I got two words that are enough to make your stomach twist into painful knots.
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.
How We Budget for Our Summer Bucket List
2 days ago