Like many of you, we had a lot of time with our kids, B (6) and J (3.5), over the winter “break.” Yes, I know. It’s not a break at all until the kids go back to school. Did this break seem centuries longer than previous breaks or is it just me? Maybe because we had the added pleasure of several car trip times with our lovely children. And our kids only talk like minions now thanks to Despicable Me. It’s a slow torture especially in the car.
Car trips for us are pretty brutal. I figure there are 5 key elements:
- Avoid kids throwing up
- Trying to get at least one kid to nap
- Car games
- Stopping to pee
- Picking up toys and snacks
Avoid throwing up
B throws up in the car all the time. Avoid this.
We’re lucky if J naps. B NEVER naps. This is what it means for us: Keep yelling at B to use all the strength in his body and his eager mouth to stay silent for 10 minutes so that J can drift off into a peaceful slumber. The process of keeping him quiet alone is excruciating. It goes like this:
Us: No talking for 10 minutes
B: J!!! Can I hold your hand? MommyDaddy! J is fake sleeping! Is it a long minute or a short minute?”
Then if J does actually fall asleep the entertainment with B continues.
Non-stop car games:
- 20 questions (B’s is always a place and ALWAYS legoland). B wins.
- Find the letters of the alphabet in road signs…game dies at the first hard letter. B wins.
- Name as many items in a category as possible. Say, lego chima characters. Michael will challenge him: “I can name 10.” B: “I can do 12.” So then B takes the challenge to name 12. Then B wins.
- Start a new word with the letter the previous word ends in. B finds this hilarious because he aims to end every word in Y for Mommy’s turn. Last round of this was Mommy coming up with Y words for a full hour. Usually I start yellow. Then quickly falls to yoyo, yak, yay. B wins.
When J is awake, things change dramatically. Now it’s I-spy. J only wants to play I-spy.
J: “I spy with my eye….(wait 10 mins while J “thinks”)
B: “JJJJJJJJ!!!!!!!!!! WHAT?!?!?!?”
J: “I’m thinking it! Now I need to start over because B said something while I was thinking. I spyyyyyy…with my wittle eye…some…thing…lellow.”
Me: “Your shirt.”
Michael: “Sun.” DADDDDYYYYYY!!!!! Pay attention.
Game continues for a century while J responds nope to every guess.
B goes crazy out of his mind: “J!!!! What is it???”
B: (In tears by now from unsurmountable frustration over his 3 year old brother’s inability to play the game in any sensical or fair way.)
Stopping to Pee
I would say, on average, we can usually get about 1-2 miles logged on a trip before a child has to pee. Is that about right Michael? On this particular holiday “break” car trip, B peed right before we got in the car. I mean minutes before. We get in the car and he starts screaming almost immediately, “I can’t hold it!!!” “Seriously B? You just went? There’s no where to stop. We are on the fast road.” Michael and I look at each other like what do we do here? Call him on his bluff and risk it? This is impossible that we have to stop already.
So we do what any good parents would do and pull over on the shoulder to not lose time all the while threatening B that he better really have to go bad because this is incredibly unsafe. I take B out and position him between the 2 side doors and wonder could we actually pee like a “grown up” and use the pee hole in his underwear and also the zipper of his jeans and aim it out so I don’t have to pull his pants and underwear down entirely on the side of the highway in the frigid cold? Nope. Won’t ever work. Pants go down and yell at him to aim it far so it doesn’t get on his pants. I mean he really had to go! What the $#&*(@#!?!
He got back into the car in record time because we put the fear of G-d into him over this stop. So we just started out and we are already making bad time. Typical.
Toys and Snacks
One kid is either:
- asking for a snack,
- dropping his snack on the floor,
- returning a snack,
- exchanging a snack,
- or doing all of the above but insert toy instead of snack.
On this particular joy trip, J was addicted to a new transformer. Probably has something to do with watching 40 episodes of Rescue Bots in the king size bed on vacation while Michael and I binge-watched Sons of Anarchy and ignored them.
We were driving at night and J started screeching: “I want it a TRUCK!”
B: “Give it to me.” B proceeds to do his best to transform it.
J: (screaming for it back and receives it from B.) “NOOOO!!!!! I wanted it a truck NOT a person!!!” Throws it to the floor and cries.
Me: “J, if you throw that toy again, it’s mine. B, did J ask you to make it a truck?”
B: “Yes, but he doesn’t know what he wants.” Then I have to unbuckle on the “fast road” and reach around backwards to get the transformer back and give B a second chance.
B: “I can’t do it. It’s too dark.”
Me: “We can’t turn the lights on. It’s not safe for Daddy to drive. Give it to me.” I turn the interior light on anyway and try to fix it. Trying to hold one hand over the light to dim it so Michael doesn’t crash, I can’t transform the #*@#) thing either. J is losing his mind and wailing like I just cut off his finger because no one truly gets that all he really needs in life is for the transformer to be a truck. We stop for gas. All lights go on.
Daddy: “Give it to me.” We give it to Daddy. Gas pumped. We stay. We stay. Daddy working on it. We stay. Daddy gets it. J receives it again. Calm, quiet. No problems in the world, well except B claims he could’ve done it with the light on too. It’s a truck now.
Are we there yet? There is no fast road.