iTrips and iScream.

We’re leaving for Boston this evening. I want to leave at night—at a time Em is normally sleeping—so he doesn’t realize he’s uncomfortable. I really don’t like driving at night. But I dislike traffic even more. And I loathe driving in traffic with Em in the car. One time, it took us over two hours to get from Maplewood, New Jersey to our apartment in Brooklyn. The actual distance is 27 miles, give or take a few. It was an awful trip, especially for Tobyjoe who sits in back with Em because he faces the rear of the car.

Incidentally, when can I turn the car seat around? I know that they say a child must be at least a year old, 30 inches long, and weight 20 pounds. He’s met all of those requirements except for the year old part. Why a year? Why does one have to wait a year to turn the car seat around? Traveling would feel much easier if I could see the little guy. We have one of those mirrors, but it doesn’t work in our car. It’s main function is to dangle from the window so that Em can occasionally flirt with himself.

I’m looking forward to taking him to Boston. I’m not sure what we’ll do there. I have read it’s a much more family friendly city, so perhaps I’ll find some family things to do. The funny thing about that statement is, I don’t know what “family things” are. Pizza parlors? Zoos? Bowling alleys? He’s far too young to appreciate all that. Puppet shows seem to appeal to him. And he loves other babies. Perhaps we’ll crash a daycare.

It’ll be wicked cool.

I am writing this post fueled with excitement. My Kitchenaid ice cream making attachment arrives via UPS today. (Along with 50 bucks worth of agar agar, obviously a massive mistake made on my part that Tobyjoe will probably NEVER let me live down. At this rate, we’ll have vegan ice cream until we’re peeing in our own britches.) I took an ice cream making class on Monday over at The Brooklyn Kitchen where I learned how to make scrumptious ice cream from scratch. The chef taught us how to make milks, ice cream, frozen yogurt, and vegan ice cream.

And I ate her ice cream. I ate it right up.

Last night I cooked up some vanilla ice cream batter. It’s been in the fridge (soon to be the freezer) ever since. It’s ridiculous how excited I am about making ice cream. And if it turns out well, Em will have his first taste of the creamy goodness today.

I made another deal with myself, one I know I can’t keep. If our evenings and windows continue to be pierced by the sound of a warped ice cream truck jingle, instead of buying Em a popsicle, I’ll offer him fresh ice cream instead. I’ll have batter ready to go. And If he still wants ice cream from the Good Humor guy, I’ll give the kid a buck or two and eat the rest myself.

I’ll eat it right up.

Leave it to self-defeating me to make a deal and try and keep up with Brooklyn ice cream trucks.

I anticipate failure.

Em walked last night, like actually walked. He thought about it, realized he could do it, and then freaking walked. And both his parents shrieked like monkeys. Any droppers of eaves would have surely guessed a lottery had been won. But no cash prizes were attained. Instead, our son walked, over and over again, stumbling gleefully.

He’ll take about four steps each time. I imagine he’d go further, but our apartment is only so wide. He plops down the moment he reaches our bait, his goal (which was a plastic spatula last night and this morning but will hopefully be ice cream in few hours).

We tried to get a video. It’s difficult taking video of Em because he much prefers playing with the iFlip than any other object we use to entice him. Of course, it doesn’t help that the makers of iFlip put a groovy red light on its front letting everyone know, “HEY! I’M RECORDING!” whenever it’s on. He loves the red light. He loves bashing my iFlip onto the floor. He loves making movies with it, which consist of 90% blackness and can easily make a person sick within the first minute or two.

Anyway, this is the best I could do this morning.

In no time at all, he’ll be chasing ice cream trucks all over Brooklyn.


  1. Excitement all round. This time last year I got an ice cream machine for my birthday. I love it. I find that I don’t make ice cream as such all that much because of the effort involved in making the custard that it’s based on. But I make a lot of fruit sorbets, particularly lemon gelato and raspberry sorbet. Let me know if you would like any recipes…


  2. Thanks! I am making the eggless variety. I had a taste of our teachers (the kind without egg yolks) and it was quite wonderful. So, I am hoping there’s no need for the custard kind, and it will be easy-ish.


  3. I know he isn’t even my child or anything but this makes me cry tears of joy!

    Way to go Em! You are such a big boy now and congrats to mommy and daddy. Such a big step (pun totally intended).


  4. Yaaaay Em!

    My little guy hates car rides too, so for long trips I bring tons of books and toys he hasn’t seen in a while to distract him. For night drives, a friend recommended a Glow Worm, and it has been a lifesaver. The music and glow mesmerizes him to silence and then sleep in a dark car.

    I’ve read that having the car seat facing backwards is much safer than facing front – until they are around 2, their necks aren’t strong enough to really withstand the force of a collision. So, supposedly it is still safer to keep little ones facing the back of the seat as long as possible, regardless of when it’s legal to switch.

    Good luck and have a great time in Boston!


  5. Yes, everyone, that is me in my boxers. On the Internet. Be sure to “Save As…”


  6. Yay Em! What until he starts running!!


  7. Oops…I meant Wait until he starts running!


  8. I love the way that tricksy ol’ spatula (in the luring wily hands of Boxer Man) recedes…and recedes…and recedes…until…TA-DA! He plops down on the padded derrière but gets the prize anyway, to wild applause. Oh teh cuteness. Enjoy your ice cream—


  9. regarding the whole switcheroo car seat situation, what if they grow too long and their legs can’t fit facing back any longer? You know what i mean? Em is long. He’s dangerously close to having his legs hit the back of the rear seats.

    Yes! BOXER MAN!


  10. Yay for walking!! As far as the carseat switching, we were told by our Health Unit to switch them from back facing to forward facing as soon as they reached 20lbs and 30inches. We switched Evan around at around 9 months because he is a boy-beast! If you have a decent forward facing seat, you should not be worried about him! He’ll love the forward facing ride! Maybe the regulations are slightly different here in Canada..who knows?


  11. Our doctor strongly advised us against moving our son to forward facing until a year old even though he had exceeded the height and weight requirements. He told us that the neck muscles weren’t yet strong enough to stop the giant baby head from moving forward in a collision. I think scrunched up legs are less of a concern than the head/neck. We gave up the rear facing infant carrier sooner than we thought we would have to and bought a larger car seat that converted from rear facing to forward facing. That helped with leg room a little. Traveling during regular sleep time is a great idea, and I also road in the back seat for the first year with our son. Once our daughter was born I think I sat back there for less than three months. Once again the mellowing of the parent the second time around. Have fun on your trip!


  12. Alrighty, that settles it, we’ll let him face the back until he absolutely out grows it.

    Some fussin’ beats baby whiplash or worse.

    The ice cream maker has arrived and is freezing. I am going to cheat and not let it in there for 15 hours because I don’t have 15 hours. Let’s hope it freezes super fast or the ice cream gods are on my side.

    I want to have a scoop before liftoff.


  13. I am obsessed with making ice cream (and more particularly sorbet). I have some really tasty recipes I can send along, if you’re interested.


  14. Phew. Amber’s comment made me feel better. I was feeling guilty about being the only one to have commented only on the ice cream issue. It is, of course, extremely exciting that Emory is walking. And I hope that your trip goes well.


  15. Congratulations, Em! Big milestone attained.

    Re: carseat – I’ve heard that they are thinking about upping the age past one for rear-facing as they think it is safer…. it was some kinda craziness like until age 3 or 4. I don’t know about you, but if I had to ride backwards for that long, I’d puke. A lot.


  16. Yeah, that’s just insane. No way that’s happening here.


  17. I may need to buy my mother one of those ice cream attachments. I am not so cool to have a kitchen aid yet. She looves feeding ice cream to my kiddos when she sits. Evil, I tell you…

    The video wasn’t working for me. Congrats on the kiddo walking. I wasn’t as anxious for the second one to hit that milestone, you are going to be busy now. ; ) BTW, I have been lurking for a while but decided to stop by today.


  18. we turned grace at a year and finally after extensive research got the sunshine kid radian 80 car seat which goes from rear facing to forward until 80 pounds. i think she will be in high school and still using it. i also think she will be an orange on a toothpick til then too.

    go emory go. he should really get his sleep on too once he is really moving. congrats.


  19. Love seeing Emory standing and taking a few steps on the video. Annie is going to go nuts for these new movies! She gets so excited when you post new videos. Congrats and have a great trip to Boston!


  20. In Australia we are told we can change to forward facing when the baby is six months old. I wasn’t even aware that the rules were different over there until my second child had already been turned around. If I ever have a third I’ll probably wait until they are a year, but we were lucky to never have to find out if six months was too young with the first two.


  21. We just got an ice cream maker for our wedding! I’m very excited.

    Have fun in Boston. I lived there on and off for almost 10 years and have a deep affection for it.


  22. Next time you guys do a family thing to Boston, let me know.

    My good friend Scot is up there, and works as an elementary school teacher—he’ll know all the family stuff to do.

    Plus he’s in the constant effort to be the world’s most punk-rock guy. By day – every student’s favorite teacher; By night – looks, acts, seems like every one of your DC music friends ;)


  23. Hi Michele,

    The folks who indicated that the reason for not forward facing the child seat until one year of age is because of concerns about head/neck injury are correct. An infant’s head is huge in relation to their body size. The increased head mass coupled with a neck not yet strong enough to resist the forces generated in a crash led to the rear-facing guideline.

    You can read more than you ever wanted to know at this website Child Occupant Protection

    I am an auto safety researcher and I was a research administrator for Partners for Child Passenger Safety… which was the largest child occupant protection study ever done.

    Kinda explains the car seat gift, huh?


  24. By the way, this is the recommendation from Partners for Child Passenger Safety for larger babies and restraint use.

    “Larger babies whose weight or height exceeds the limits of the child safety seat before they reach age 1 should use a convertible seat with a higher rear-facing weight and height limit. The seat should be kept rear-facing. “


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