3 Kids + 2 Parents in 1 Car = 1 Fun Road Trip. Minus the Fun.

So whose idea was it to take the rental car on our trip to Rochester this weekend instead of our VAN?

Oh, right. That would be me.

In my defense, I had good reasons.

1) The rental car gets better gas mileage than the van, which is of uber-importance now that gasoline is now apparently made of melted GOLD.

2) The mini-van is waaaay overdue for an oil change. And there’s that pesky little “ABS” light that has been coming on since last fall. C’mon, now, how important are brakes really?

3) The rental car is much, much cleaner than the van. And, hey, who wants to have to clean out the van? That tent that’s still in the back from 3 weeks ago seems pretty comfy there…

4) Why not put miles on someone else’s car? Especially since the van just turned over to the big 100,000. Just think…it may still be running by the time it’s paid off! Score!

So, as you can see, I was just being lazy practical.

Little did I know it would come back to bite me in the ASS.

Picture it. Saturday morning, 7:30 a.m. The Chevy Malibu with the Oklahoma “Native American” license plate is packed to the brim with overnight bags, pillows, sleeping bags, birthday gifts, and boys.

Boys who were told to bring something to read because we were “old-schooling” it. No in-flight movies for this trip. In my head, I pictured three little boys, all snuggled together in the backseat, their noses buried in books. A quiet, relaxing trip up north.

What was I smoking?

Boy #1 brought only an Over the Hedge Mad-Libs book, which he and Boy #2 proceeded to fight over the entire trip. Boy #2 brought a huge encyclopedia-type “book of answers” to quench his thirst for learning about how things work and why things are the way they are…but then instead fought with Boy #1 the majority of the time. Boy #3 brought a Little Critter book, which I don’t think he even glanced at, a blue car, and his “Strong Guy,” which is one of Husband’s old WWF wrestling figures that the boys have stealthily claimed as their own. Strong Guy demonstrated many different wrestling moves throughout the trip. All of which were accompanied by high-decibel sound effects; most of which involved some sort of spitting.

Instead of the silence that I had foolishly imagined, my ears were filled with screeches, yells, the repeated phrase, “Mooom, he touched me!” and a variety of the most annoying sounds ever produced by a human.

The. Entire. Three-and-a-half. Hours.

As I tried to close my eyes a few times, I thought longingly of limousines that have the privacy glass that separates the front seat from the back. Why, oh why, hasn’t someone invented this for the family car? The noise, oh, the deafening noise!

Husband and I both started out with an ample supply of patience when we pulled out of our driveway. By the time we got to the park for our niece and nephew’s birthday party in Minnesota? We both had sore throats, splitting headaches, and, I’m sure, elevated blood pressures. And Boy #1 had been sentenced to being attached to one of us for the entire party.

There’s nothing like arriving at my nephew’s first birthday party and greeting the family with “WHERE’S THE BEER?!”

Unfortunately, it didn’t come until later that evening.

Apparently beer doesn’t go with a vanilla sandcastle cake. Who knew?

Fortunately, the party went much more smoothly than the car ride, thanks to cousins, a football, and the tallest and most elaborate play equipment I’ve ever seen. Well, not counting Boy #3 scraping his elbow on the slide and then refusing to straighten his elbow and instead holding up a bent elbow in the air for the rest of the day, and Boy #2 getting mad at me for some reason I forget but I’m sure had to do with me being the meanest mom on the planet. He was so mad that he even wrote me a note.

Wanna know what it said?

“You are dump!”

Don’t think I didn’t have fun with that little slice of irony pie!

I really am the meanest mom on the planet.


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