Since James was born on Long Island, I figured he should take in some Long Island sights. Unfortunately, most of those sights are shopping malls, so I chose the tallest sight. Montauk had the added bonus of being farthest away, so as to maximize the things that could go wrong between here and there.
Oh, the things that went wrong!
For a while, James enjoyed riding in cars, but that was before he transitioned to his current state, where he hates everything. As cars are part of everything, James hates cars. As of this last car ride, these posts should be renamed "Diary of an Angry Red Baby with Tears Streaking Down His Cheeks." When we stopped for the second time, Ericka held up James, not so I could hold him or help in some way, but so I could see his color, which is a color normally associated with firetrucks. James cries so much in cars, I just ask one question from the driver's seat, which is whether he's red or yellow.
Ericka is the one who offers wisdom, but I will add one thing based on today, which I encourage new parents to take EXTREMELY seriously: nothing is fun with a crying baby in a confined space. If we were at a Flaming Lips concert with James in the car today, it would not have been fun. If we were at Game 7 of the World Series with James in the car today, it would not have been fun. If we were Spanish explorers seeing the Pacific Ocean for the first time with James in the car today, it would not have been fun.
We wanted to do two things: eat a lobster roll and see a lighthouse. This took eight hours.
By the time we got the lobster roll, all three of us were covered in sweat. The only other person at the restaurant told her friend--in front of our table--that she was sitting as far away as possible. The waitress commented that James was well-behaved, a comment she took back thirty minutes later when she observed that he really liked to be held. I meant to tell her that he doesn't like anything, but he immediately threw up all over the following things: his neck, his bib, his infant bodysuit, my hand, my soul. Ericka went to the bathroom to wash her hands, which I understood to mean weep quietly over the sink.
The lighthouse was covered in fog. It cost nine dollars each to get close enough to see it. We did not see the lighthouse.
Did I mention that we'd been wearing our bathing suits all this time? In my original vision of this trip, we'd zoom out to Montauk, enjoy a leisurely lobster roll outdoors where James couldn't bother anyone, admire an architectural feat, and then I'd body surf while my wife cheered at my physical prowess and my son began to want to emulate me. Nobody stepped in the water. It was just another thing we couldn't see from the place where the lighthouse was supposed to be.
The ride back was uneventful, except that James insisted--for the first time in his life--on eating hourly. Ericka assured me that this is entirely normal, and that if I read "babycenter," I would know this. The sad thing is I DO read "babycenter." The rhetoric isn't exactly to the level of the Lincoln-Douglas debates on "babycenter." Most of the spelling is purely speculative. But I'm thinking about getting active on the forums. Lying is implicitly encouraged, so James should be considerably less red there.