So we survived the first night of our trip to enjoy the second.
Stayed up until nearly five am to prepare photographs of the baby for the grandparents photochip. Then after hours of singing to a non-sleeping baby in the car, found myself the following morning at four am, stepping in to put my daughter to sleep *again* after my husband had exhausted and exasperated himself on the same project. We had a very tired and very hungry little girl who was too tired to sleep or eat well. So that made three of us. I'm so tired, my eyes feel like they are about to shrivel up and fall out of my head.
We started the trip barely half an hour down the road with a suddenly fussy baby read: dirty diaper. We stopped at the best "travel center" we could find, and still had to change the little girl in a women's bathrooom in which the light bulbs were in imminent dancer of burning out, and NO changing station, necessitating using the tile floor (I have a cushioned changing mat, but still - Don't touch anything! I told her), AND enjoying the young ladies who came in and out in the dim light, washing hands, and using an incredibly loud and new-fangled "sheet of air" hand dryer, prompting the little girl to scream in terror. It was an inauspicious start.
At the end of the trip, after numerous misadventures and feeding-scheduling near-disasters, we found ourselves at our first stop - after midnight - in the worst "plush" hotel room I've ever had the misfortune to experience. The sufferings were slight but stinging. A nursing chair with no arms and too tall to put ones feet on the floor. What ergonomics? A heater that either ran continuously and noisily - when it wasn't putting out dry hot air, it was blowing cold breezes on us - or had to be turned completely off, which we did, preferring cold over noise. A bed that was ridiculously small for two people. Large, dark, fancy-ugly furnishings crammed into an already small room. Another interior designer's triumph over usability and common sense. A room that was not only NOT next to the lobby, but was located as far as one could possibly get from the lobby. Hellooo, end of hallway, fifth floor. Meanwhile, I haven't eaten in hours, and most of our travel food it too noisy to eat at night. I'm starving. And exhausted. Oh, a miserable night-day indeed.
Hot showers that make me feel a little more alert and alive. Better feedings - several before noon - better nappings - little girl takes a nap on the bed for an hour before we leave. A modest travel day with good food, great weather and relaxed entertainments. Houston, we have a happy baby! The little girl entertains herself with red cylinders and teething links. I entertain myself by shooting scenery out the car windows with my snazzy new camera and feeding chocolate to Mr Sweetie. We eat lunch at our favorite reliably-decent-sushi-and-Asian-food-on-the-road, although I don't quite manage to stuff myself. Our next room is comfortable and convenient. The front desk offers to be of service and happily brings us more dental floss after we've run out. The duvet is plump and cozy. The pillows are poofy and self-re-fluffing, slowly rising up after each pressed hand. I set the little girl up on a bed with several pillows as bumpers, and she quickly learns the joys of sinking her face and arms into the fluffiness and Ummmming in delighted appreciation. I demonstrated how the pillows can be used to "bop" someone in the head, and she giggles wildly. We snack, we nap. We put the little girl on a soft play mat, and she "scootchs" off the mat and halfway across the room, adventuring at a snail's pace, looking back at us every so often for reassurance. Go, little girl! we say. I teach her how to call for Daddy and she practices calling for my attention, although she calls me Baba. She takes a one hour nap. I take a two hour nap. Mr. Sweetie troubleshoots dismantling a part of the travel bed. I read and write bloggy things. And then the little girl is down at a decent hour. I'm eating Nutella for dinner (hey, it's quiet!), my feet are going to sleep from kneeling in front of my husband's laptop on the floor, and it's still a good day. It's a good night for good sleep. Good night, all.