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Car Sick

When you live in New York City, your kids
don’t get a lot of experience riding in the car. In general,
Maddie and Cora get in the car every Sunday to go to church and
perhaps once a week more – heading to the mall, the zoo, or a
specific errand. But by and large, my girls travel a less
industrial way: we walk. Maddie gets in the stroller while Cora
rides on my chest, or Maddie walks while Cora reclines in her
car-seat stroller.

So when we began hopping in and out of the
car several times a day on vacation, Cora was unprepared to say the
least. The poor girl has spent several hours at a stretch strapped
into her car seat while we load her in and out, in and out. Because
as much as this is a vacation, it’s also our official
house-hunting trip for our upcoming move. So we’ve spent
pretty much every day looking at house after house after house.
We’ve tried to build in back-yard breaks at
grandparents’ houses to give the girls some free time, but
it’s still a big change.

Maddie’s been handling it like a pro, and will good-naturedly
climb into her car seat most times as long as we’ve given her
a long enough break in between to run around. And indeed,
she’s loved looking at all the new houses and “testing
out” all the backyard play equipment they’ve had, even
as we’ve tried to explain that the new house won’t come
with all the toys she sees. Cora, though, is another story.

I think her difficulty stems from a few different things: first,
she’s becoming pretty mobile and at six months can roll and
scooch her way across several feet in under sixty seconds. So being
forced to lie still in a car seat can’t be easy for her.
Second, Cora loves Mommy right now, and not being able to snuggle
with me or even see me for long stretches of time makes her
extremely miserable.

Which means that now every time we put Cora’s car seat into
the car and she sees that familiar back-of-the-seat view, she
begins wailing. Heartily. You can almost hear the
despairingly from her lips. Most times, she’ll finally cry
herself to sleep (sleep training comes early to the Milner
household after all!), but sometimes it’s after a good
half-hour of crying. This would be bad enough around family, but
add a realtor politely yelling, “Don’t worry about it!
This is fine!” over Cora’s lusty screams, and the
mortification level rises tenfold.

I’m hoping Cora will finally get used to the car –
after all, most of the country uses one pretty much daily. I have
to admit that I’m not thrilled myself as I climb back into
the beast; I’d much rather be stretching my legs to get
around. But I’m told that walking to a Kroger’s is not
the usual thing here, so I know I’m going to need to get us
all used to a new way of doing things.

Chin up, Cora. Maybe we’ll get a mini-van with that DVD
player thing in it.


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