Diary of a Mom on the Move: Day 3 – Are we there yet?
It’s beginning to feel a little like “Groundhog’s Day” around here. We wake up in a hotel room, pull clothing onto our limp, half-asleep children and herd them downstairs to a breakfast buffet filled with tiny boxes of cereal, dried-out pastries and an occasional hot egg dish. At night, my 2-year-old is like a heat-seeking missile in bed. She either holds onto my hair or lays her head on my arm, pushing me to the edge of the bed. When I wake up and switch sides to get some space, she unconsciously scoots across the bed to nuzzle up to me again. It’s adorable but not exactly conducive to getting a good night’s rest. The wonder and glory of the trip is fading for me but luckily the journey has not lost its luster for my little girls. They show up at each hotel and marvel at the graphic designs on the hallway carpeting. They squeal with delight when it’s their turn to push the elevator button and beg to use the room key. Then they fling the door open like a contestant on a game show to see what they’ve won… TWO BEDS! NO WAY! Let the jumping commence. Watching them find true bliss in these ordinary experiences helps me appreciate them more myself. But seriously, I’ve had enough of the breakfast buffets.
So there’s something I need to confess, Diary. Please don’t judge me. But I’ve been drugging my kids for the road trip. I’ve never done it before but after Cora puked for two solids days during our last long trek, I wanted to take matters into my own hands. I found a children’s anti-motion sickness medication. I’m calling it their “road trip vitamin.” If I tell them it’s medicine, they won’t even consider it because they will assume it tastes badly or complain that they aren’t even sick. And if I call it candy, then they’ll break into my purse looking for more. Therefore, “road trip vitamins,” because they know that vitamins help make you healthy if you take one a day but can make you sick if you take more than that. No one has vomited on this trip yet so I will continue handing out the so-called “vitamins.” I take an adult version of Dramamine Motion Sickness Relief Original Formula, 50 mg, 12 Count every time we travel so I can read in the car without wanting to hurl. It’s a life saver!
Sunday’s drive turned out to be the straw that broke this happy family’s back. The kids were already over the excitement of the activities in their backpacks. The only exception to that was the previous day’s road trip gifts, which were new coloring books. Otherwise they spent most of Sunday arguing about everything- nearly 7 hours in the car listening to the following:
“She hit me!” “I wanted that one!” “How much longer?” “I don’t have to GO pee right now!” “I want to get out!” “I have to pee NOW!” “I want a movie!” “Cora kicked me!” “That’s MY book!”
Somewhere around hour 5 I started devising an exit strategy. Surely my husband would understand my need to bail from our SUV as it went flying down the highway in an effort to escape the madness, right? But then again, that would leave him alone with the perpetual whiners and that didn’t seem fair. So, for his sake, I stuck it out.
By the time we reached Peoria, Illinois, we were so sick of each other that we simply checked into the hotel, went to our room and lay in silence for about 30 minutes.
Then it was on to our usual ritual of pool time, baths and dinner before hitting the hay for another night’s sleep with my missile… I mean… my toddler.
Luckily for all of us, the drive scheduled for Monday is short and takes us to the kids’ Grandma’s house in Iowa for a 3-day pit stop. We plan to unwind, fuel up (both the car and our bodies), and let the kids bug someone else for a little while!
Daily lesson learned: Even the most amazing people in the world start to seem a little less awesome after three days in a car together. But it only takes a little space to help your perspective, and sanity, return.