Monday, February 25, 2008

Baby Nuthouse: road trip FAQ

In the year since I moved from Denver to central Iowa, I’ve gone back quite a few times to visit friends and pursue my all-time favorite hobby, snowboarding. My husband doesn’t have the flexibility of schedule that I enjoy, so he usually flies out to join us midway through the trip. As a result, it’s often just me and the three kids making the long journey across the Midwestern plains. I’m already planning a March trip, which will be my third in three months.
Following are some Frequently Asked Questions about my travels.

Q: Are you insane?
A: Possibly.

Q: Why don’t you fly?
A: You’ve obviously never been on an airplane with my children.

Q: Why don’t you just stay home?
A: You’ve obviously never been to central Iowa in winter.

Q: How do you prepare for your trips?
A: I’ll be talking to my mom on the phone, and she’ll ask if I’m all packed. I’ll say, “Not quite.” Then I’ll start a load of laundry and go find the suitcase.

Q: So, you’re always getting ready the night before your trip?
A: Technically, the morning of.

Q: How do your children handle being in the car?
A: They are usually okay for the first 30 minutes or so.

Q: How long does it take you to get out of town?
A: About 30 minutes.

Q: How long does the trip usually take?
A: Eleven hours.

Q: How long does it feel like?
A: Eleven years.

Q: How long does your five-year-old son think it takes?
A: “Freakin’ forever.”

Q: Do you regret introducing the phrase “freakin’” to your five-year-old son?
A: Deeply.

Q: How often do you stop?
A: For the first two-thirds of the trip we stop every three hours or so. The last third of the trip, we stop approximately one thousand times.

Q: What did your son say right as you left a rest stop and pulled back out onto the interstate?
A: “Mom! I need some water!”

Q: How do you give your kids a snack or drink when you don’t want to make yet another stop?
A: I have perfected the blind toss to the third row seat.

Q: Does your toddler take good naps in the car?
A: She falls asleep five minutes before we absolutely have to stop for a bathroom break.

Q: So how do you keep her entertained?
A: I hand her a toy, which she holds for a couple of seconds before shouting “NO!” and throwing it to the floor. Then I hand her another toy.

Q: How many toys do you take?
A: As many as I can find.

Q: What do you do when you run out of toys?
A: I give her the potato chips.

Q: Have you ever been stopped by an officer of the law on any of your trips?
A: Yes. I was driving through Omaha lunch-hour traffic, and the policeman said I was following too closely, even though I left as much space as anyone else around.

Q: Do you think he mistook you for a child abductor or illegal alien trafficker?
A: Yes.

Q: Did you get a ticket?
A: No, but he did say, “How many kids you got in there?”

Q: What did you tell him?
A: I said, “Just three of ‘em.”

Q: Do you think that three is an absurd number of children to have?
A: No.

Q: Did the officer ask you any other questions?
A: He asked where my husband was.

Q: Did you make a sarcastic remark?
A: No, but I thought of so many.

Q: What is the funniest thing that one of your kids has ever said on a road trip?
A: Once, after driving for hours through western Iowa and most of Nebraska, one of the boys suddenly shouted, “Look! A farm!”


Anonymous said...

I am trying to send an email to you but can't get it sent. I can't figure out the "incoming" and "outgoing" server info required. I am getting frustrated. I saved my email to send to you in case I ever get through. If you have any advice or can help, that would be great! I will check back here in the comment file to see how to send an email to you! Thanks in advance!
Marcie = )

Ruth said...

Have you tried just sending a message with your regular email service to If you keep having trouble just write me here again and I'll try to figure it out.
thanks! Ruth

Anonymous said...

It actually went through! What do you know? Glad that actually worked this time.
Marcie = )

Angela said...

yep. you are nuts. what are you thinking? 3 kids~!!!!! oh wait... i'm gonna have 4 soon. never mind. you look pretty sane now! ;) i SO miss you. So Freakin' much!