Don’t ask me why, but I actually looked forward to long road trips with my family growing up. Every summer we’d make a 13 hour drive to Florida, and I had an absolute blast. The games, the reading, the sights, sleeping in one state and waking up in another- I have so many fond memories of those summer trips. I would put money on that my parents do not have the same happy scenes replaying in their heads as I do.
Call it selective memory, call it childhood stupidity, call it what you will, but when we are young we have NO idea how incredibly annoying we are to everyone around us. It doesn’t take long after becoming an adult to realize this. Little kids are frickin’ ANNOYING, point blank. This is only amplified when you’re trapped in a small space like a car.
Though I was well aware of the level of irritation that can occur due to having children in the general vicinity, I was still under the sweet, yet incredibly naive notion that road trips with my two would be as awesome as road trips with my parents. Only those road trips weren’t awesome for anyone but me and my brother.
By the time I realize that, it was far too late. Way to go, me! Perceptive one, I am!
A one or two hour road trip and you’re golden. It’s just enough time for your ass to start going numb, but not enough to start driving each other absolutely insane due to close quarters and anxious energy. We adults understand this anxiety. We want just as much as anyone else that driving would get us to where we want to be faster, we dream of the day teleportation becomes a real mode of transportation- but we accept that this is not reality. Suck it up, turn on some tunes, and try to arrive in one piece.
That, in a nutshell, was my trips to and from North Carolina over the weekend. What was supposed to be a 5 hour trip each way felt more like 30, all thanks to my lovely spawn. But it started with the dogs.
It seemed like the world was working against us. Not even three minutes in and little miss Aurora decided to squeeze out a shit. We pulled into a gas station who of COURSE did not sell cleaning wipes and spent the next 30 minutes scrubbing poop out of fur. When we finally got back on the road, she decided she needed to barf on herself no less than 6 times. Another 30 minutes. This should have been a red flag. A sign of horrible things to come. The world sending us a message; as if it was laughing in our faces because it knew that we DARED to go outside the realm of the 2 hour sanity barrier.
The only way I can think to describe how a child reacts to a road trip is a tear in the space time continuum. Time moves slower for them. How the hell else can you explain informing your uter-nugget that you have four hours left to go and being asked by them 5 minutes later “are we there yet?” NO WE ARE NOT THERE! WE HAVEN’T EVEN LEFT OUR CITY YET!!
Rinse and repeat about a dozen more times. It’s enough to test even the most patient of souls.
If that’s not irritating enough, there’s bathroom breaks. You don’t WANT to keep stopping because it only lengthens travel time, but the bladder just ain’t what it used to be.
Pull off the road, grab a snack, take a tinkle, of COURSE ask the kids if they need to go.
“Naaahhhh I don’t need to!” You try insisting, they insist their pee tank is empty. You WARN them that if they do not go and you get back on the road and they whine that now they have to pee they’re gonna be shit outta luck, they still tell you that the well is dry.
Five minutes back on the road, you are destined to hear “I HAVE TO GO PEEEPEEEEEEE!”
What’s that? Oh, just the sound of my sanity gasping for air.
In this day and age of technology, we should have robot maids like in the Jetsons, but instead we have smart phones that aren’t actually smart. They’re evil.
We used to be able to blame poor map reading skills for getting lost. Now what do we have? Is it user error, or something far more sinister?
After the poop, the puke, the traffic… the kids had both fallen asleep and it was nearing 11pm when our GPS informed us we were less than a mile from our location. Rejoice! We pulled into a gas station so we could fill up the tank and cut one time-waster out of our return trip home in a few days, which of course woke them up and I delivered the good news. The excitement had mounted. We were finally going to be able to get out of this car and the hell away from each other… and then we realized we were NOT less than a mile from our location. We were not even 20 miles from our location. We were another HOUR away from the hotel. At 11pm. With 2 kids who were now awake and mad as HELL about it. DAMN YOU, GPS!!! YOU LIED!! YOU DONE US WRONG!
It’s truly not a real family road trip until someone pukes, there is at least one argument, you get horribly lost, your children driving you absolutely insane, and you learn to cherish the few moments you get alone.
I’m not saying don’t go on trips with your kids. I am well aware the cost of flights, and TRAINS? Even LONGER!! What I’m saying is… con someone else into driving and take a STRONG sedative. Or invent teleportation. C’mon… it’s for the greater good!!!
Oh, and also- the game “I Spy” is a creation of the Devil himself. The fights that shit starts is worse than someone slamming down a Draw 4 in Uno. It’s just wrong.
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