Last weekend our family took a trip to visit the inlaw's, which is a lovely, rather boring, two hour drive. There was good food with our good family and good times were had by all. Evening was rolling in. I fed the babies, we packed up, and figured all our tired boys would be quiet on the ride home.
We figured wrong.
In hindsight, our plan was doomed from the beginning. We neglected to somehow remember that each and every night at home, there is a massive duel baby meltdown precisely around the time that we were leaving the inlaw's that can only be cured by cluster feeding.
The drive home was just fine, for the first 10 minutes. Then Sean started to wail. Like an idiot I thought that maybe if we just stopped, gave him a break from screaming, that he would be okay. I pulled off at the first rest stop. I got Sean, Marcus, and Will out of the car and we went for a little walk. Aaron was peacefully sleeping. As soon as Sean was removed from his car seat, he was happy. Sean, Marcus, Will, and I returned to the car to be informed that Aaron had woke up while we were gone. As soon as I began to lower Sean into his carseat to continue on our way, the lower lip shot out and the wailing started up again. By the time we were all buckled in and headed for the highway, Aaron had joined in on the screaming. Only 56 more miles until the next rest stop.
What could be better than two screaming babies in the car?
Give up yet? How about two screaming babies in a car and a seven mile long traffic jam on a stretch of highway with no exits that completely put Will over the edge and caused him to start crying too.
I acted logically. First, I put down all the windows so the cars around us in the traffic could enjoy the sounds of my children. Next I attempted to reason with Will, while I drove, empathizing with his exhaustion and earful of baby screams. You would think that after 4 years of being with a child who has never been able to be talked down from the edge with reason or empathy once in his life, I would have known that this wasn't going to work. Finally, after making it through the traffic and to the next exit, I exited.
Parked at a Burger King, I headed for the passenger's seat while Greg piled babies on me to feed. I don't nurse the babies at the same time in public. I have tried a few times in emergencies and it was just a disaster and I never managed to get them both latched. I almost exclusively tandem nurse at home, using the football hold for both babies on this massive nursing pillow that is made for such an activity. The nursing pillow was at home. I was in a parking lot at a Burger King. I recall seeing a picture in a book I have about nursing multiples in this position in which each kid is diagonally across your body in a cradle hold with their legs crisscrossing each other between the mother's legs. I think it is called the cross-cradle hold. How perfect. In theory. With Greg's help, I did manage to get both babies latched, but it wasn't the happy nursing trio that the pictures in the book showed. Instead it was a tangled mess of babies and boobs. I was very thankful that Pennsylvania has a law that excludes breastfeeding from indecent exposure. Sean and Aaron looked about as uncomfortable as I did, but they were just happy to be fed. Greg and Marcus abandoned me, stuck in that strange and somewhat compromising position, and went into the Burger King to use the bathroom. Greg left Will to hang out in the driver seat of the car. (Somehow getting the chance to sit in the drive seat completely cured Will of his meltdown that had been occurring a few minutes earlier.) I couldn't move without dislodging a baby or two so I sat there as still as possible saying, "Don't touch that," and "Please stop doing that."
Babies had full bellies. Big kids got some french fries. Greg had a headache because he walked into the car somehow while we were in the parking lot. And I got to drive the rest of the way home in relative silence.
We were back on the highway. Eventually. After making our way through some winding back roads attempting to find an entrance onto the interstate since there was no signs or detour posted for the ramp to the interstate that was closed.
Not bad. A two hour trip home only took three and a half. Good times.