Road tripping, that is.
Do you ever look back on decisions you’ve made in your past and wonder, “Why did I EVER think that was a good idea?!”
I know you do. Dig deep.
I’m talking things like a 3-day cleanse where by Hour 8 of Day 1 you had ultimately eaten an entire family pack of Hostess powdered donuts.
Or signing up for a 10k when the last marathon you did was when Netflix released the latest season of Orange Is The New Black.
I recently made one of those “this-seems-like-a-great-decision-in-the-moment” plans.
I thought to myself, “Hey, self, we can totally road-trip next month with 2 toddlers in a car. Driving 8 hours roundtrip in a single 24 hour period is completely attainable. It will be fine!”
As the Day of Atonement arrived, I started feeling more and more anxiety building, realizing this was about to blow up in my face. My kids can’t sit still for more than 30 minutes, even equipped with snacks and a movie. My 3-year-old pees every hour. They are both petrified of public restrooms and the demon hand-dryers (seriously). What if we hit traffic? What if someone gets car sick?
But. This was an important trip. A reunion with friends I hadn’t seen in years. We had all grown up, become (mostly) productive members of society and now have offspring to chase around. We were determined to get together (and force our kids to be friends too).
So, I sucked it up.
The morning of the trip my car was packed as if I was preparing for an Apocalypse. Nothing was going to get in the way of my glory. Mind over matter.
And truth be told? It wasn’t all that bad!
Want a recap? Advice, reassurance or just a good laugh?
8:00AM – Kids in the car, music loaded, tablets within arm’s reach, blankets/pillows stashed at their feet, snack bag packed with anything easy to chuck toward the back seat like a hand grenade when war broke out on I-4 (juice, fruit snacks, granola bars, bags of goldfish, pouches, etc.)
8:05AM – Headed toward the interstate and my toddler was already running his mouth enough to power a small village. “Is this a long drive? Can I watch Trolls? Can I have a snack? I’m thirsty.” – At this point I started to panic and almost turned around.
8:20AM – I realized both kids had thumbs in their mouths. We were jamming out to the Trolls soundtrack. A few snacks later, my oldest wanted to play “I Spy” – This literally lasted 30 minutes and I swear to you I guessed the “something green” being a road sign over the interstate probably 17 times. #threeyearolds
10:00AM – Halfway. Too much coffee. Both kids started to cry real dragon tears when I talked about stopping to use the potty. When my older one began visibly trembling, I decided to hold it. Because a prolapsed bladder is easier than 2 screaming toddlers clawing up your body while you attempt to hover over a public toilet and pee.
10:30AM – Finally got them to calm down about the potty. Another round of “I Spy” and some snacks. We sang LOUDLY to Frozen.
11:00AM – I handed them their tablets and they both quietly watched movies until our brilliant arrival.
FOUR hours flew by. Something I never thought I would say. ESPECIALLY not when it involved being trapped in a steel bubble with toddlers and having to answer incessant questions about objects on the road.
Moral of the story?
Some choices will always be bad. Like that 5th glass of wine when you have to be up at 6:00AM with the tiny humans. But some choices will end up creating lifelong memories your babies will talk about for years (ok, weeks) to come.