Thoughts from the Road

The drive started out promising.  We put the girls in the car around 1:00pm and they were excited because we had just turned their seats around and the car ride felt more like an amusement park ride to them (we don’t get out much).  Grandma Cindy and Auntie Shannon had worked hard at wearing the girls out over at our friend Kathrine’s house all morning long, so when 1:00 hit, we hoped the girls would be out for a 2 hour nap.  Yeah. Right.  Now, they WERE asleep within 10 minutes of being in the car…

…and thankfully it was a cloudy day so no sun was shining in their eyes. Yet we quickly discovered something: our girls are all tummy sleepers.  This alone makes us laugh because they were bat-swaddled until they were about 4 months old, forcing them to sleep on their backs.  But now…all tummy.  You can’t sleep on your tummy in a car seat.  Rowan, who is our best sleeper and needs a nap the most to stay happy, figured this out about 20 minutes into her “nap” and that was it.  For the day.  Shoot me.  Sienna and Jovie lasted about 45 minutes to an hour, which can actually be normal for them on some days.

So then we thought, ‘Hey maybe Rowan will take 4 or 5 short naps throughout the day from just being restrained and tired and bumping along the road.’ Wrong again.  However, we soon learned that as long as the snacks, sippy cups, and movies kept rolling (they didn’t even know the van had a DVD player!), they remined failry content…for awhile.

The next 36 hours {as well as the 36 hours of our return journey} tried our patience and fortitude more than we ever thought possible. And now that we’ve finally recovered, here is a list of thoughts about our driving experience with three toddlers and one more on the way.

  • Fly next time.
  • You know your parenting philosophy has taken a huge about-face when you are so desperate to get your kids out of the car and running around that you actually search for a McDonalds Playplace.
  • Did you know Cabela’s was a taxidermy zoo? We stopped at one to stretch our legs. The girls were freaked out by the non-moving animals, so we stuck to the aquarium area instead.

  • Thank-you Dora and Diego, for teaching me more Spanish in one car ride than two years of high-school classes did.  6 Episodes per disc, 5 discs.  It’s like children’s Rosetta Stone.
  • Chuckie Cheese with one kid (like when just Jovie and I visited Jake and Tennyson for the day) = awesome.  Chuckie Cheese with three = not so much.  Sure, climb up the skee-ball lanes and throw the balls in the hoops.  Everyone else can stare while we let you break the rules.  Everyone else doesn’t have to still drive seven hours with three infants just get to a hotel.  Keep starring.

  • When all else fails, pull out a new snack or treat.  This may mean giving them 7 snacks in an 8-hour time frame.  They will find a way to smear each snack on their clothes, face, and hair.  You cannot climb around to wash them after every snack, so have fun when taking them into public places while they look like you dragged them through a river of syrup. {Note the sucker stuck in her hair…}

  • That picture always makes me so sad to look at.  Don’t worry, we pulled over about 5 minutes after this was taken and all was well again and looked more like this:

Sucked in to Dora

  • The creators of the children’s show ‘Yo Gabba Gabba’ are definetly on LSD.  Both during writing sessions and taping sessions.  Try to explain the show to someone else without sounding like you yourself are high on drugs.
  • Toddlers like ketchup.  At least ours do.  We found out that they REALLY like the little fast food cups of ketchup because they can take them like shots.  Awesome.
  • Quality Inn in Indianapolis, we will forever be thankful to you for your two-room suites separated by an actual door so that everyone can get the sleep they need.  Also, thank you for the discount, even if it was a “Hey, you look like death warmed over and you have how many infants in that van?” discount.
  • Dunkin’ Donuts:  Daddy’s rocket fuel (and Mommy’s “pretend” rocket fuel) for ten days straight…can’t wait ’til they arrive in Iowa.

  • Ohio.  We hate you.  You take forever to get through.  And judging by your real estate, it seems as though every episode of Horders that deals with junk outdoors was filmed along your interstates.  Let’s clean it up.
  • Each time a child cried, the van inexplicably would go from traveling 70 mph to traveling 90 mph.  It just knew.
  • Which leads me to, why didn’t we get pulled over?   We were never going the speed limit.  I suppose if we did get pulled over I would ask the officer to sit in our van for ten minutes before he wrote the ticket to see if our speed was valid.
  • Drivers in Iowa wave at you just for being the only other ones on the road.  Your state line sign never looked so good. Drivers on the East coast only care about where THEY are going,  Even if there is an ambulance, with its lights on, with sirens blaring, trying to get through.  I am sure wherever They are going is much more important than the person that may be dying inside that ambulance.  Really?  Pull over.

  • We, Tommy and I, didn’t pack a single thing to do in the car.  I knew I would never get to utilize it. We did, however, pack earplugs. And we did use those for the last two hours of the trip.

  • Turn the heat on high to the windshield defroster and place bottles of cold milk on the dashboard for an instant warmed bottle…a trick we learned on our trip to Virginia last fall.
  • Our GPS has a count down timer for the trip.  We swore it was broken like 25 times.  Nope, just taking us that long. We celebrated when the first number was a zero.

  • Thank goodness the visit was so much fun and thank goodness Tommy’s family is so awesome.
  • We love our family and would truly do anything to see them within our ability, but next time…we should really just fly.
Second Cousins Laughing It Up.

5 thoughts on “Thoughts from the Road

  1. I am dying reading this! The picture of poor Rowan with the lollipop is priceless! I hope I’m laughing with you at this point(though I doubt enough time has passed to find your experience amusing :() I love you and respect you to pieces for driving to come see our awesome family! You guys will forever rock as the bravest parents ever!!!! Xoxo

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