I posted this first-thing this morning, along with a pic of my kids with their great grandma:
What's normally an 8 hour drive (or less) took us 10 yesterday as we drove across Wyoming in the dead of winter. But the trip was worth it to see family, including T & E's great-grandma Eileen, who just turned 89 last month. She is an amazing woman - still exercises nearly every day, lives in the house my dad grew up in, gardens, does the daily crossword puzzle, word jumble and cryptograms in her newspaper and has such a full schedule she has trouble squeezing the other Laramie relatives in. I'm grateful that we got to spend some time with her and bless her with time with our little ones.A short while later, I began a 10-part series (actually 11) in which I chronicled some lessons -- some rather mundane, some rather amusing (to me, anyway) -- from the trip. Here it is in full:
- When an infant hasn't pooped in four days, the best way to see to it that she finally moves that food through her system is to drive 10 hours through winter conditions. The fact that you will be cleaning up a blow-out on your lap in the front seat of your car increases the odds that the poop will finally come.
- When daddy changes the two-year-old’s diaper at the rest area, warn him about urinals, even though this isn’t a danger you have to consider in your own bathrooms. Dad might be washing his hands and turn around to find the small boy splashing in the urinal water.
- It’s a good idea to keep hand-sanitizer in the pockets of all four car doors. Because you never know when your child is going to splash around in the urinal or if you’ll be cleaning up a blow-out on your lap on the side of the road.
- It’s not impossible for your toddler to cough until he pukes at four meals in a row, and then on two other occasions, including in the middle of McDonalds. You realize you have forgotten what life was like before “pee,” “puke” and “poop” were a regular part of your lifestyle, not to mention your wardrobe.
- McDonalds stores that still choose to have play areas are fantastic and even though you loathe the thought of filling your family with such terrible food, you will gladly patronize them to let your child run around after being strapped in a carseat for five hours straight. And you will have him bathe in that ubiquitous hand sanitizer before eating.
- There are people in Casper who will teach their children to do burpees on the dirtiest McDonalds floor you have ever seen.
- Despite the previous fact (burpees on the McD’s floor), you might (hypothetically) reach a point of exhaustion after driving 5 hours on snow and ice, when your toddler coughs until he pukes on the dirtiest McD’s floor you’ve ever seen, that you don’t bother tracking down the less-than-polite-and-proficient employees to clean it up. You wipe the puke up with a pile of napkins, rationalizing that most of it landed on his clothes, it’s probably cleaner than the store would have gotten it anyway, and the odds of kids doing burpees on the floor right there before the next mopping are probably pretty low. Then again, maybe not. Oh well.
- Your husband might give you a fist-bump when you sheepishly acknowledge the napkin clean-up 30 miles down the road from Casper (he was in the bathroom changing T’s clothes). And you still giggle when you realize that you’re admitting this to your entire FB world.
- You can get your husband hooked on the Harry Potter books (we’re already ¾ of the way through the movies) in one paragraph, and you will subsequently spend several hours reading aloud to him in the car.
- You will be so tired when you get home that you will fall asleep minutes after forcing your husband to take his turn reading Harry Potter to you, and you sleep through two occasions of the boy waking up crying. But since the husband kept reading Harry Potter after you fell asleep, you might feel guilt-free about getting old food out of the freezer for dinner and doing nothing during the kids’ naps but making a cup of tea and plowing through as much of that 747 page book as possible (hi, honey! I made it to page 394 before E woke up!).
- Bonus: when you are unpacking the snack bag on Monday, you might find the uneaten hamburger that your son refused to eat on the way down on Thursday. You saved it on the off-chance that he might eat it after his nap. It looks remarkably unchanged from its original state, which is a tad disconcerting. The Wendy’s burger reminds you of the fender-scratcher (not a bender) that you witnessed in the Wendy’s parking lot on your way down and the ridiculously-stereotypable characters involved (woman in shiny yoga pants and high heels backed her SUV into a super-low riding bright yellow Honda convertible whose driver was wearing a matching yellow shirt, bright pink sunglasses and low-riding jeans). Your husband had the wonderful urge to ram your car into the other end of the yellow car after watching poor yellow-shirt-guy’s distress at his car’s small scratch. Normally, we’d say that you can’t make this sort of stuff up, but we’ll save the “oops, I just totaled your car while you stood there watching” for the movie script.