The Crying Baby Torture Method


We went to town yesterday.  By town I mean Miles City, where we find the closest Wal-Mart and the only Pizza Hut within 90 miles.  In other words, it’s 90 miles to get to Miles City from here and the drive takes about two hours.

Before I forget, I’ll explain the pictures.  First, we were driving into lifting fog as we traveled east yesterday morning.  When we head to Miles City, we first travel to Forsyth, where we get on the interstate.  Forsyth is in the Yellowstone River Valley and at a much lower elevation than our home is.  I love that phenomenon when you’re above the fog and looking down on a cloud.  But I didn’t exactly get a picture of that.  Instead, I got a picture of fog that was dissipating just seconds before we drove into it.

The second photo is of my favorite store ever.  The signing says it all:  Ranch to Gourmet.  Everything a gal could want is in that store.  If you’re ever in Miles City, Montana, go into that store and tell ’em I sent ya.  Who doesn’t love an old-fashioned hardware?







Now, the story of our trip.  Trips to town, for us, are marathons.  We try not to go to town very often — budget and efficiency and all that — so when we do go we cram as much as possible into one day.  Yesterday we left at 8 a.m. and got home at 11:30 p.m.  Our agenda included:

1.  Return library books.

2.  Leave Asher’s collection of nails and the skeleton of our trampoline (R.I.P., trampoline) at Pacific Recycling.

3.  Pick up a new tank of welding acetylene.

4.  Buy a birthday gift at the Miles City Saddlery.

5.  Leave Beau’s work pickup at the Chevy dealership for repairs.  Pick it up 5 hours later.

6.  Buy freshly ground coffee at City Brew (I know, it makes absolutely no sense considering we are hicks from the sticks, but it turns out we are coffee snobs).

7.  Look into buying cottonwood saplings (the first place I looked didn’t have them and I immediately cried uncle).

8.  Get a fuel filter at Riverside Marine & Cycle.

9.  Make two convenience store stops for chocolate milk and Dr Pepper.

9b.  Grab birthday party supplies at the Dollar Store.

10.  Eat Chinese (because our 4-year-old has taken a sudden interest in chopsticks and fortune cookies — and actually ate his entire lunch yesterday with chopsticks).

11.  Try on new boots for our 2-year-old and pick up milk replacer at Murdoch’s Ranch & Home.

12.  Pile halloween costumes and groceries and more in the cart at Wal-Mart.

13.  Pick up our niece and nephew from school at 3:15, have them to their soccer game by 5:00… and the list goes on.


Let’s see… what am I forgetting?  Oh, right.  Marsielle’s six-month appointment with our family doctor, complete with six-month shots, at 3:20.

You may have surmised by now that accomplishing everything on our list required taking two vehicles, especially since Beau had to take his work pickup to town for repairs and we don’t all fit in his work pickup.  So he drove his work pickup and I drove our personal pickup to town.  We were a caravan, if you will, on the way to and from Miles City.

Our 4-year-old and 2-year-old travel very well now.  But all three of our babies have hated their infant carseats, and Marsielle is no exception.  I hear that some babies sleep in their carseats.  Not ours.  Ours cry, twisting their little bodies as far as the seatbelt restraints allow so they can glare at the back of my head while I’m driving.  They sob over the radio no matter how loud it is.  They scream at the cute little giraffe toy that hangs from the handle of the carseat.  They threaten to hyperventilate.  They throw right back at me the stuffed toys I hand to them as I’m driving.

Are you starting to understand why I dread leaving home?

Anyhow, I was all but sure that Marsielle was going to cry the whole way to and from Miles City yesterday, and turns out I was pretty much right.  Before we left, I decided that locking her siblings in the backseat with her as she howled the miles away would be akin to child abuse, so martyr that I am, I sent the two big kids with Beau in his work pickup.  Marsielle and I set out on our lonely sojourn as partners, with me promising her we were going to survive it together… but like it or not the time had finally come for her to “cry it out.”  To be a big girl and let Mommy drive all the way to Miles City without interruption.

And we did both survive.  Today neither of us bears any ill effects from her crying in the backseat for 180 miles.


I especially am doing great.  Just great!  I know it’s normal for babies to cry.  Healthy even!  All the books say so.  The time comes for every baby to learn to self-soothe.  In fact, the crying is harder on Mom than it is on the baby.


Little stinker, trying to manipulate my emotions like that.  Guess I taught her a lesson.


Because I’m totally a good mom I mean you think I’m a good mom right it’s just that I had to get us to town somehow and I couldn’t be stopping every few minutes to take her out of the carseat and cuddle her and you know she has to be in her seat because it’s the safest place for her to ride and what if we had an accident after all she’s six months old now and we can’t be driving in the slow lane the rest of our lives because the baby’s running the show and do you think people think we let our babies run the show remember we had to do this with the 4-year-old and the 2-year-old crying in the carseat AND in the crib and they both turned out okay and neither of them seen to hate me for making them cry you don’t think they hate me do you or that they might turn into serial killers when they grow up and yes I cried too but only once and only for a minute.


You’ll have to excuse me for a moment.  My eyelid seems to be twitching.

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