Boardwalks, Meltdowns, and Diabolical Baby Formula

Posted by: , October 22, 2010 in 8:54 am

baby cryWe were visiting family in Ocean City NJ.  So that’s myself, my wife, and our four year old daughter and one year old son.  And when you’re in Ocean City, NJ there are only two things to do.  Go to the beach, and then go to the boardwalk.  I don’t like the beach.  It’s hot, sunny and sandy.  What can I say, I’m an indoor cat.  But I survived a few trips to the beach.  (One dude generously let me borrow his shovel so I could actually secure the beach umbrella in 75 mph wind.)  Hot yet windy.  Even better.But after the beach, there was the boardwalk.  Man, it was packed.  All the traditions are still there.  Carney games, rides, and frozen custard where every stand is run by the same company.  No one’s breaking up that monopoly anytime soon.  But there’s never any actual Carnies at the carnie games.  Just bored teenagers.  But I digress.
So we went on a bunch of rides.  Our four year old LOVES rides.  She wants to go on the bigger ones but is too short and now gets bored on slow ones.  At Disneyland she went on Big Thunder Mountain Railroad four times in a row and I finally had to slip the guy twenty bucks to tell her it was broken or I would have thrown up all over the animatronic goat.  She was having a blast going on tilt-a-whirls, ferris wheels  and giant swings and our one year old enjoyed just looking around and going on a few really slow rides like the kiddie train.

But when you have small children, there is always a timer.  And occasionally you forget this, and you pay for it 15 minutes later.  We were going to leave, and decided to stay for a half an hour longer.   Tick…tick tick… boom!
Our one year old lost it.  He was tired and hungry and the cry bomb had gone off.  I mean, it really went off.  Like trying to break glass screaming and crying.  There we were on the Ocean City boardwalk with a one year old having an absolute meltdown.  We pushed it by about 14.2 minutes and now we were paying for it.

My wife quickly tried to feed him.  That’s when it got… insane.  Instead of pulling out a bottle of formula, she pulls out a large tube of powder.  What?!  It was like some kind of giant baby pixie stick.

“I’m sorry, are you going to give our child astronaut food?” I asked as our baby continued to scream.
“It’s powdered formula.  It’s easier for traveling,” She explained.

“Are you sure?!”

Now instead of actually feeding out child, we had to engage in a chemistry experiment on the boardwalk, quickly being able to stir together water and powder once released from its hermetically sealed container.

You know what the best thing is about canned formula?  It’s formula, in a can!  That’s right!  You open it up and put it in your baby. That’s it.  Done!   Maybe you need to pour it into the bottle, but that’s OK.  That’s only one extra step.

So the baby is screaming his head off, and guess what?  No water, and we can’t get the infernal baby formula tube open.  So we split up.  Audge takes the kids to get water from a water fountain.  I go into the nearest store.
It’s a lame touristy boutique with T-shirts and salt water taffy.  Surprise!  Neither of those things have ever interested me, and they certainly don’t now.  I look at the guy behind the counter.  He looks at me.  I ask if I can borrow a scissors.  He looks at me and shakes his head.  I repeat the question.  Same response.  It then occurs to me that he can’t speak English.  Fantastic.  I can hear Griffin screaming from all the way in the store.
I take a deep breath.  With one hand, I hold up the evil, evil tube of powdered formula.  With the other hand, I calmly held up two fingers.  I was tempted to only hold up one, knowing that would hurtle the language barrier quite nicely, but I held back.  Instead I held up my two fingers and mimed a cutting motion, the universal sign for scissors.  A light went off in the head of my foreign friend.

THAT he understood.  The universal cutting motion.  He got a scissors and cut open the petulant powder tube and I thanked him.  He smiled, not quite understanding what I said or even what just happened, but knowing he helped open a tube of something.  Possibly cocaine.

So I got back to my wife and she had found water and the alchemy began.  Mix, shake, serve.  Griffin calmed down instantly and inhaled the witch’s brew.  We started walking off the boardwalk and back to the car.

“We pushed it, didn’t we?”

“Yes” my wife said.

“I’m going out to buy cans of formula tomorrow, aren’t I?”

“Yes.  Maybe even tonight.”

Fair enough.  Those evil  tubes should come with a warning:  “Not for use when you actually need it.”  It’s hard enough to stock a diaper bag with everything you need but now you need to stock it judiciously.  Now the items need to be packed according to weight, size, and now varying degrees of usage difficulty.  At this point, if we travel again with two small children I’m hiring a Sherpa.


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