Monday, March 25, 2013

Road Trippin'

It's that time of year again: Spring Break!  If you're suddenly thinking of drunken parties and hot chicks in bikinis, then you might have stumbled upon this blog in error.  Yeah, I'm referring to the week when all of my mom friends wring their hands with worry because they've got to find childcare for the kids, or they take time away from work to entertain the little darlings.  And you can bet that by Tuesday (or Wednesday for my more patient pals) Facebook will be lit up with frustrated rants and desperate pleas for ways to entertain the masses, or questions similar to "If I drop them off underneath the freeway with snacks and juice boxes do you think Child Protective Services will be able to track me down?"  My solution:  Road Trip to visit the in-laws.

Now, this is my husband's brother's family we are going to see, but I should again point out that just because the kids are exempt from school, parents don't get an automatic week of vacation; so the husband has to stay home to take care of business.  It's just me.  Alone.  With 2 boys.  Driving in a car from Northern California to Orange County.  I must confess that it was my idea to do this.  But I'm not too worried because  extended car rides are nothing like they used to be when I was younger.  I can bet that my boys will be quietly staring straight ahead for most of the drive, mouths hanging open (to catch the flies as my mother would've said).  This is all courtesy of the portable DVD player and headphones!  My boys have no idea what the License Plate Game is, or how to correctly play Punch Buggy - you don't hit your brother just because you see a Jetta.  Thanks to the captain's chairs they'll never understand being squished in next to your siblings along a bench seat with some tape that denotes each person's space.  "He's on my side and he's almost touching me!"

Growing up, my family took yearly camping trips and visited some amazing places all across the country.  I loved these trips because we were in an RV - and my dad drove all the time.  My brothers and I sat at a table playing card games while music poured out of the boom box.  My mom read books, lounging on the bed in the back.  We could get a cold drink from the refrigerator and snacks from the cabinets anytime we wanted.  Only as an adult did I realize how much it must've sucked for my dad.

My husband's family also went on camping trips but he likes to point out that because they had a tent trailer he had to be crushed in the backseat of a cramped car next to his brother and the dog who had some gas problems.  His parents instituted a rule that everyone took turns picking out a tape to listen to.  Whether he liked it or not he heard Kenny Rogers and Dolly Parton, and maybe some Neil Diamond.  What do you think the kids chose to listen to?  The Chipmunks!  Oh my God, no wonder my in-laws act a little kooky now and then!  Are you kidding me?  Who could survive an hour of those high-pitched voices covering some already bad 80's music?  Those tapes should have come with a warning label:  "Caution.  This product features Alvin, Simon, and Theodore and is known to cause dizziness, ear bleeding, and anal leakage."

Anyway, off we go.  The car is (or soon will be) stocked with snacks, movies, XM radio, and a few plastic bags in case the Dramamine and Sea Bands don't help the kid who gets car sick.  I've spent enough time on the side of the road wiping down carseats with a t-shirt plucked from the luggage after some unfortunate hurling incidents.  I think we've got it under control.  Happy Spring Break whatever your plans may be.

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