Hate Road Trips? I Hate Them More


We’re doing some traveling this week and, like many parents, I’m not exactly looking forward to the hours we’ll spend on the road with the kids. While we have come a long way from the newborn days, the days when failing to beat a stoplight meant red-faced full body wailing (first from Anders, then from the both of us), I still wouldn’t classify family road trips as enjoyable.

Someone always has to pee bad, like real bad, seriously they aren’t kidding, the moment we put the last rest stop for miles behind us. Someone else doesn’t like nuts and don’t I know that by now and why would I put that in the trail mix? The movie playing in the car is never agreed upon. In fact, they hate this movie. It’s the worst movie ever. The Nintendo DS isn’t being shared equally judging by the shrieks of outrage and what is that smell? Guess there’s no hurry to get to that rest stop. The emergency bladder situation has been relieved. Of course, we’ll have to completely unload the car to get to a fresh pair of pants because no matter how many times this happens I never seem to remember to pack an easily accessible change of clothes.

We have family scattered across several states and occasionally a 12 hour car trip with the children is unavoidable. Near the end of these lengthy journeys we always reach a point where the kids have had enough, the complaints from the backseat are incessant, they aren’t interested in watching any of the six dozen movies I’ve packed, and I am ready to pay a high price for silence. It’s a price I’m always willing to pay a great deal sooner than my nerves-of-steel husband who I had to beg to relinquish control of the radio 100 miles back.

I’m not exactly thrilled about the last hour and a half of the Yo Gabba Gabba Pandora station either, but I find the migraine from Tutti’s singing voice to be a great deal gentler than the high-pitched wailing from a bored and over-tired 4-year-old.

This silence I crave in the final hour of our trip is bought with ice cream cones or sometimes candy bars, a treat that I hand right on back to them in their car seats to do with what they will and to date it is a no fail solution. My husband, however, values arriving with kids that aren’t a sticky mess and carseats that need to be hosed down over repairing my frazzled nerves.

Did I mention he also likes to listen to folk music while he drives? Pray for me.