Aaaaand we're back.
We lasted 1.5 days away from home.
The boy would not sleep in a hotel room. I (more to the point: my milk supply) was too close and we couldn't make the room dark enough to get him to sleep. We fed him a bottle. And I nursed him. And nursed him some more. And walked circles around the mostly-dark room. And finally, after eleventy-thirtily-thousand attempts to put him to sleep in the pack-n-play, he went down. Like I hit him with an elephant tranq dart. Except...30 seconds later, the front desk CALLED OUR GODDAMMED ROOM to ask us if we got the memory foam pillows we requested. KB told them in his quietest voice, yes, and don't ever call back again or we'll get all stabby and it just took us an hour to get a screaming baby to sleep so you don't want to make us all stabby. And THEN we realized we hadn't eaten anything for hours, having arrived in Chicago just an hour or so before Jackson's bedtime (a miscalculation on our part, mostly due to failing to factor in the two 30-minute stops to nurse him on the way) and having spent that hour hopelessly taking him on a walk (he raged in the general direction of every passer-by, and they still were polite enough to smile and declare him cute -- Midwestern affect, y'all). So KB tiptoed out of the room to get some sandwiches, which upon arrival, stank to the heavens above of the rankest onion smell. Since we dared not turn a light on and wake the boy just 10 feet away, we ate in the dark. IN THE DARK. And sneaked around on tippytoes, hunched over, like the motherfucking Hamburglar. We resorted to playing Scrabble on our iPhones for a little while and went to bed at 9PM. It's a glamorous life. Especially when Jackson starting waking up and demanding nothing short of a milky happy meal every 1-2 hours ALL NIGHT LONG. His final wake-up time? 5:30AM. Duuuude. We made an on-the-spot decision to try and enjoy Friday and head home early.
We were fooled on the way there (Thursday), because Jackson slept like, uh, a baby. I had to wake him up to nurse. (And by the way, there's no better place to nurse than the front seat of your car in the parking lot of the convention center in downtown Gary, Indiana. Trust.) He didn't get an unusual amount of sleep, he just got it all at once; I don't think napping ruined his bedtime. I just think he likes his own bed, his routine at home, and perhaps also to not be in a car seat for 5 hours. As do we all.
We did get a chance to go to super-awesome Shedd Aquarium, or as I likened it on Friday -- Crazy Town, Population: All the World's Fieldtrip Students. Buses and buses full of them. Yikes. But it was fun anyway, and Jackson got to eyeball some big fishies.