Delilah’s First Road Trip

June 7, 2021, Hailey Cain

While most of my family lives down in Southern California, the majority of my husband Joshua’s family lives about 7 hours away in Idaho. I’m nowhere near ready to make the long drive down to California with Delilah, but we did feel like she had been doing well enough in the car to make the trip to Idaho. When the opportunity arose, we decided to go for it. I was incredibly nervous about the drive. I couldn’t decide when would be the best time for us to leave, to make the car ride go smoothly. Even on our good days, Delilah still isn’t a big fan of being in the car seat.

For the drive there we decided to leave just before Delilah’s nap, hoping that it would help if she could sleep for a good portion of the drive. Normally I’m the type of person who packs almost a week ahead for trips, but I was kind of a mess for this one. We had been in the process of moving stuff around the house so it felt like all of my stuff and Delilah’s was scattered everywhere. With everything a mess, I ended up packing a little bit for each of us here and there, but I felt like I was forgetting everything. I was still packing while Joshua was starting to load stuff into the car. At least my disorganization kept us super busy in the morning before we left, so Delilah was nice and tired when we finally hit the road around 2:30 pm. Our idea to time the drive with her nap was starting out successfully because we gave her a little milk and she fell right to sleep.

I’m not sure how long her nap actually was, but I know she slept a good while. We were well past The Dalles heading east by the time she woke up, and luckily, she was in a good mood. I had a snack ready for her when she woke up, which made her very happy. After her snack, she played with the dogs (who did amazing on the drive by the way), and a few of her toys but as we rolled into evening time she started to get fussy.

We had decided to wait to stop for dinner until we got into Washington. It would have been faster to hit a drive-through and keep on driving but Delilah needed a break. The days of being able to eat junk food and do long drives without long stops are behind us. We opted for a sit-down restaurant where we could take our time and have a nice meal and high chair for Delilah. It was just what she needed because after we started driving again and gave her some milk, she fell fast asleep. We arrived at Joshua’s brother’s house much later than we planned, but the overall drive was better because we took our time.

Joshua has a big family and just on this trip Delilah was able to spend time with six of her cousins and the youngest is a little girl a month younger than her. My sister-in-law and I had been talking about getting them together again now that they were both old enough to kinda play together. Delilah was barely crawling the last time they saw each other.

The morning after we got there, me and two of my sisters-in-law got the kids together for breakfast. After breakfast, we took a blanket out into the grass for the girls to play together. It was so sweet seeing Delilah’s reaction to meeting her cousin Lou Eda. They were fast friends. In minutes they were smiling at each other and feeding each other snacks. She also was also able to play with slightly older cousins Zyren (almost 3) and Benjamin (age 5). Later in the trip, Benjamin was telling me how he was so happy to be able to see his cousin and my heart melted. While we staying with Joshua’s brother, Delilah also spent a lot of time with her older cousins Josiah, Makenzie, and Noah. It was so sweet to see her interact with all of her cousins and how much they all loved being around each other. I get a little sad sometimes now when we visit Joshua’s family and I see some of what we’re missing by not having a lot of family here in Oregon. Growing up my cousins were always some of my best friends and I could already see Delilah and Lou Eda getting into all kinds of trouble together if they lived closer.

It was also interesting for me to be around another baby so close to Delilah’s age. It was apparent right away just how different they were, in their personalities, temperament, and preferences. The most striking difference was their comfort level with other people besides a parent holding them. Lou Eda who has grown up with all kinds of family around was very comfortable being held by others where Delilah, who has mostly been around my mom, Joshua, and I gets very upset when someone else tried to hold her. Even my brother-in-law, who has been around since she was born and also lived with us for a while, hasn’t really been able to hold her longer than a minute. The only adult Delilah was really comfortable with was Joshua’s mom. I guess babies can just sense when they’re with a grandma and that puts them at ease because she was the same meeting my grandmothers. The strangest thing was how her attitude towards her dad changed while we were in Idaho. For almost the entire trip she was fussy around him and wouldn’t let him hold her, (which left me exhausted), and I honestly can’t think of why.

We had a great time visiting for a few days, but traveling with a little one is tiring. I was ready to be home but dreading the drive. I swore we got lucky on the way up and there was no way she was going to be as good on the drive home. And I was a little bit right. We didn’t time her naps quite right. She fell asleep from family breakfast at my favorite place, (Cracker Barrel) and we hadn’t even packed or loaded up the car. We decided to just let her sleep while we did that. She ended up not sleeping long, so we were hopeful for another nap on the drive.  After about an hour of driving, she started getting fussy on and off for another hour and a half or so, before falling asleep again. This time she slept until we were ready for gas and a fuel stop in The Dalles. We opted for finding a sit-down restaurant for dinner again to get a nice break from the car. When we hit the road again she was fussy for a while but with the help of her country playlist and videos from her favorite show, she fell asleep until we made it home late again. And much to my surprise she was back down again for the night, (in her own bed!), with just a little bit of milk.