A Miracle on Wheels

For our family road trips to be uneventful, it would take nothing less than a damn miracle on earth.  Seriously, put the Nucking Futs Family in a car, and you’ve got yourself some serious drama on wheels.  And I guaran-frickin’-tee you that you that by the time you reach your final destination, you will be reaching for a bottle of something strong and potent to erase the memory of it all.

So this past weekend, I packed the kids up for a long weekend at the grandparents’ house in Indiana.  And let me just tell ya that the trip down there was enough to make me never want to step foot in a car with my offspring ever again.  There was an accidental pooing in the pants, car sickness that resulted in some nasty lateral cookie tossing, and a shit-ton of unnecessary road construction to add to the excitement of it all.  And just when I was ready to hurl myself from the driver’s seat right onto the endless pavement that lay before me?  A ginormously large strip of rubber decided to extricate itself from the luggage rack on top of the car.

Yeah, and believe me, a flapping piece of rubber and 70 miles per hour do NOT go together very well.  I honestly thought the damn thing was gonna bust out the window on my daughter’s side of the car.  It scared the living shit out of me.  I had no choice but to pull into a rest stop (which, by the way, also scares the living beejesus out of me) to try and rectify the situation.  I used my Hee-woman strength to yank the whole flipping piece right off the top of the car so that we could finally get to where the hell we needed to go.  I was never so glad to see my parents’ driveway when we pulled into it later that evening, and I even contemplated shipping all my belongings down there forever just to avoid making the inevitable return trip home.

Much to my surprise, however, the trip home was a lot less uneventful than I had expected.  There were no unforeseen dukes or unanticipated pukes, and I somehow managed to get by with only making three stops the whole way back.  I had to pinch myself to see if I was, in fact, just dreaming the whole thing up.  When my eyes finally focused on the big buildings of downtown, though, I realized that for once, I just so happened to have luck on my side.  I think my kids were in an altered state of mind, as well, since it never even occurred to my son until six hours into the trip to ask, “Where are we going?”  I didn’t even know how to answer him because I was a little afraid about God’s plan for our journey’s end.  You see, we aren’t really used to dull moments in our family.  I sort of anticipated a bolt of lightning to strike us down right there on I-94.  Amazingly, though, we arrived home safely, in one piece and without killing each other.  I guess miracles really can happen.

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Chocolate Puke

003_cocoa1I am happy to say that we survived the twenty plus hour car trip and made it home from the family vacation all in one piece.  Granted, the return trip was not without incident — we never have a dull moment in my world!  After stopping overnight in Tennessee to catch some shut-eye, we found the traffic to be horrendous once we got back on the road yesterday morning.  My husband decided to take side roads to get ahead of the interstate “parking lot.” Unfortunately, these side roads were nothing but hills and curves, which we discovered the hard way do not mix well with five year olds and M n’ M’s. My poor son threw up a fountain of chocolate all over himself, prompting us to pull off the road in the middle of nowhere, Indiana.  As we were cleaning up the mess, a scruffy, rather mean-looking stray dog had made a beeline to our car in search of food. Apparently, my son must’ve smelled pretty appetizing because the dog had chased him around to the other side of the car.  It totally freaked me out because I suddenly had all those horrorfic images from the news flashing through my head about crazy dogs mauling small children.  Thank God this dog did not consider my son to be his idea of a tasty lunch, and we managed to get the dog to run off.  We continued to clean up the mess while I thanked my lucky stars that it was just a chocolate puke and not something more putrid, like cheese or milk.  It might sound odd, but I can deal much better with a faint smell of chocolate in a small, contained area for several hours than I can with the awfulness of putrid, sour milk (been there, done that).  After the barf-o-rama extraordinaire, we made it home without any further drama. And with a snap of the fingers, just like that, the days of lounging on the beach in the eighty degree temperatures were all but a memory….

Driver’s Ed, Mom-Style

                             

I used to not count multi-tasking as one of my stronger skills.  However, I can’t help but be amazed at the unbelievable amount of things I can accomplish all while driving 65 miles an hour down the highway.  When you have two demanding five year olds in the back seat, you’ll do just about anything to keep the peace.  I have injected, ejected, fast-forwarded, rewound and stopped movies from the dvd player, which is oh-so conveniently located in the back seat; I’ve gone on search and rescue missions for precious cargo, i.e. dropped crayons;  I’ve served as vending machine to dole out everything from sandwiches to lollipops;  I’ve provided encouraging feedback for coloring masterpieces;  I’ve repaired broken toys and throw-away trinkets (thanks to all of the chotchky kids’ meals toys that have accumulated in our car);  I’ve even broken up countless shouting and/or boxing matches — all from the driver’s seat of the family truckster while rolling along at anything but slow speeds.  I have to proudly toot my own horn because I’ve actually become quite an expert in the area of automobile multi-tasking.  So I had to laugh to myself when just the other day, my own dad fussed at me for sending him a text while driving.  His response was, “Quit texting me and pay attention to the road!”  If he only knew…….