Thursday, July 9, 2009

Spin Cycle: Driving Me Crazy

So! Welcome back to me, from my longest blogging hiatus ever! Perhaps some of you were wondering if the world really did end on my birthday? No? Well, glad I didn't make anybody worry then. Although to continue my theme from the other day, I found it ironic that Billy Mays (the spokesman guy) from Tampa died while I was actually in Tampa. And I am rarely in Tampa. So I hope it's not a wonder that I've been feeling like an unlucky charm.

Anyway, 30 has not been as bad as I feared, although I did wake up the very next morning to find WRINKLES. Wrinkles that I swear had not existed while I was 29. Some sort of skin timer must have gone off and now I am going to have to deal with eye cream. Exciting stuff.

To get on topic, or at least the topic of my choosing, this week's Spin Cycle topic is Driving. Having just returned from a road trip to and from South Carolina, I've got something to say on the topic.

Growing up, my parents and I lived 5 hours away from my maternal grandparents, and we visited fairly often. As soon as I could read I kept myself busy, but before that I got plenty bored, since these were the days of low tech car rides and I have no siblings. I distinctly remember my poor mom riding in the backseat with me making my kitty puppet talk to me for hours. I may be the only kid who has ever played Princess/Cinderella type games with a Persian cat puppet. Although maybe not, anything is possible if you get a kid desperate enough. I also frequently talked to a purple ski hat with a pom pom on top that my mom made into a doll/puppet for me. She would also read to me and I had these felt paper doll things I could dress up, but really, the bulk of the entertainment fell to her since my dad always drove, and those could be some long car rides. We always made exactly one stop, at a certain McDonald's on the border between Ohio and Pennsylvania, and if you wanted to stretch your legs or use a bathroom at any other time, too bad for you.

I'm not that kind of traveler these days, but I still like to get where I'm going in a timely fashion.

That's why, when David and I decided to go visit his parents, who live on Hilton Head Island, 8 hours away from here, we did some hard thinking about just how we planned to get there. The last time we drove there, as opposed to flying (a topic for another day entirely), Elizabeth was 9 months old and she slept most of the time. She still managed to add an extra two hours onto the trip since we believe in changing a kid's diaper as soon as its wet, but beyond a bottle and some songs, not much was involved. We've gone on short road trips since we've had Lilli, no more than 3 or 4 hours, but this trip was a biggie. So we decided to drive through the night. We left at 10pm, arrived at 6am, ahead of the Google Maps predicted schedule, even with driver changes and one dazed middle of the night, side of the road (God bless portable potties) potty stop for Elizabeth. We also ended up accidentally taking a 5 hour nap that afternoon. So it was great for time, not so great for recovery.

Knowing that we had to be functional at work today, we left the island at 10 yesterday morning. In theory that should have gotten us home around 6ish. Instead we got home after 9. Without the portable DVD player? I suspect it would have taken longer. Maybe we're too permissive and we let our children walk all over us, but my children do not like to sit in the car for long periods of time. And now that I have one entirely potty trained child, and one 99% trained (just enough to keep a girl constantly on the edge of insanity), someone always needs to use a restroom. So we stopped for a bathroom break after an hour. Then we stopped for lunch for an entire hour. Because, you know, how could we pass up Playland? At least we couldn't pass it up without sobs so heartfelt they didn't even seem faked. So, yeah, Playland. And then we had another potty break. And then another. And then we got gas. And then we had dinner, but since we'd already had fast food once, we had to stop at a Cracker Barrel. And that took a while. And then we had to stop to switch drivers. Frankly, I'm surprised we made it home at all. But at least we got a full night's sleep last night. Really, I can't win either way.

Still, we had such a good time on vacation (posts on that subject to follow) that I suppose it was all worth it. But maybe we won't attempt it again until the girls have learned to go longer between bathroom breaks and can read. Or at least can change their own DVDs and reach their own snacks. Or maybe I'll have to just build in a day of recovery on each side and prepare myself for a future of driving through the night. Blech.


For some driving related Spins that are unlikely to drive you crazy, zoom on over to Sprite's Keeper!


Sprite's Keeper said...

Oh, I am feeling your pain even though Sprite has not been on a car trip longer than Orlando. Soon, we will. Soon. And we will bring the portable potty! Glad you had a good time and missed you in the blogosphere! You're linked!

Anonymous said...

Sounds like your mum was super creative! Meg uses her seatbelt to do a "black carpet" (instead of red) show. Uses her fingers as puppets. I usually have to pretend to be the overhead

Pseudonymous High School Teacher said...

Oh how I wish I could be thirty again - wait till you see the wrinkles at 50.

Living on an island, I really miss summer road trips.

Mama Badger said...

Ignore the wrinkles, trust me.

Sounds like you still managed to have a good road trip, even with the stops. Did you forget the purple hat, though?

MB said...

Yep! Your mom's a cool lady. Dan and I used to have hitting contests. And, oh, chin people (you know, where your head is upside down and you are looking and the chin talking). But, there was still large amounts of reading taking place too :)