Taking a road trip with toddlers is a lot like getting rid of a bad case of crabs you picked up at a frat party in college. Painful, time consuming and frustrating, but in the end, necessary.
We made the trek to my mom and dad's house recently, better known as Grandma and PoPo's. They a little under three hours from us. Not a bad trip. Unless you have kids. With kids, it takes about six hours, half of my braincells and all of my patience. Here are just a few of the roadblocks that we usually experience on our three-hour tour:
I have to go potty.
This occurs about 15 minutes into every trip, regardless of whether we tried to go five minutes before we left the house or not. So we find the nearest exit, unpack everyone, hit the potty, then strap everyone back in their seats and hit the road again. The entire process usually adds about 30 minutes to our trip.
I dropped my ______.
For The Cool Cucumber, the dropped item is almost always food or his woobie. Because he could care less about anything else. Including a missing appendage. For The Quiet Contemplator, the dropped item can be anything from the iPad to an eyelash. Either way, the offending item must be immediately retrieved or all hell will break loose.
My brother/sister _______ (touched me. hit me. looked at me. is still breathing.).
Dude. Siblings. Enough said.
Even if the kids have just finished a 5-course meal before we get in the car, they will inevitably be "hungry" five minutes in. Because they know mom ponies up the good snacks to keep theirs traps shut when confined with them in such a small space. Smart little monkeys, they are.
This occurs once they have drained all six of the sippy cups of water that I have brought along for the trip. Five minutes after we have left the driveway. I swear to god they turn into tiny camels when they get in the car. Where do they even put all of that water?
I am bored.
Even though she has access to an iPad, books, toys, coloring books, etc., The Quiet Contemplator always, "gets bored". Girl, give me a break with your First World Problems. Don't you know mama is busy playing Angry Birds!
I feel lonely.
Though The Cool Cucumber is still too young to get bored, he always gets "lonely". If he decides you are having too much fun in the front seat without him, he will squawk and throw things until you beckon to his call.
I am tired, but unwilling to sleep.
This is a FUN stage of travel. Both kids get super biotchy and whiny because they are tired but are unwilling to bow down to the goddess of naps. Good times. Pass me the Benadryl.
I have woken up and now feel abandoned.
When The Cool Cucumber wakes up from a nap in the car, I think he thinks that we have all abandoned him there and that Satan is now behind the wheel and driving him straight to baby hell. Because he loses his shit. Sometimes literally. Which leads to…
I crapped my diaper.
A poppy diaper waits for no man. At least not in a minivan that is traveling down the highway with four people in it.
How much longer?
My god, once The Quiet Contemplator got old enough to ask this question, I should have just had my eardrums surgically removed. It is like Donkey asking Shrek over and over again, "Are we there yet? Are we there yet? Are we there yet?" NO! Now stop asking before I turn this damn car…
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