Karma, Meet Kendall. Kendall, Meet Karma.

For the first 3, 4, 7?? months of Kendall’s life he screamed nearly non-stop while riding in the car. (Time frames are non-exact because my brain suppressed certain memories in an effort to ensure my genes are passed on to the next generation via more than one offspring.)

Like, not just yelps or whines or cries, even. We are talking SCREAMING so loud it made my heart race, my stomach churn and morped me into, quite possibly, the world’s worst driver. We employed every trick in the book, starting with the one-hand-on-the-wheel-the-other-craned-in-an-impossible-position-so-as-to-JIGGLE-the-car-seat-behind-me. Then we added the “white noise” CD to the mix, meaning for months of our lives we listened to the repetitive sounds of a hair dryer and a vacuum anytime the car was in motion.

After a particularly grating drive to a family wedding, some friends told us they got their once-fussy infant to settle in the car by playing their music louder than the baby could cry. On the way back home that night, completely sober, we cranked up Elton John’s Crocodile Rock so loud I think our windows were shaking. Kendall was matching us with every turn of the dial. Oh no, he would NOT be silenced. It was a challenge, obviously, and he was prepared to bring it.

Just picture us, in our fancy wedding clothes, demon baby red-faced screaming in the back seat, cruising down the highway at 11 at night with the windows down, blaring-

Laaaaaaa, la, la, la, la laaaa, la, la, la, la, laaaaaaa
La, la, la, la, LAAAA!!

Oh yes, we sang along like the certifiable, sleep-deprived loons we were.

It’s been a good long while since we experienced an episode like that with him, clearly, as evidenced by the conception of the second baby.

Leyna’s always been pretty good in the car. As a newborn she just fell asleep anytime she was in her infant seat for more than 5 minutes. We were pretty spoiled by her. Now that she’s moved up to her rear-facing convertible seat since maxing out her infant seat weight limit at the tender age of 5 months, she’s not so quick to pass out.  I think it has to do with the more upright position she’s in.

So she cries.

She does not scream. She merely cries a relatively loud cry. It doesn’t happen frequently, but when she gets going, Kendall can not stand it.

“NO, baby sister. STOP. No crying in the car.” he says.

“SHHHHHH!! Leyna, you’re being VERY LOUD,” he complains.

“STOP IT, YOU ARE MAKING ME CRAZY!” he shouts.

Boy, you. don’t. even. know.

And so I just turn the radio up, drowning out the crying baby and the frustrated toddler, leaving them both in their own little cone of karmic hell, smile and drive on to our destination.

Kendall is 3 years 1 month, Leyna is 5 months, and I’m getting really good at ignoring 2 kids at once.

  • Miranda - Hahah! Poor Kendall, right?

    Thanks for this chuckle, Jill.ReplyCancel

  • Jennifer - Karma never forgets! Maybe you should tell him to jiggle her car seat to keep her quiet.ReplyCancel

  • Sally Duren - Have to laugh at this! Sully is the same way with the screaming. To this day, at eighteen months, Sully will STILL scream at me. It’s appalling. Let’s home Baby Dos teaches him a little lesson…but not me. Please, dear God and good karma, don’t grant me another screaming baby.ReplyCancel

  • Elizabeth Flora Ross - LMAO! Loved this!ReplyCancel

  • Khristi - My children are the same. My son HATED the carseat and screamed like he was being tortured, my daughter was perfect, then around 6months she decided to hate it, and now she cries everytime she is in it (16months) my son has adjusted now, but when she first decided she hated it he’d cover his ears and ask me to make it stop, hahaha. Kids are so funny.ReplyCancel

  • Amanda - “I’m getting really good at ignoring 2 kids at once.”

    Love it.ReplyCancel

  • Ashley - Omg so hilarious. Don’t you just want to yell “karma’s a bitch” haha I like how he said “You are driving me crazy!” kids talking like adults is hilarious.ReplyCancel

  • Denae - How great! Karma Kendall, Karma. ReplyCancel

  • Magen - lol, my oldest likes to tell his two younger brothers what to do in the car. He is just getting back what he did to us! And I smile and turn my music up too! My arm still hurts from jiggling the carseat last night!ReplyCancel

  • Sarah - Not only is this story hilarious, but the Elton John music is cracking me up!- that is so me. And now, croc rock is stuck in my head. Thanks! Lol!ReplyCancel

  • Lisa - Love this.

    And it reminds me of what I always thought of those “baby on board” signs: They are WARNINGS to all the other drivers that the driver is distracted because their baby is screaming or distracted because their baby is quiet and omgisshestillbreathing?Ihadbetterturnaroundandcheck.ReplyCancel

  • Alexandria - isn’t it ironic? yeah i really do think 🙂ReplyCancel

  • Jessica - I laughed out loud reading this post. Sometimes I think we live parallel mom lives because I could have written this story word for word (except the part where I have two boys). Too funny.ReplyCancel

  • Sian - Do you think the new position is causing her pain? My son would often cry when put in the convertible car seat (we didn’t have an infant car seat at all) and the swing. I noticed it was usually after nursing, and when he had a burp that wouldn’t come out. So I had to stop and get him out of the seat and burp him. That often helped, but not always.

    I also recently read some info on reflux being caused by this position, and now I’m wondering if that was part of it too. Fortunately, one day a few months ago he just stopped crying and he’s been wonderful in the car since.

    But I so understand your pain – it was awful at times. He cried so much and so hard one time when we traveling back home from the beach that he made himself throw up. 🙁ReplyCancel

    • Jill - Oh, poor bub 🙁

      In Leyna’s case, I don’t think it’s that it’s painful for her because when she’s not tired, she’s completely happy. I just think it’s not as comfortable to fall asleep in that position right now. Now, with Kendall, I think the more upright position of the convertible seat actually helped him. Once we moved him from his infant seat, his screaming decreased about 50%. It was probably a silent reflux thing in hindsight.ReplyCancel

  • geekbabe - picturing you smiling that serene smile driving along with the radio blaring to drown out the sound of the two of them cracked me up! LOL!ReplyCancel

  • Melody - You mentioned a while ago that Leyna was sleeping without the swaddle. How did it go? My daughter is 4.5 months and we’re going cold turkey with the swaddle–rolling over, busting out, etc. She can’t quite coordinate sucking her hand or avoid hitting herself. And we’re miserable. How did L adjust? How does she sleep now? Any tips/help/wisdom?ReplyCancel

    • Jill - Oh, we quit that non-swaddling nonsense after about a week. I couldn’t take it! I was spending my entire day just trying to help her fall asleep, only to have her smack herself in the face 15 minutes later and wake up. No wisdom here. Good luck with that!ReplyCancel

  • Melissa - I love this post so much. Thanks for the laugh-out-loud read this morning!ReplyCancel

  • Alicia - Thanks for a good laugh! Poor Kendall, so young to be bitten by karma 🙂ReplyCancel

  • Laura - I love it! Uncontrollable giggling again…you have such a way with words and such a positive way to share your crazy experiences…awesome!ReplyCancel

  • Pam Boimel - This is great! Do you tell Kendall that he actually cried worse than Layla?ReplyCancel

  • Kelsey - This had be smiling in that I had the EXACT same scenario in my car last week and I did the EXACT same thing by cranking the radio up and singing along to keep myself sane!ReplyCancel

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