All in all though, the drive went well. Except for the part where Jane had a blow out diaper and McDonalds had no changing table. And I couldn't figure out how to use the bathroom myself, what with having to HOLD THE BABY and all. But, I am industrious and I figured it all out. I pulled a high chair into the bathroom with Jane in it (after changing her clothes in the back seat of the car). I got a lot of strange looks and laughs, but one mother stopped to tell me what a good idea that was and that she would be using it when SHE traveled. SO THERE. I think after eight years of traveling with small children by myself, I could probably write a book on hints and tricks.
All jokes aside though, it was a wonderful time with Mama and Daddy. I wouldn't have traded my time with them for anything. Well worth an eight hour drive. And I plan to do it again in a few weeks!! And so, in celebration of road trips everywhere, I thought I would copy this letter that I wrote to my father when he was in Iraq. My mother and I had taken the kids to my grandparents to visit. Annie was three and Jay was five. It was a....memorable...ride home. The title of the email was "Guts". Intriguing...no?
Did you miss me? I thought you might enjoy a rendition of our trip home today. It is possible that you have already heard part of this, but I thought you might enjoy my take on the day's events...
So, we left Belzoni at 9:45 this morning after loading the car in the POURING rain. Seriously. Pouring. The only time it let up was when I came inside to kiss Mimi and Papa goodbye and change my soaking wet clothes into something dry. Of course as soon as it was time to walk out the door and get the kids in carseats, it started up again. What FUN. Anyway, we were about an hour into our trip when Jay nonchalantly says, "There's a fly in this car." Which apparently in Annie's mind meant, "There's a serial killer with a machete in this car." She started SCREAMING AND SCREAMING AND SCREAMING. I mean, she was HYSTERICAL. You would have thought she was being attacked with the way she was carrying on. And there was no telling her that flies don't hurt you....oh NO...in her mind they are obviously buzzing little baby eaters or something. We opened the windows (still raining I might add....) so the fly would fly out. It did not. However, I have become quite adept at the art of lying, and so I LIED and told her the fly had gone out the window. But she is a smart cookie and while she did calm down she insisted that Nana hold her hand. "Nana...HOLD MY HAND!!!!!" Over and over again. So, Nana holds Annie's hand until HER hand falls asleep, at which point she PRIES her hand out of Annie's and turns back around in her seat. Annie does not like this, but we are dealing with it UNTIL Jay says, very quietly, "Mama, there's the fly again." Which translates to, "Mama, there's a large prehistoric insect getting ready to eat us back here..." Annie starts screaming again. By now I am on a two lane road that I did not want to get off of for fear of getting behind a big truck that I had passed a ways back. I was on this road for 22 miles. and for 22 miles Annie was hysterical. I tried yelling, pinching, being funny, distraction, EVERYTHING. What finally worked was Nana trapping the fly and smearing the fly guts all over my window while she killed with with the atlas. But that's good though because it was EVIDENCE that the fly was dead, which Annie appreciated.
Speaking of guts though it was not much later that we were driving down the interstate and I noticed a BIG black bird in the median. Of course, it did what all birds in the median do. It flew directly AT my car. The problem was though, that this particular bird was having a nice snack of some dead animal and decided that take out was the way to go here. So, it had some of whatever dead animal it was eating in its claws when it took off. Apparently the bird misjudged the weight of his snack though and could not get enough lift to avoid my car, so at JUST the right moment it dropped the load RIGHT onto my windshield. I have no idea what it was...just a big, wet, orange splatter. Jay REALLY got a kick out of this one. Thankfully it rained ALL the way home so I didn't have to look at smeared guts for long...at least the guts on my windsheild"
So there you have it! Happy travels everyone!!