Once you have made the decision to do a 12 hour drive with 3 monsters, I mean children, there some things you must take into consideration:
- How to keep the monsters happy … happy monsters = happy mommy
I kept snacks, and a small cooler full of drinks, in the passenger seat for easy grabbing and passing purposes. Also, I have learned from previous road trips to always keep plastic bags in seat back pockets in case of motion sickness.
I let the kids stay in jammies and also had them bring pillows into the car. My mom was horrified that I paraded my littles through gas stations and restaurants all day in their pj’s, but hey… if they are comfy and happy, who cares what strangers think about my kids being in pajamas in a gas station at 3 PM?!
HAPPY MONSTERS HAPPY MOM:
I packed each kiddo a backpack with a drawing pad, and coloring utensils, but I’m also a realist.. so I charged up the iPad and kindles for desperate measures. My car doesn’t have built-in tv’s so I bought these little screens that clip onto the back of your car headrests and have a portable dvd player attached so the kids could watch movies. I had them all set up with headphones and everything, so I wouldn’t have to hear “Alvin and the Chipmunks” all day while driving.
Y’all… I was really feeling on top of my mom game with the pre-road trip prep…
… I mean… I had everything to ensure a smooth ride, right?
TIME FOR THE TRIP:
Fantasy—> We’ll get going, Kids will watch movies and color, Kace will probably sleep for a few hours. While they are all completely content, I will listen to the audio book I downloaded (“Crushing it”), and then when Kace is up, we will listen to some amazing road trip music. We can stop at fun landmarks, or funny signs, and take pictures to add to some amazing scrapbook. Everyone will be totally content and we’ll have the best time ever…
I got the kids out of bed at 6:30 AM and put them straight into the car. Now, that is super early for them compared to our usual “9:30-ish rolling out of bed lazy summer routine”, so naturally there was some whining.
Livi: “I don’t feel good…”
Me: “It’s early honey, once you eat you’ll be fine”.
Violet: “I’m huuuuuungry” …
Me: “There are pop-tarts in the backpack next to your seat” -I said with a smug grin because I was feeling so prepared.
Livi: “I can’t eat anything.. I don’t feel good”.
I immediately had a bad feeling… she gets car sick frequently on road trips, but refuses to take dramamine because she hates the flavor. Trying to give that child dramamine is a sincere form of torture for everyone involved. You would think demons were being exorcised from her body with the amount of screaming and thrashing, and gagging that’s involved. I tried to say…. “Livia, how about you just chew up this dramamine really quickly and I’ll give you a juice to immediately drink!” Before I even finished my sentence, she was moaning and crying ” I would rather barf all day than chew that DISGUSTING pill!!!!!!!!!!!”.
We were about 8 minutes into the drive, and the real moaning started.
Livi: “uggggh, urrrrrggggghhh, ahhhhhh, oh no…. MOMMY!!!!!!”
Me: “grab a bag!!! It’s right in front of you!”
Livi: “There’s a hole in it!!!! I’m not gonna make it!!!”
I reached behind my seat, snatched another bag out of the pocket, and handed it to her just in the knick of time. Here I thought I would be passing cookies back, instead Livia tossed her cookies up.
We pulled off, threw out the barf bag, and got back on the road. About 15 minutes later.. the same exact thing happened. Another hole in the bag, another frantic reach for a new bag. Only this time, my map was jumping around on this huge connection of highways and I exited the wrong highway. The little mistake added an hour to my ETA …all 3 kids were screaming… I was trying to figure out how to exit, and with all the chaos I couldn’t help but yell out my favorite choice word. Unfortunately, my little 21month old mimic decided to yell out the same choice word. Not my finest moment…
When everything started to calm down, I decided to get a movie going for everyone. To my loving surprise, only one dvd screen would work. However, the working screen wouldn’t play sound. The screen that was totally black was the only screen making sound. The headphone jacks wouldn’t work for either screen (of course). After the hysterical crying stopped over only one person’s screen working, both girls watched one screen and I enjoyed the lovely, soothing sounds of Alvin and the Chipmunks for an hour and a half.
Basically, the road trip that I thought would be a fun little adventure, rapidly turned into a total circus. Whether it was the car sickness, malfunctioning dvd players, gas stations with no changing tables, no naps for 12.5 straight hours; it was very clear to me that no amount of preparation could have mentally prepared me for the pure chaotic cluster express that was our road trip!
When we finally got to my parents house I wanted to kiss the ground. We made it!!!!! One of us lost the contents of their stomach, one of us lost their sanity… but we made it! Goal for the trip home: embrace the crazy 😉