Thursday, April 8, 2010

Death of the Road Trip

I just returned from a trip to Florida for our spring break. We drove down to my mother-in-law's house so that she could see Z. She'd not seen him since last October because he came down with bronchitis around Christmas. No slight meant to my mother-in-law, but I was actually relieved. I have this thing about wanting to keep the major holidays for just our little family. But that's not what this blog is about. It's about the fact that the days of taking road trips are over for me, and though there is some denial involved here, for my SO as well.

The trip to Ft. Myers is between 11 and 13 hours long depending on road construction. It was a hop in the car, drive and keep going until we arrived. Now, things are different. The trip is a two day event, an event marked with frequent stops and a great deal of Barney and Elmo. Yep, such is the reality of driving with a toddler.

We prepared for the event as much as possible including breaking down and buying a portable DVD player for the car. Though we try to avoid television in our house, my son has gotten hooked on the purple dino and the little red whatsit. This I could deal with, even after hours of "I love you, you love me, ...etc." The glitch is the fact that evidently a toddler has a much more limited tolerance for sitting still. *insert eye roll here*

We'd been taking breaks, snacks, drinks and diaper changes. However, as bedtime approached, Z decided he was done, punctuated by projectile vomiting brought on by crying and refusing to be comforted until he'd worked himself to a sick. And like the two highly educated adults we are with five university degrees between us, we caved. And I must say the trip back home was much more enjoyable. We stopped at a hotel, had dinner, watched television and then slept.

Now why does this prompted a mournful blog about the death of road trips? Because as nice as it was, there is a loss of freedom here. There is a destruction of the youthful dream of being able to just hop in the car and go. This is gone.

So dear, dear road trip...RIP.


Molly Daniels said...

Welcome to motherhood sweetheart:) I learned this when my oldest was about the same age!

Molly Daniels said...

Forgot to add, missed this horribly when I came up pregnant with W. Am just now getting my 'freedom' back!

JacquƩline Roth said...

I wish someone made a reclining baby seat for older kids. I think if he'd been able to lay back and doze off, he'd have been a bit better.

Anny Cook said...

Heh. You can still take your road trips, but they'll certainly be different!

My most memorable one was a 3300 mile trip over three weeks...camping every night (because hotels weren't even remotely in the budget) with four kids aged 1 through 10.

We saw Carlsbad Caverns, Grand Canyon, Painted Desert, Petrified Forest, my grandfather, a family reunion, Crystal Caverns, and Heavener Runestone.

In one station wagon had 2 small tents, play pen, high chair, clothing for six, camp stove, and bedding. And set up camp every night in a new place.

It was one of our best trips.