Saturday, July 31, 2010

The Long Haul

Thursday night was the first long haul of the trip. Well, I guess not technically the first, since Claire and Dave did drive 16 hours from Austin to Louisville (we we really in Kentucky just a couple of days ago...crazy). But Thursday night was the first overnight drive with Lisel that we've had to make.

Long hauls are by far the most difficult part of this whole touring with a child business. Everything else is so very very doable, but overnight drives take their toll on everybody.

Part of the stress for us comes from the fact that Dave and I are still trying to find a common long haul philosophy. As primary child wrangler, my concerns tend to be more Lisel oriented. My biggest concern about his whole trip has been that she doesn't spend half the day in the carseat (we're really not terribly comfortable with her being out of the seat while the car is moving). I'm not expected to do much, if any driving, especially night driving. I'm supposed to get as much sleep as possible so that I'll be ready to rock through the day with Lisel. So for me the best solution for an eight to ten hour drive is to start driving right after the gig and cover as much ground as possible while she's snoozing. She gets sleep and doesn't have to be strapped in during waking hours. I get enough rest to be a present caretaker the next day while Claire and Dave catch on on zzzzs in room.

Dave, however, is the primary driver, and leaving right after the gig means he doesn't get rest before a punishing all night drive. He also doesn't see the point in getting to the hotel before noon, as we can't really check in. So for him, taking a break and leaving a little later makes the most sense. He's more rested, and we're not stuck hanging out in a hotel lobby for 2 hours once we reach our destination.

Both of our solutions rely on one uncontrollable factor...Lisel. They both suppose that she sleeps soundly through it all.

Miscalculation 1.

The other night we had an 7 and a half hour drive ahead of us, which when you account for gas and food and driver changes and traffic ends up being more like 10 and a half hours. We kind of forgot to add that time, only working in and extra hour.

Miscalculation 2.

We left about 3:30am. And when we transferred Lisel to the car she woke up. "No problem'" I thought, "She'll just go back to bed."

See Miscalculation 1.

She was up and was WIDE AWAKE. For an hour and a half. Which meant I was WIDE AWAKE too. Luckily for me she wasn't upset or anything, just UP!

Restful, not so much.

She finally did fall back asleep, and I climbed in the back bed, figuring I had a few good hours of snooze in front of me because she had to be tired, and would most likely be sleeping later than normal.

See Miscalculation 1. Again.

She was up and hour and and a half later. WIDE AWAKE.

What turns a difference of opinion into a conflict? Two parents who've each caught about 3 hours of sleep, one whose been driving all night and one whose been baby wrangling...that'll get your conflict started right quick.

Let's just say that the Cracker Barrel probably hadn't heard that much shouting since little Timmy actually figured out that triangular wood puzzle with golf tees that makes most of us feel "just plain dumb."

It all ended up kind of okay. Claire took over driving, Dave and traded off baby wrangling so that each of got a little rest. Our drive today is only 3 hours, so every got caught up on sleep. Things are good now. But Miscalculation 2 got us in around 2pm on Friday which meant my concern about Lisel spending too much time in the chair had been realized. So we'll still be in speaks about the long haul.

Luckily we've got another week to figure things out. The drives until then are incredibly reasonable, and we'll ever had two days off (Sweet!) This first part of he trip is blessedly routed.

We're definitely open to ideas! As the other night shows, we've still got a lot to figure out.

-- Post From My iPhone

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