Traveling with kids is a nightmare.
Don’t even get me started on the hours and hours of packing.
Let’s just talk about the actual traveling portion of the event.
I’m the kind of person who will have to pee for 2 hours before I’ll stop just because I wanna “make good time.” I’ll pack a sandwich so I don’t have to swing through Wendy’s. I’ve even been known to switch out the kid’s dvd in the backseat with one hand while steering with the other to avoid having to pull over. Double-jointed elbows help.
There was a period when Asher was a baby where it took us forever to travel home to visit our folks, stopping to breastfeed every 3 hours, stopping to mop up the former contents of his stomach from the entire backseat of the car and so on.
As he got older, things got better. He was perfectly happy to soak through his diaper while watching Toy Story 1, 2 and 3 back to back with strawberry juice dripping down his chin.
Then we hit the potty training phase and backwards we went.
The first time we tried to let him travel to my in-laws without a diaper, I was foolish enough to fill up an entire 12-ounce cup with juice and hand it to him at the beginning of the 5 1/2 hour trip.
Silly first-time mom.
Ten minutes later, I glanced back to see an empty cup. The worst part is that I didn’t even think about it.
We stopped to go to the bathroom about an hour and a half into our road trip and Asher insisted he didn’t need to go.
In a hurry and in no mood to go through the drama of dragging a potty-resistant kid to the bathroom, I let it go.
Within five minutes, he said, “I pee-peed.”
We pulled over, grabbed his change of clothes, took him to the bathroom (why?), put paper towels down on his car seat and hit the road.
About an hour later, he said, “I gotta go potty!”
We got off the interstate, Gabe grabbed him out of his seat and ran into the gas station and he started peeing in the middle of the store.
Gabe was so embarrassed, he just turned him around and walked him back out to the car. We dug out his suitcase, changed him again and headed back out.
And btw, let me offer my sincere apology for the toddler pee you stepped in at the Greenville, Alabama BP station that 4th of July weekend.
What I can’t figure out is why we didn’t think to put a diaper on him at this point.
But we didn’t.
Sometime later, on a backwoods road so dark you could hardly see the person next to you in the car, yet again, Asher said, “I gotta go potty!”
We pulled the car over on the side of the road (cue tires screeching), literally into someone’s front yard. Gabe grabbed the little potty out of the back of the car and put it on the ground, I grabbed Asher from his car seat and started yanking his pants down and…he peed all over himself and me.
Yep. That’s 3 accidents in one 5 1/2 hour trip.
These days, Ash is a big boy and has the potty thing down but now we have a baby to complicate things again.
And instead of pulling over to give him a bottle, we pull over to pour milk down his feeding tube.
This is the sight that confounds people who happen to be at the same gas station as us at that time.
The baby’s in his car seat and that’s me trying to get the tube holding the milk up high enough so gravity can do its trick. Takes a good 20 minutes at least.
Sometimes we have to trade out holding it because our arms get tired.
Makes you kinda wanna just stay home all the time, doesn’t it?
But then we’d miss out on wonderful Thanksgiving memories like these.
I guess that’s why the good memories always outlast the bad.
Hope I can forget by Christmas.
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