about it. I’m a wreck wherever I end up and need to rock myself in fetal position in the corner just to try to get past the reverberation of the screaming through my ears…and try to black out the seared image of the stare from my brain.
Just in case you’re going to suggest the following, I’ve: adjusted the carseat straps, re-belted down the base in case it was too wiggly, added a cozy blanket in case it helped make him less…lonely (?), hung an infant “car gallery” from the back seat facing him so that he can focus on the riveting black, white and red shapes. I’ve opened windows for “white noise,” played classical, rock, folk, pop, or shut everything up and off so that it would be calm and peaceful. (Peaceful beyond the banshee in the back.) I’ve EVEN tried two different PACIFIERS, which I was holding out on until we got the whole breast/latch/suck thing down on body parts first. (He seemed to think the pacifiers were a fun game while he was figuring out what to do with them…and then…GAGS on them as he sucks in. Every time. Which essentially starts the tears even before I can make it to the front seat. Dammit!)
Dear Abby…I really want to leave the confines of my house without the need for Zanex. What’s a mama to do??
Miserable Motoring Mama in Maine