Spring break is upon us. Many families like to take this time as an opportunity to get away.
I don’t believe that you have lived, until you have traveled in a car with children.
We decide to take the kids back home to visit Grandma. I have already devoted an entire post to what it requires to get four kids ready and in the car for a trip.
Let’s just start from Dad has them in the car. I climb into the car and close the door.
Dad is doing the driving so I come prepared with things to occupy myself for the trip. One of those things is a good book.
This is going to be a great trip.
The kids have their distractions: tablets and toys. Dad will listen to his sports radio and I will have a little me time.
Yeah, I didn’t actually believe that for one second either.
As we back out of the driveway, it begins. Every time we leave to go to Grandma’s house, my middle son has high hopes that she has somehow moved closer and the trip won’t take as long.
Almost on cue he asks “Does Grandma live any closer yet?”
My response wasn’t what he was looking for so before we even get out of the driveway good, he is already coming unhinged.
I ignore his complaints.
Princess Leni Kravitz, the family dog is already passed out asleep on my lap. I take this opportunity to crack my book.
Please note that I have been attempting to read this book for MONTHS. Today could just be the day.
This is where my oldest son screws everything up by asking one simple question: Can I hold Leni?
My children are quite possibly the most competitive people on the planet. When my daughter hears him utter the request, she considers it her life’s mission to keep it from happening.
She starts pleading for Leni to sit with her. She NEVER gets to hold her. Life is so unfair and the dog doesn’t even like HIM anyway.
As one would expect, this leads to a slap fight.
No? Is this only in my world?
Luckily I can manage the middle row fairly easily. I can reach those two. I have to get this skirmish contained before it spreads to the backseat.
I tell the kids that I am going to hold Leni for her own safety. And my sanity. Each child is satisfied with this answer because their only interest at this point is keeping the other child from getting the dog.
Crises averted. I turn to chapter 1.
I read a few pages before I hear a low rumbling coming from the back seat. This is where the youngest two are sitting. The older of the two is trying to convince the younger that all of his decisions in his game of Plants vs. Zombies, are bad ones.
He then reaches across the car, trying to commandeer the tablet, in an effort to salvage the game. The baby’s knee-jerk reaction is naturally to whop his brother upside the head with said tablet.
In his mind this was simply his request to be left alone.
Now the fact that he is strapped into a 5 point harness with no where to run becomes a problem. You see his slightly older brother is wearing a mere seat belt. With one click of a button, my middle son dives across the car.
And just like that there is a brawl in the back seat.
After much pleading and threatening that Dad will pull the car over, the boys return to their corners. The good thing about brothers is even though disagreements start quickly, they often end just as quickly.
Skirmish number two is now in the history books.
What page was I on? Oh yes, number six.
We cruise several miles down the interstate. This is looking like it is going to be the easiest trip to date. I can practically taste the lunch that is waiting for us on Grandma’s table.
But anyone who knows my life, knows it is not meant to be. I start to feel uneasy.
I look back at the oldest two. They seem content. My middle son in the back has removed his shirt. This act of rebellion has him satisfied for the moment.
Then I look at number four. He has an odd look on his face. My mother radar goes off. The hairs on the back of my neck stand on end.
I know that look.
And then it happens.
He projectile vomits. Not once, but three times.
And just like that, it is over. He actually shrugs his shoulders as if to say: Whoops.
Stunned, I survey the scene. There is vomit dripping off the car seat, some is stuck to the window. It has saturated his five point harness. There is even vomit dripping from his shoes.
I sit dazed, frozen in disbelief. The other three children have now had time to process what has just happened.
It is anarchy.
After repeated warnings to remain in their seats, because we were still cruising down the interstate, they choose option B: Anything BUT that. Get as far away from the puker as possible.
I am wrestling to keep them from climbing into the front seat. Dad makes it to an interstate exit ramp, and is looking for a place to pull over, all in an effort to get this disaster under control.
Either that or he is trying to get out of the vomit-riddled vehicle before the smell makes its way to the front.
I won’t take you through the gory details of the clean up. We all know that you can NEVER really get vomit out of a child’s car seat. Or carpet.
To be honest, this is not even the worst thing that has happened to us on a trip.
The moral of THIS story is when traveling with children, you are absolutely NEVER going to arrive on time, in a good mood OR clean. You should accept this in advance.
We arrived. All six of us.
However one just so happened to be wearing nothing but Star Wars underwear.
Who’s hungry? Let’s eat.