At first, all is silent. You sit back and relax and anticipate the journey ahead of you and the fun that you will have while on your trip. You hear the kids chatting in the back seat, you can hear toys being rattled around and the happy gurgles that say all is well. The music is on, your phone is off, and road stretches out before you… ahhh bliss.
YEAH RIGHT! That is the first 5 minutes of any road trip with two kids… then the reality sets in. The CARS movie plays so many times that you swear if you hear another sarcastic comment from Lightning McQueen you might actually jump through the mini DVD player and yank his spark plugs. Then there is the never ending grumping from your youngest who keeps throwing his toys on the floor of the car and can’t reach them. Your husband… who happens to have an amazing ability to listen to the kids but not be totally annoyed by it… is busy watching the road so it’s on you.
Then there is the stops, you get the kids out to stretch their legs and their little faces beam up at you as if you were the judge who had granted them their pardon. They run, they play (or in the case of the youngest roll around for awhile). When the time comes to get them back in their seats they stare at you in total bewilderment, scarcley believing that you would actually betray them and put them back into thier cells. The cries start, and last about 10 minutes… then it’s back to CARS and throwing toys. (and how many cookies and mum mums does one have to feed them before they have actually had enough??).
Now, the fun part… you stop for dinner. You get into the restraunt with a two year old who has been sitting all day and you are asking him to sit through another hour while you eat. Not likely! Up & Down he goes until you are convinced that every person in the restraunt thinks you are raising a monster! (By this time it’s possible that even you are beginning to wonder…) The food arrives and appeases them for the full minute it takes for them to realize that they are full of the cookies and mum mums that they had in the car, so the meal is promptly thrown on the floor. By this time your cheeks are burning so bright you are tempted to call the manager and tell him not to bother wasting energy on lighting… go green and leave the lighting to my cheeks, it will even have a romantic red tint.
Your meal is thankfully over, it’s time to move to the hotel stage… oh Lord what were we thinking?? It takes 7 nights to sort out who is going to sleep where and how to get the other one to sleep in a new crib, and your trip is only 8 days? The drive back is much the same as the ride there, and when you finally arrive home the kids are annoyed with you because you then need to spend the next few days cleaning, and doing laundry and not giving them the 100% attention that they grew accustomed to on the trip.
However, those 8 days that you weren’t on the road for? Those days when you had nothing to do but play and show your kids a good time. Where you get to watch them interact with the world and discover new places and things… thos 8 days are priceless!