Ah yes, how I love to travel with small children. Every trip it is the same cycle. I have a psycho streak about traveling. It stresses me out. I agonize about traveling, finally plan the trip, agonize some more but pump everyone up about it, "Won't it be so fun to go see ... (insert loving family member here)...?", and then stay up late the night before a trip figuring out exactly how to pack the van or the carry on bags for maximum efficiency and space. I mean doesn't everyone wake up in a cold sweat the night before a nine hour road trip terrified that the Desitin won't be readily available? God forbid there be a freaking Walgreens along I-95. Be prepared, it isn't just for the boy scouts you know.
But you know... there are some things you can never really be prepared for. Like everyone in your family getting a stomach bug over a three night span, ending with you and your husband the night before a road trip. It is a good thing I analogize travel with labor, because I know how to do labor. Sips of water? Check! Not eating for hours at a time? Check! Random stomach cramps? Check! Driving after not sleeping? Check (I mean if I can deliver babies I can drive through pain right? Right.) Kids vomiting? Ok, that never happens in labor but you get the idea. And nobody diss the 100 hour physician in training work weeks... that saved us. My man knows how to work under severe duress. He's awesome...packed the whole car and drove 5 hours on no sleep due to taking care of me and the baby and two other vomiting children. All so he could go on call as soon as we came home and go to work at 7am the next morning.
Seriously, our entire family decided to take this rotten economy thing to a whole new level and never stopped for food the whole trip home. We subsisted on water, saltines, plain white bagels, and 7up. I swear if I never take another sip of 7up it will be too soon. The four year old was the sickest child and our little Pollyanna morphed into some sort of angry alien. Talk about no filter. I remember moving in and out of consciousness to bits and pieces of the folowing:
"I am so angry that my brother has his own room. Road trips are no fun. I don't want to leave Grandma's. I am so angry we aren't driving to Chicago. I don't want to drive to Chicago. I don't want to fly. I am so angry that I can't have a Friday treat. My stomach hurts. I am so angry... (the kid apparently has a lot of anger.)" The baby was having a really hard time too...especially since the trip culminated in her being ignored for two hours and exploding a glow stick all over herself. Don't ask, at least it was non-toxic.
I post all this a)so you feel sorry for me b)so I remember to laugh about it 20 years from now when we are sitting around the Thanksgiving table as children wretch in the background. "Ahh kids, remember when..." and c)because it really shows how blessed a life I live that this is my biggest problem. Sometimes I need to remind myself of this. My kids were champs and offered up the road trip from hell for little kids and priests with cancer, other sick people, and for the sibilings among them the most affected. We are blessed.