Tag Archives: traveling with babies

Coney Island Meltdown

OK, I know that many of you are gonna blame what I am about to describe on Greta’s lack of normal sleep the past few days, and you might be right, but I am laying the blame squarely in the terrible twos category. That said, let me tell ya what happened.

It was day two of our adventures in NYC, Greta and I got our usual late start, grabbed some breakfast and then hopped on the subway’s N line to the last stop, Coney Island! Mrs. Yeti didn’t have any real interest in coming with us — and, I’ll admit it, the hour-long train ride there is no picnic — so, we planned this adventure for a day when she was working.

And what an adventure it was, chili dogs and fresh lemonade at the first Nathan’s Hot Dog stand in the country, cotton candy, kiddie rides for $3.00 a pop, and all the beautiful, old-school boardwalk and beach you could stomach. It was awesome! Yeah, some of the neon is definitely faded and the place is a little sketchy in spots, but, the people working there were great and we had a blast. Until the sun started going down…

I dunno what happened to her, but, after one final ride on the merry-go-round, Greta went, I believe the clinical term for it is, ape-shit crazy. She started screaming that she wanted to ride more rides (which was literally impossible since I had no more cash on me) and then ran off in the direction of the Bumble Bee ride, which was her favorite.

I picked her up, she hit me. I threw her over my shoulder to carry her, she kicked me. It was crazy, but, it was getting dark and I knew we had a long-ass train ride back to the city, so, I needed her to behave. Of course, that’s what made her more determined than ever not to!

So, we start heading to the subway station, her screaming bloody murder, me trying to stuff her into her stroller and all of our crap toppling over every time she kicks herself free of it. And for the next five or ten minutes on that boardwalk, I was “that Dad” and she was “that toddler”, duking it out like a couple of wild, red-faced hillbillies.

I swear to God, EVERYONE within listening distance stopped to watch the bad dad trying to get his hell child to bend to his will and obey him. At one point, I literally did not know what to do. She had knocked my hat and sunglasses off, the stroller was laying on it’s side and she was kicking and screaming so wildly that I almost couldn’t hold her. I’ve been at “this job” for two-plus-years now, and trust me, I’ve never seen a meltdown like this…it was brutal.

I tried reasoning with her, I tried spanking her, I tried changing the subject — you know, talking about the good times we’d had that day, her favorite movies, how nice our male maid was at the hotel, anything — but, nothing worked. And then, I spotted a “Dunkin’ Donuts” across the street and in a desperate, last-ditch effort to change the subject, I found a subject we could both agree on. “Hey, you want a donut?” I panted as she flailed in my arms.

Suddenly, she stopped cold and said, in a totally calm voice: “Yes, I want a donut.” And just like that, the tears and craziness melted away. She sat down in her stroller (even buckling herself in) and we crossed the street and got a donut for her and a big-ass iced coffee with extra Valium for me.

Whew…what a day…

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Filed under Bad Baby, Daddy stuff, Terrible Twos

A slight delay…

OK, so, aside from an awesome detour to sample the wares at the legendary Grilled Cheese Truck, we spent all of Saturday packing for our trip to NYC.

And as anyone who has a toddler knows, we travel pretty damn heavy these days. Carseat, stroller, two backpacks, two carry-on bags, two checked bags and Greta’s cute little backpack full of stuffed animals. And I thought we traveled heavy before she came along! Yikes…

Anyway, got all that shit together, hopped in a taxi to the airport Sunday morning — got there on time even! — only to be told by the dude at curbside check-in that our flight had a “slight” three hour delay because of thunderstorms in New York. Grrr…who calls three hours “slight”?! Total suckage!

Surprisingly though, the time sailed by thanks to one glorious invention — and a last-minute addition to our luggage — our amazing, portable DVD player! That thing kept Greta smiling and happy the whole time, and when we finally did get on the plane, she fell into a deep, restful sleep. It was so damn awesome…

She also stayed in her carseat the whole flight and didn’t cry once — which was even more awesome! — so, i just gotta say…if anyone out there ever doubts the value of technology in the toddler years…DON’T! Technology is a parents best friend, amigos, especially when traveling.

All hail, the portable DVD player. Oooo, and those little TV’s in the seats on Jet Blue didn’t hurt either. I got to watch a really juicy  “The Real Housewives of New Jersey” marathon and the time just flew on by. So rad!

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Filed under Daddy stuff, Good Baby

Carmageddon…scharmageddon!

OK, so, we just drove the second leg of our trip home from Oregon — a nice little jaunt from my Aunt’s house in Sacramento to our place in L.A. — in the record time of eight hours. You know, give or take a few hour-long stops to let Greta run herself ragged at rest stops and such. But, even with the stops, we made great time…and why is that such a big deal you ask?

One word: Carmageddon! Yep, that’s right, amigos…the Armageddon of traffic jams! See, for the past few months, the news out here was predicting dire things for all of California (and Los Angeles in particular) due to the closure of a three-or-four mile stretch of the 405 freeway in Santa Monica this weekend. The reason? Caltrans was blowing up a bridge or something, but, from the sounds of the news reports, you’d think the world really was about to end.

Seriously, we saw flashing “Carmageddon Warning” signs alongside the freeway the minute we crossed the state line back into California. It was crazy, I mean, here we were almost the entire state away from the freeway closure and they’re telling us to “expect major delays”. Insanity!

Believe it or not, our beloved XM Radio even had a dedicated Carmageddon Radio channel (XM 140) with constant updates on the situation. It was hilarious. But the funniest thing was, there was no situation to report. That’s right, Carmageddon was another big fat Y2K.

I don’t know if it was the fear factor or what, but the freeway and every rest stop, burger joint and gas station all the home were practically deserted. Come to think of it, it was oddly Armageddon-ish, but, you know, not in a bad way.

So, if Carmageddon clears the interstate in peak travel season for our next road trip, I say we make it an annual fucking event. Whoo-hoo…Carmageddon 2012 4eva!

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Filed under Daddy stuff