Seven trips from the car to the house, and I can actually *see* the floor boards (albeit covered in cereal and half of the gravel from our road). Five trips from the house to the car later, I think we have everything but the kitchen sink in the cargo area of my 4Runner. Hell, you can even see out the back window, so I guess we are golden. Get the kids, the stuffed lovies, the blankets, the milk jugs, wallet, purse, cell phones and chargers, portable potty chair, stroller, pack-and-play, and hit the road, Jack. Que Willie Nelson and “On the Road Again…”
I refuse to let my kids stare at a television screen while traveling. Montana is a big, beautiful state, and if I figure if I never got to watch cartoons when we traveled in my parents little Ford Taurus with my brother, my kids can learn to enjoy the scenery or catch up on some much needed sleep. Needless to say, listening to a four year old give you a play-by-play for 250 miles will either make you kiss the city concrete under your feet at the motel, or make you drive an extra 5 miles to find beer. Not to mention that the headache from the token sibling fighting going on every 45 minutes or so is not going away anytime soon.
It never fails that no matter how hard you try to pack the entire house for a three day trip, you inevitably forget the most important thing. 250 miles from home and I finally realize we forgot the diaper bag… thank God there is a Walgreens on every street corner in Billings, or I might still be recovering from a coronary. Honestly, what kind of mother leaves the diaper bag sitting on the couch? How could I forget the bag that every stop is planned around? If there is a bathroom within 200 yards, my oldest daughter will find it and use it to it’s full potential. I think she may have a problem….
Back to the relaxing part. Shopping with kids is apparently the good Lord’s redemption for grandparents. I understand now why the only place my dad ever let us go with him was to the feed store and the parts store. Any other store on the face of the planet is just teeming with tantrum-inducing products. Thankfully my children are relatively well behaved in public, but I can only imagine that if they weren’t; it would be their mother sitting in the middle of the aisle crying, not them. I am pretty sure my husband and I have set the record for saying the most “No’s” in a single hour. It is exhausting! Sleeping in a motel room sucks bad enough when there is just two of you; sharing a room with little ones can be brutal. Thanks to my husband for upgrading us to a two-bedroom suite so the children could sleep in their own bed; I just wish I could have slept as well as they did.
Between swimming, shopping, eating, driving around looking at semi trucks and Caterpillar equipment, and being a tourist in general, this momma was so worn out by the time we finally got home Monday afternoon all I could do was lay on the couch and crash. The suitcase fairy did manage to get her ass fired too, because even though I had asked her to unpack the car and put everything away while I was napping, she basically gave me the bird and left me to wallow in my own self pity while cleaning out duffel bags. Of course the kids didn’t care either… they were too busy tearing apart the rest of my house and yard to be bothered with unpacking. Ahhh, to be home again.
Don’t get me wrong; getting away for a couple of days was nice. I managed to max out what was left on my credit card and eat a whole lot of garbage that only widened my hips and increased my blood pressure. I have to go back to work now to have a vacation from my family, and to pay off the new shoes and clothes that we just couldn’t live without. Needless to say, it will be a while before we go on another family trip. I still haven’t worked the curve back into the flat spot on my butt yet!
Til the next "trip"... ~Richelle