I was going to take a before and after picture of my car this road trip, but beyond being horrifying, who had time amidst all the puking, storming and whining stealing seven hours of my sanity. Since the nearest grandparent lives 545km away (another 575km and another 1100km, all in opposite directions), you’d think I’d be an old pro at the art of the road trip but for some reason I still live in this fantasy land of open roads, Amos Lee blaring, and scenic daydreaming.
What I get instead is windy roads resulting in Kaya puking all over the car, then outside of the car, while rain blasts us sideways and semi trucks splash us on the other side. Settled back in the car, snowy roads arrive, a dog stops traffic and mayhem ensues, fake fire trucks cause me to pull over dangerously, and two whiny girls demand their DVD’s only the DVD player appears to be broken.
Worst. Road Trip. Of my life. And I still had to get home…
Here, for you, my Top Ten Lessons Learned, the Hard Way.
- Do not delude yourself into believing ‘there will be lots of time in the morning!’ There is never lots of time in the morning. I have been a mother for 5.5 years now. One of these days I’ll catch on…
- Safety kit in the car should have flares and carjack and so on but more importantly, fill with cartoony bandaids, bubble gum medicines and GRAVOL
- If brilliant enough to have this, it would serve you well to remember your brilliance
- Have an extra change of clothes for spills, potty accidents, or car sickness
- If brilliant enough to pack this, adding a cleaning kit (paper towel, cleaning spray, plastic bags) should not be an issue
- Check electronics are in working order
- If you do not, and discover, oh say the DVD player is not working while on the road, refrain from having a full-blown temper tantrum in the car. It upsets the children more than the loss of their cartoon fix.
- If brilliant enough to get books-on-CD at the library, remembering this brilliance is brilliant
- Once you do (finally) remember, ensure no book on CD has realistic fire siren noises causing you to swerve violently to the side of the road causing mass hysteria (or maybe that was just me)
- Finally, never ever presume that this will last for more than the two minutes you have witnessed. Do not let your mind wander to imagine the next two hours could be one of peace, tranquility and music not sing-songing of poo or rainbows or choochooing. Never ever. For if you do, the reality will simply devastate you.
Do yourself a favour, read these, memorize them and do NOT do as I do.
That would be called the easy road and when you’re alone in the car with two wee ones for seven hours, that is the road you want to be on.