Tag Archives: road trip

Trying Not To Kill My Child On Our Family Road Trip

It was around mile 454 that I first had the urge to strangle my child. It was Day 2 of our weeklong family adventure on the open road. I was in the backseat, sandwiched between two car seats, my feet were perched on a carton of juice boxes and my eldest was tapping my arms.

I logged many miles sitting in this seat between my two boys.

Incessantly tapping.

On the surface, tapping someone on their upper arms doesn’t seem so bad. Then 30 tappity-tap-tap-filled minutes go by and I start to wonder if my husband would mind if I break our no-hitting policy. (We don’t spank.) Tap tap.

Then I wondered how much time I’d serve for wrapping my fingers around his scrawny neck. Tap. Tap. Tap.

I threatened to take away his iPod and put him in time out. As the words left my lips, I knew it was an empty threat. Tappy-tap-tap.

The whole reason I was back there was to keep my overtired 6 month old from shrieking. (T-t-t-t-taaaap.) Following through on either threat meant that we’d soon have two screaming banshees in the backseat as we torpedoed down Interstate 70. That, tap, also was not a sustainable option.

Yet there I sat trapped like a caged rat, in the back trying not to kill my son.

“I have an unwarranted amount of rage right now.” I told my husband. He laughed. His son tapped.

“C’mon. You pride yourself on creative parenting solutions. Come up with one!” A little voice in my head said.

“Why do you want to tap my arm when you know I don’t like it?” I asked in the fakest nice voice that I have. (It was either that or hissing through clenched teeth.)

“Because your armies are so softy and I love to touch them.” (He calls my arms “armies” and is always petting, kissing or, as in this case, tapping them.)

I sighed. Then asked him if he could rub my arms instead since I liked it when he did that. “If you don’t want to rub them, then I’ll go sit up by Dad where you won’t be able to touch them.”

The tap-tap-tapping stopped, he kissed my arm and slowly stroked my bicep. We both smiled. I was still cramped in the back seat and my feet remained atop the carton of juice boxes, but at least I was no longer plotting my child’s death.

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Road Tripping with a Toddler

This past weekend my family went on a road trip to the University of Missouri, which is where Hubby and I met. It was a nice jaunt down memory lane, but the most challenging part was getting there.

Going on a road trip with a little one is no walk in the park. You try to pack everything you’ll need without over packing, which to me seems like mission impossible, but I try. You plan for spills, bathroom accidents, play activities and meltdowns (for mama and babe!)

It took us about seven and a half hours to get there. It’s normally a six and a half hour drive, but between the tot and me being six months pregnant, we had to make a few stops. I think we hit four McDonald’s solely on the way down to Mizzou to visit our niece. On the return trip, I vowed no Mickey D’s, and we managed to avoid the Golden Arches.

The trip to Missouri was our second out-of-state adventure this month. Two weeks ago we went to a wedding in Ames, Iowa. That was a seven hour drive. Not including the kid and mama factor, it’s supposed to be about six. With each escapade I find I’m getting better at prepping for the road and it almost makes me want to go on another excursion in a couple weeks. Almost.

But if you’re headed on a trip:

  • Have your little one pack the toy bag. Logan, like all young kids, really loves to help out, and helping to decide what came on the trip gave him a sense of ownership.
  • Eat Lunch in the Car. If you don’t bring along any nosh that’s more than snacks, swing through the drive thru. It can be messy to eat in the car, but I thought it was worth it. It took us longer to get to Iowa because every time we stopped to eat, we also took a play break where we ran around and stretched our legs. I found that if we ate in the car, then our breaks were purely for play and the 45 minutes to one hour breaks were shortened to 20-30 minutes.
  • Nap Time. Take advantage. Pretend it’s like when they’re an infant, sleep when they sleep. Also, figure out the timing so that the adults don’t need to take their own potty break when it’s nap time. Like I told Hubby, now that Logan’s asleep, we’re not stopping for anything.