Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Why, yes, I am a glutton for punishment...

I got two words that are enough to make your stomach twist into painful knots.

Road. Trip. 

Now, add two more words, which will surely send chills down the spine of every parent on God's green earth.

Road. Trip. With. Kids.

Oh yeah, I went there.

It was time for our annual Disneyland trip, which ironically will no longer be an annual trip after this last hurrah with the spawn.  Tim and I have finally wisened up and have decided that our next vacation will be just us (sans children).

I purposely planned our mini-Disney-vacay during my birthday so I wouldn't be stuck here in this hell hole of a town doing the same crap I do every single day.  I mean, I'll still be doing that same crap but why not do it at the Happiest Place on Earth.

Really....isn't wiping your kid's poopy butt just a little bit more exciting when you're at the Happiest Place on Earth?  Pour a little Jack Daniels into that large diet coke you just bought, stuff yourself silly with several handfuls of cotton candy and even the most wicked of temper tantrums can't get you down.

Okay, honestly, I liken a road trip with the kids to childbirth.  You know, you go through the motions...the pain is unbearable, you're staring daggers at all the nurses, you've just threatened to slice off your husband's nuts if he ever dares to touch you again....then the baby is born and, eventually, you forget about the pain.  Two years later, you're ready to jump back in the sack again and get knocked up.

That's what a road trip with the kids is like.  At the time, you're wondering why the hell you thought it was a good idea.  But eventually, you forget the pain....you forget the hassle....you forget that God-awful smell that permeates the entire mini-van that last hour of the trip because your husband thinks it's cute to try to "out-fart" the kids.

So for those of you who have long since forgotten about the joys of a road trip with the kids, let me break it down for you.

Consider it my donation to world peace....

9:45 am:   Finally done re-packing the suitcase that the little hellions unpacked and we're ready to hit the road.  Our original plan was to leave at 9:00 am so we're not too far off schedule.

9:49 am:  We stop to get gas.  As we turn off the freeway, one of the spawn asks, "Are we there already?"    My head whips around and I bellow, "Seriously?!"

10:30 am:  Tim and I are still being nice to one another.  So far, so good.

10:42 am:  The spawn ask for the 4th time since we left the gas station, "Are we there yet?"  Tim answers, "Do not ask that again until the clock reads 3:00!"  A little voice pipes up, "But we can't see the clock".  I make the mistake of saying, "We'll let you know when we're there!"

11:00 am:  Kids begin to ask, "Is it time for you to let us know if we're there yet?"  WTF?!   I can barely mutter between clenched teeth, "No, it is not time yet!"

11:20 am:  Garrett announces that he needs to pee but we're in the middle of nowhere so I ask him if he can wait a few more minutes until we can exit the freeway.  He answers, "Yeah, but I peed a little bit already".   I ask, "In your pants?" and he says, "Duh!"  I respond by laughing but...really, I just want to bawl my eyes out.  

We pull over on the side of the busy freeway so he can pee and the other two boys decide they have to pee, too....because evidently peeing on the side of the freeway is a once-in-a-lifetime thrill that cannot be passed up.

I feel something itchy on my leg just as I hear Cole say, "Mommy, there's ants all over you and Landon".  Apparently, we've both stepped in a huge pile of angry red ants.  Landon pees all over his sandals as he attempts to get away.  Good times.

12:00 pm:  The kids are fighting over whether to listen to Lady Gaga or Justin Bieber.  Garrett wins the argument because no one can stand to hear him whine any longer...Lady Gaga it is.  All is fine and dandy until Bella asks, "Mommy, what's a disco stick?"  Tim says, "Sweetie, would you like to tell our daughter what a disco stick is?"

I roll my eyes and grumble, "I'm calling the shots!  We're listening to Justin Bieber, who, even though he's extremely annoying, is kid-friendly!"

12:25 pm:  We decide to stop for lunch and, of course, the spawn are arguing over who wants what.  We go to McD's drive-thru to order for Garrett and Landon while everyone else wants Taco Bell.  Lunch is anything but quiet while the other patrons stare at us in horror...or pity....probably a mixture of both, for all I know.

1:30 pm:  We're back on the road again, 30 minutes later than we wanted but at least we didn't forget any of the kids at Taco Bell, even though I try desperately to convince Tim that we could get away with it.  "Come on," I plead with him.  "All anyone has to do is spend just 15 minutes with them and they'd totally understand why we left them behind!"

1:35 pm:  Tim and I hear a huge "blah" from the back seat and turn in time to see Bella puking red gunk everywhere, all over Cole, all over her stuffed animals, as well as her booster seat.  We pull over on the side of the freeway to get her cleaned up, while a herd of putrid-smelling cows stare us down.  For once, Tim's happy I packed everything but the kitchen sink....cue the huge container of anti-bacterial wipes.

2:05 pm:  We're back on the road again, way later than anticipated.  Tim can't stop saying, "We're gonna hit traffic...I just know we're gonna hit traffic."

2:30 pm:  As calmly as possible, I say to Tim, "I just want you to know how much I hate your driving.  Not trying to be be mean or anything...it's simply an observation".  Actually, it's a complete waste of breath because he doesn't hear a word I say...as always.

3:15 pm:  Landon wakes up from a short nap and asks, "Mommy, what ride do you want to go on first?"  I respond, "Huh?  We're on our way home.  Did you sleep through our ENTIRE vacation?"  Stunned, he begins to cry.  Tim says, "You are SO mean!"

3:30 pm:  Tim asks me if I mind driving a little while so he can sneak in a quick nap.  After laughing hysterically, I say, "Yeah, I'll drive...but good luck getting that nap."

3:45 pm:  Tim is snoring.  Guess he doesn't need much luck, after all.

3:48 pm:  Bella complains that her tummy hurts again.  Cole shouts, "You better not hurl all over me again!" and she begins to cry, "I can't help it!"  And....she hurls.  I say to Tim, "Sorry, dude...looks like your nap's over."

4:00 pm:  Back on the road again but realize we better stop for gas in case we get stuck in traffic.

4:15 pm:  Stop to get gas and take a potty break.  Garrett and Landon touch everything in the public restroom while I try my best not to puke.  Tim grabs a 5-hour energy drink and won't shut the hell up on the remainder of our trip.  All I can say in between his rants is, "Would've been nice if you could've grabbed one of those energy drinks for me too".

5:15 pm:  Stuck in the middle of glorious LA traffic.  Kids are asking, "Why are we stopping?  Are we there yet?"  I grumble something about being stuck in stop-and-go traffic and then find myself having to explain what stop-and-go traffic is.  I want to bang my head against a brick wall.

6:05 pm:  After singing to Justin Bieber's "Never Say Never" for the 6th time, the kids are excited when we announce, "We're finally HERE!"  We check in, unload the mini-van (which now reeks of puke) and I offer to stay at the hotel with Bella so Tim can take the boys to Disneyland but she's gotten a second wind and wants to go to.  We tie a barf bag to the stroller and head out.

Even though the road trip was nothing other than pure torture, take a look at these pics and tell me it wasn't worth every agonizing minute...

And see...this is why we parents forget the scary events which occurred on the road trip.  Because those smiles are worth every agonizing minute, after all.

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Lisa @ Two Bears Farm said...

Whew,what a trip! At least it looks like they had fun!
We'll be leaving in the very near future for the beach. Longest trip we'll be making with the twins. Cort has a one hour time limit for riding in the car so we're probably screwed on the 6 hour drive!

Eva Gallant said...

Oh, I remember those days, too well. Although when they were that age, I only had two to deal with. There is a place waiting for you in heaven, Helene, I'm sure.

Together We Save said...

Oh yeah... road trip with kids, stressful and never boring, and always worth it.

Heather said...

What an awful road trip! But it looks like Disneyland was lots of fun for all of them :)

The Mother said...

Never, ever, ever will I do Disney with kids, ever again.

Brooke said...

your blog is excellent birth control. HOWEVER your pictures are precious. i am thankful that they weren't videos though ;)

Beth McC. said...

This is the best thing I have read today!!! So funny...

Samantha said...

Our road trips consist of B and I yelling back and forth at each other, like we're siblings. It goes on for like 30 minutes until I finally decide that I am the adult here, and arguing with my 3 year old is accomplishing nothing. Road trips...blah.

Jen said...

You really never learn do you. ;)

Dysfunctional Mom said...

I have a headache just from reading this.
We took all of the kids to Disney once. I cried in the Rain Forest Cafe. It wasn't over the prices either, although they were worthy of a breakdown.
Have a good trip! Muah hah ahha.

Rhiannon said...

im horrified for you and i just cant get past the ants.... gotta love family time. where im from you cant go anywhere that takes longer than eh... 1 1/2 hrs

Colleen said...

My husband wants to drive to Disney World next year. Boston to Orlando...24 hours trapped in a vehicle with my kids. I think not! The plane ride should be just as interesting though. Good luck to the other passengers!
And for the record, it wouldn't be a roadtrip is someone doesn't hurl! LOL
Looks like it was a great time.
I <3 Disney.

Twins Squared said...

Oh my gosh!!! That drive out there sounds completely horrible. I am so sorry - I guess at least your car didn't break down!!

But I know what you mean - it IS the happiest place on earth! Did ya'll stay at Disneyland hotel? We stayed there and of course went to Goofy's Kitchen. Sigh. Want to go back now but it's not really the right time. We are going to FL in 2 more years. Until then, it's smaller vacations for us. You are lucky you can drive there. But...just announced today Disney Cruises will have a ship out of Galveston by late 2012!

Can't wait to hear more of your trip! Love the picture with Pluto!

Tracey Cox said...

At multiple times, I burst out into laughter... then emailed it to all my sisters in law, mom, mother in law, husband, and several best friends. Hysterical.

Shell said...

The pics are darling...but, the trip! I HATE road trips. Someone always pukes.

Deborah said...

I feel your pain :) We have taken many road trips with the kids. I wish I could tell you it gets better as they get older....haha
Tip for the young boys....keep empty gatorade bottles in the car. The boys should get a kick out of peeing in those and you will save precious time! lol :)

Diva Latina said...

UBP drive by!
Love your humor. I know I'm God's personal court jester. He tries out new material on this mom constantly. The other night, my daughter starts asking me questions I can't answer so I broke out in song, opera that is. Every time she said something, I sang mezzo soprano exactly what she just said. I'm a tenor.

Hope you'll drop by and read my blog also. I'll be by often to read your take on life too.

God bless you and your beautiful family.


Kakunaa said...

Sounds like a barrel of fun, LOL. Has me wondering how the trip home was, LOL.

Heather said...

I just pulled a 12+ hour road trip across the Midwest with just me and my 2 boys to see family. It was amazingly not at all scary and truly almost enjoyable! For that reason alone I dread the 10+ hour drive home!!

Cindy said...

this sounds like our family road trips. We took the first when my oldest and only daughter at the time was 2. That was so bad that we didn't take a road trip for 3 years - the twins, now with us, were 1, the big girl was 5 and I remembered immediately why I never agreed to a road trip since. My husband keeps talking about a trip to disney this summer. He wants to drive from CT to FL over a 2 day period. I keep reminding him about our trip to northern Maine last year and praying that he isn't serious.

But, you are right that once you get there and see everyone light up it is worth it.

Twinpossible said...

You make me sort of glad my husband says we can't afford a vacation right now, eventhough I've been dying for one, especially Disney World, but that sounds quite hellish Helen. Aside from slipping the Jack Daniels in the coke! That's brilliant, lol. I would have gleefully joined you there:)

I can't imagine being stuck for hours on a plane ride with all of my kids. If somebody gave me a free trip, you know I'd take it..naturally, but me and my husband hitting Vegas and finding family to watch the kids, is sounding better and better after reading this one, lol. Got a long wait though.

God bless you girl. It takes a strong woman indeed:)

xoxo Shelly


Twinpossible said...

OH and i remember long road trips with my family, and damned if me and my brother didn't behave like perfect little angels. See we feared our parents back then.

Now...now the kids just run all over us. It's sad. I want to take that power back, but I clearly don't know how, lol.

Great pics honey. You are right, like labor this will all wash away over time, and hopefully only the good will pop out in your memory. The Jack Daniels, haha.

xoxo Shelly


Anonymous said...

We haven't been to Disney since the baby was 1 - but we'd been about 6 times with the other 4. We're getting ready to go again, but I can't figure out if it was better to go with little guys in diapers or with a 10, 12, 16, and 18 year old who are threatening violence "if you say another word." I'll let you know! LOL

Glad you had a great time, though!

Sarah said...

We drove from Boston to Orlando with our triplets back in Nov. There was a lot of puke but it was so worth seeing their little smiles at Disney.

FRANNIE said...

Last October...3 kids (11, 14, 15), 1 minivan, 2 adults and all our crap...drive 6 hours (at night) to VA in order to get on Auto Train w/van to ride 17 HOURS to Disney World.

I feel your pain.

The two oldest (ie biggest) opted to share the back seat so the youngest could have the middle seat all to himself.

They passed out in CT, he was awake the ENTIRE time!

nutschell said...

oh my gosh. The things you have to endure!

Nezzy said...

Amazin'!!! So much trouble, so much puke yet so much fun when ya'll got there. I'm glad it was all worth it. You DID say it was worth is didn't ya??? Heeehehehe!!!

Great pictures and those smiles truly do say it all.

God bless and have a terrific day sweetie!!!

MommaKiss said...

the smiles? rock.

you, my friend? need a big glass of wine and a spa day!

debi9kids said...

oh my gosh! Awful!

Sadly, EVERY trip we take that is more than 3 hours on the road leads to Keith puking everywhere (carsick). So...our cross-country trip... yep, the van stunk for 22 days. Awful, just awful.
But, I would do it all over again :)

shortmama said...

You are supermom just attempting the trip!

Mamarazzi said...

is it horrible that it all sounds perfect to me?

seriously as long as the road trip ends at Disneyland i am good.

Rebecca @ Unexplained X2 said...

omg...the pee...the puke...the little voices that just won't shut up!

i nearly peed myself when you told him that you were on your way home...that he'd missed it! that was awesome!!!

Aimee said...

You win the mother of the year award after all! After puke incident number one we would have turned around and called it done. OMG I laughed hysterically through the whole thing! And, yes the smiles are precious!

Holly said...

Ugh. Someday the puke and pee won't be an issue. Isn't that what moms tell themselves? Someday ... someday ....

le Chef said...

My kids actually rode better when they were little, but the behavior - somehow my husband and I still manage to irritate the heck out of each other.
I dread retirement.

Tiffany said...

Oh my goodness! I'm laughing at your comment to poor Landon about sleeping through the whole vacation!

We just took an 11 hour one way drive to the in-laws. P did great - but when you're going to the inlaws it's not as impactful to help forget the trip :)

Tomorrow we' try the 7 hour trip to the Dells! We're gluttons for punishment as well - how we'll do this with 2 (much less your four) I'll never know.

Karen Peterson said...

I'm glad it all worked out in the end and sorry the getting here sucked so much!

Semi-Slacker Mom said...

The whole time I was thinking she must be smoking crack, if not, she should be, but you kinda got to me with that last part. It's like childbirth, you forget all the pain when you look at the just the good stuff.

Heather H said...

You are scaring the bejeezus out of me. I am supposed to go on the road with my little one by myself next month. Fifteen hours one way. God help me.

Miss Fruitcakey said...

I was there that day too! I actually think I saw you guys...were you on It's A Small World at...8-ish?

I figure that if the children are alive when my husband gets home at the end of the day, I've done my job.

----Roseanne Barr

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