Once upon a time, Mike and I would go somewhere for the weekend. He'd drive and I'd sit shot gun. I loved road trips. Mainly, because I am EXCELLENT at falling asleep in a car.
At my old job, it was a running joke that although I had traveled to the client in New Jersey about 10,000 times, I would not be able to tell anyone how to get there because I had never once made the trip fully awake. I am known internationally for this skill. Back in my more glamorous advertising days, we would travel all over the world for various commercial shoots. My old boss would take pictures of me passed out in the car while passing various monuments and not-to-be-missed landscapes.
All this changed when I had kids. Now, the driver has the more relaxing job of the two while the passenger is expected to perform amazing feats in order to keep the tiny occupants of the car fed, entertained and happy.
While everyone else stays safely buckled into their seats, the passenger is required to remove their own seatbelt at least fifty times per trip, as he/she contorts his/her body to fetch lost pacifiers, locate snacks at the bottom of the snack bag and even switch seamlessly from the front to the backseat, while the vehicle is moving, in order to soothe crying babies to sleep.
A little car trip shut eye is a concept that no longer computes.
In fact, sometimes, on particularly bad road trips, shot gun elludes the passenger entirely and he/she must sit shoved between carseats, feeding a bottle to a baby while playing games with a three-year-old at once.
On our three hour road trip last weekend, I had to sing "You are My Sunshine" to a crying Harlow (its the only thing that guarantees a smile) while pretending to be a shark and bite Mazzy ("Play with me, Mommy!!!") at the end of every line.
"You are my sun CHOMP, my only sun CHOMP, you make me hap-CHOMP, when skies are gray CHOMP CHOMP CHOMP…"
It was very impressive stuff.
It was one of our first longer car trips with Harlow and I forgot what traveling with a child who can't be distracted with an iPad is like. Also, have you ever tried to explain "low cell reception" to a three-year-old when her YouTube connection suddenly stops working?
"JUST WATCH THE PRELOADED MOVIES, MAZZY!!!"
Oh man, do I hate taking away the iPad for bad behavior on a road trip.
As for the driver?
As far as I'm concerned, his vacation had already started.
Thank god nobody puked, because we all know who handles that.
Does this shit get easier when the kids get older?