Last weekend, we drove to Idyllwild for our very first family trip to celebrate my 35th birthday. We chose the mountain village for its quaint downtown and proximity to Soboba Casino, where my sister had her professional mixed martial arts fight. I made a packing list, ordered noise canceling headphones for O, and invited my best friend of 19 years to fly down to help me celebrate.
Friday was blissful; we enjoyed the rustic cabin and hot tub. Thanks to my roommate/sister, E and I stole a quiet moment to grab coffee at the local coffee shop while O napped. We held hands and explored a little bit. When nightfall hit though, the reality of being on a vacation with an infant set in. O immediately knew that the bed he was laying on was not his parents’; it smelled like rotted wood and old comforter. Our little dude woke up every 15 minutes. The only way he fell asleep was when one of us curled up and cuddled him.
He will adjust to the new surrounding, I thought.
Nope. Our little O definitely knew that he was not at home. Regardless, we pressed on. Thirty minutes before the fight, I received a text from my youngest sister (the MMA fighter) that the venue was outdoor and it was 50 degrees outside. There was no way we could have O hanging outside in the cold at the age of 4 months; but what do I do about my friends who flew all the way from the Bay Area to see me? So, I figured that we would drive down the mountain and we would hang out with friends indoor, before the fight. At least then, we were not complete assholes.
Before getting on the road, I attempted to feed O. He was not having it.
We drove down the winding highway and arrived at the casino’s parking lot 30 minutes later. It was raining, windy, and freezing. We woke O up and settled him on the Boppy (breastfeeding pillow.) We had fed him a couple of times in the car before so I figured this will be no different. Except, for whatever reasons, O wouldn’t take the nipple and kept on crying. Loudly. Full of anguish for 30 minutes. It kept raining outside and the freezing wind slapped on our windows loudly.
Defeated, E got on the phone and told our friends and family that we won’t be able to make it to the venue to see them. Our number one priority at that moment was to get our little guy back into the car seat and drive back up the mountain to our cabin. Up and up we go. I sat in the back seat and held his hands tightly. I have never seen our baby so stressed.
It was then, that I realized I will never be a good friend to my single and/or childless friends ever again. My baby’s comfort and health will always be my top priority and that it won’t matter how hard I try to keep my words, I can’t predict and won’t have control over mishaps. So dear friends, I am sorry. I am usually a reliable friend before becoming a mother. But I am going to just apologize in advance for not being a good friend.
I will make it up to you once I get this motherhood thing down, OK?