Family Road Trips..
You know those commercials which show a happy family driving down the road, singing songs or laughing together? Well, I’ve come to two conclusions 1.) Either I should seriously consider buying that car or 2.) it’s a gross exaggeration of the two seconds your family was that happy in a car.
I’m thinking it’s more like reason number 2 as I think back on the last two road trips we took with our family.
I remember before my husband and I had kids how easy it was to go on a road trip. We could easily do last minute and everything we needed for a weekend could be packed into a back pack or small suitcase. However, with two children in tow, the only small thing in packing the car is one’s patience. If your family is anything like ours, you will find that you identify with at least one of these scenarios.
1. First of all, tell yourself (and throughly convince) that you need to leave the house at least two hours before you really have to leave the house. This will at least put you on the schedule you wanted to have.
2. The conversation with your child about going to the bathroom will go something like this:
You: Ok, go to the bathroom.
You: (a few minutes before you head out the door.) Ok, let’s go to the car!
Child: Wait, I have to go to the bathroom!
You: Again, didn’t you just go?
You: (rolling your eyes) Then go, hurry up!
3. Packing the car will consume most of your time. It will be like playing tetris in too small of a space and you won’t be able to figure out how you need so much junk just for a weekend.
4. It will only be when you pull over for a potty/snack/gassing up break that you will realize your child walked to the car without shoes on and you didn’t remember to pack any extras.
5. The above will lead to this conversation:
You: Oh crap, we forgot his shoes!
Husband: Well, we are only 20 minutes away. We could turn around.
You: No, we are already running late. We will just get him a new pair.
Husband: That’s another stop and he doesn’t need new shoes. Let’s just turn around.
You: No, because then that puts us 40 minutes late! There’s a sale at Payless. Never hurts to have extra shoes, right?
Husband: Fine. Next time check to see if he has his shoes.
You: (turn around to child) You’re old enough to know you should’ve had your shoes. Don’t do this again!
6. It will only be the time that you don’t have a throw up bag in the car that inevitably they will need to throw up. (This happened twice in our last road trip, one time for each child due to motion sickness!)
7. You might panic if the portable DVD player isn’t working. You might try and tell your child that they can just deal with it like you had to do when you were a kid, but if you’re anything like me, you will realize that facing the prospect of a 6 hour trip without another option of entertainment besides 1,000 questions for mommy is torture. You will quickly map the nearest electronics store to not just keep your child entertained but also to have your moments of sanity on the long trip.
8. By the end of the trip, your car will look like you’ve lived in it for years.
9. Your children will not sleep when you’ve planned to leave at their bedtimes, assuming that they would be tired enough. You will also find yourself wishing that energy drink companies could figure out how to harness the energy of young children.
10. There is always one adult in the group who has to do everything at the last minute while the rest of the family is in the car: grab coffee, go to the bathroom, pay the bills, etc.
11. The average times you will drive back to your driveway is probably about three.
12. You will tell yourself that you will never do all of the aboves for the next road trip but inevitably you will. In fact, you might do something worse like realizing hours away your forgot the tickets or the baby’s favorite sleeping blankie.
This is how 90% of our road trips come to a close.