Road Rage

My friend, Thomas , recently had a post about what to buy his one-year old son for Christmas. This got me thinking about my son’s first Christmas.  I’m not really concerned what to buy him – so far his favorite things are ceiling fans and windows, and we already have those.  However, something has been eating at me for weeks now, and I’m secretly dreading somethign about this Christmas.

You see, I am leaving the Big Apple for Christmas and headed back home.  This will be my son’s first taste of his father’s homeland so I’m obviously excited.  I grew up in a very rural part of Pennsylvania, and I’m concerned my son will eventually become too ‘big city’ and not appreciate the outdoors like his pa.  It will also be the first time my extended family has met the guy.  Happiness and fuzziness all around, right?

No. You see before we can visit home, we have to drive 7 hours.  There is no way my son remains calm for 7 hours. NONE!  Unlike most babies, he seems to completely hate riding in the car.  A recent meltdown on the West Side Highway had him screaming bloody murder from Harlem to the BK Bridge – a 20 minute drive.

To make matters worse, while driving my son is able to draw upon some inner unknown strength and elevate the volume of his cries to ear shattering decibel levels.  He puts his entire 16lb (he’s a chubby guy) into his screams and hurls them at the car’s ceiling where they bounce from the back towards the front and into my ear with such force it’s as if I’m standing inside a jet engine.  He also accentuates the ending of each cry with a death gurgle.  It sounds as if he’s drowning in his own terror, and he wants everyone on the highway to know about it.  I would use the term, “Road Rage” to try and add some humor here, but this is a whole new category.  The typical aggressive driver can’t conjure 1/10 of the anger my son acheives.

Things we’ve tried:

  1. Pacifiers – spits them out.
  2. Mommy sitting in the back with him.  This just puts her on the front line and causes severe stress and slight hearing loss.
  3. Ignoring it.  ha..yea right.
  4. Music.  We haven’t seemed to find the right mix that completely soothes him yet. Apparently he doesn’t have the same affinity for Nirvana as dad does.   Disclaimer, although I HATE country music I am hoping the drawls and twangs of this Central PA favorite give us some kind of relief while driving through the Appalachian mountains.
  5. Finally, we’re leaving at night to try and time it with his sleep patterns.  We also thought about splitting up the drive, but 7 hours is also a bit of a tweener time.  It’s too far to be a ‘short drive’ and it’s too short to require a stay overnight.

Other than that, I am completely out of ideas (yes, I’ve thought about drugging him).  I would love me some suggestions on this.


  1. readysetdad (@readysetdad) (@readysetdad)

    Road Rage

  2. Military Dad

    I wish I had some good information for you. Our son can also attain jet engine noise levels of volume inside the car. I think we’ve tried all of those things, and we usually end up with the same results. One thing that seems to keep him somewhat calm is the Kidz Bop radio station on Pandora. If you’re able to plug your phone into the stereo, it’s worth a shot. Of course, the downside is that you have to listen to it to. There’s no way I could make it 7 hours with that music. I would start looking very lovingly at the oncoming traffic.

    Another thing that seemed to work is that we got a little travel puzzle thing where all the pieces are magnetic. It worked great for awhile, but it eventually made him car sick, and I had to clean a lovely blend of bananas and cheese sticks out of my car’s carpet. It might be worth it though for a 7 hour trip.

  3. Thomas

    You look good behind the wheel. Have you lost weight?

  4. Sixty Second Parent

    My daughter hated the car too. Nothing is worse than driving with a screaming baby. Good luck – who knows he may surprise you and sleep. I would go with the flow. If it is truly awful I would stop somewhere – even if it is for an hour or so.

  5. Bruce Sallan (@BruceSallan)

    Doesn’t video work?

    • Aric

      Video works for a few minutes, but he’s only 4 mos old. He’ gets distracted easily 🙂

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