Road trip sounds so pleasant. Trip, vacation, fun! Not so my road trip. No think of ours more like the ‘trip’ which has you tripping face first into a puddle that is hiding a ginormous rock that you bang your head on and come up with a soaking wet head with a giant goose egg that is neon purple and there is a huge audience clapping at the hilarity whereby you bow to try to cover the fact that this was not on purpose only to trip again, this time falling on your ass and breaking your tail bone.
Yup, that more aptly describes my road trip.
Harsh, yes. So I should say that the time we were actually in destination visiting my mom was wonderful. The brutality was getting to and from said destination with the Whiner and the Screamer. Oh, there I go again, HARSH.
Okay fine, the Cool and the Curious. The Sleeper and the Busy-Bee. The Hilarious and the Hilariouser.
You get my point. Packing the car, I stockpile one full bag o’ fun for Kaya and one full bag o’ joy for Brennyn to be put in the passenger seat for easy access for me to distribute as needed. I did not once touch Kaya’s bag. She didn’t want to read or create magnet stories or play with her Haba castle set. She was happy to sing or daydream or watch Cars on the dvd.
She was also happy to whine. Here is the stage we all hear about “Are we there now? Now? Are we at Gammy’s house? Is that Gammy’s house? (while pointing oh-so hopefully at a mini-golf castle)” Then, with still 4 hours to go, “How many til we get there?” She is trying desperately to understand time but is struggling with it. I take this trapped time together for a teachable moment (cuz I’m a good mom like that) and explain “Like a million minutes!” When asked again later, I tell her a blink of an eye. Maybe I even explain the reality at some point but it’s all getting very complicated explaining minutes, hours, seconds and what it all means so I throw in some Lost lingo which may totally be useful in some sort of time-space flashing sideways rift so I go with that too…
Eventually she just lets out a big dramatic sigh and requests I drive like Lightning McQueen while wondering if Gammy even lives in Canada.
Then we have Brennyn. The non-sleeper, active child who is inquisitive about EVERYTHING. Hard to explore the world strapped backwards into a too tight car seat Mom. So she lets me know she is not happy about the matter. You know how the radio cuts in when a nearby cellphone goes off while driving? I am fairly certain she causes radio frequencies to jumble in all vehicles within a 10km radius for all the screaming she is doing. That bag I brought for Brennyn? Used in it’s entirety. One by one. Arm reaches in, arm reaches back, mamma pleads- please like this toy, please!!! Usually each toy is enough to distract her for about 2 minutes. A few even last 10-15 minutes. A package of Mum-mums lasts about 20 minutes.
But my saving grace? The one thing that keeps me sane and Brennyn occupied? The cowbell. Thank you cowbell! At first she just eats it. It must be toxic because she LOVES to eat it. But eventually she remembers how much fun it is to extend both of her arms and shake those wrists back and forth, back and forth, shaking that cowbell for all it is worth. Did you watch the Olympics? Do you know how loud cowbells are? As I peer in my rearview mirror, there is my baby smiling and shaking and there is my preschooler beside her fast, fast asleep.
By hour 6 in the car I have had it. I am done. There is still another hour to go.
We are in farm country and Kaya is loving pointing out the brown cows and black cows and white sheep and Holy Smoly Guacamole- a horse! And another horse! And another. Until they are no longer exciting. Which is about when she asks “Mommy, where are the kangaroos?”
To tell you the truth, I am unable to ascertain weather this is indeed hilarious or not. Because at that time, in that place, after 6 hours of trying to distract/feed/occupy/small talk/drive safe/please my girls, it is the funniest thing I have heard in my life. Where are the kangaroos? I explain where they live (countries, another abstract concept she’s trying to grasp.) and she asks if we can go there one day. I tell her of course all the while thinking ‘sure, when you’re 25 and your father and I are sitting in 1st class on a round the world trip while you and your sis fly coach to meet us and oh sure, we’ll spring for a hotel room for you. What? Why is your hotel across the street? Oh, um, yah, our hotel was booked solid. See you at dinner!’