I hated living in New York when we first moved here. Despised.
Could have had something to do with being pregnant while dragging a 2-year-old up and down three flights of stairs every day. Possibly.
But whatever the reason, I took awhile to adjust.
However, I finally realized that I kind of had to make it work here. This is mainly due to the location of our families. With mine in Massachusetts and my husbands’ in Maryland, they are both about four and a half hours away by car. Just barely short enough to make weekend trips, but long enough for your ankles to fall asleep and your kids to need multiple potty breaks in nasty rest stop bathrooms. Plus, moving in any direction would suddenly put us closer to one family and farther from the other. Which, once you’ve given families grandkids, would be the equivalent of spitting in their cornea and telling them you hate them.
We drove down to Maryland to see my husband’s family last weekend and while the trip itself was one of our best, the travel portion seemed more painful than usual.
I have to say that the boys were actually exceptionally well-behaved on the drive down. There was one incident of Ghost Pooping on Carlitos’ part, but that was the worst of it. (This is when a child tells you they HAVE to do kaka, gets you to pull over, unbuckle them, walk them into the nastiest bathroom you’ve seen in years, put toilet paper on the whole seat an inch high, sit there holding him so that he doesn’t grab the underpart of the seat, and then tells you that maybe he just had to fart after all. It’s fun, really, if you can get yourself lost in the moment and forget about the odds of public bathroom Hep-C and how much farther you could have driven in that 30 minutes.) Five hours awake in the car and neither one cried, threw anything or kicked our seats . In fact, they spent most of the trip playing with blankets or staring pensively out the window. Frankly, it was a bit creepy and unsettling.
However, we drove those five hours with no air conditioning. Which is always awesome. If you like your already somewhat greasy hair to become a straight up stringy, glistening, mess. Windblown? Cute and sexy. Hair that is tied in greasy knots from highway driving for five hours with all windows and the sunroof open? Trashier than Courtney Stodden.
To make matters worse, my husband was not satisfied with simply looking out the window, thinking about stegosauri or yogurt or about whatever the boys were daydreaming. Noooooo. He wanted to be entertained.
Family blog, guys. Family blog.
He asked me to read Game of Thrones to him on his Kindle. Which, at first, had me all excited because, you know, reading aloud gives me an opportunity to use my unbelievable accent skills. He explained that it takes place a long time ago, but also not in a real place…and with some bits of fantastical surrealism thrown in.
Say no more, buddy. I got you.
I’m thinking I’ll go with my English/Irish/Australian combo with a hint of a Southern drawl on the really big words.
So I did. I accented the crap out of that story.
Ser Twohndul Leym.
The wihndeng road of fiah.
Until he asked me to stop…after 3 pages. He said it was because the accent was distracting him, which I took as a compliment. Would you be able to learn anything while watching Gisele teach you how to tie a tie? Nope. Would you remember how many half baths there were if it was a unicorn giving you the house tour? I think not.
Awesomeness is distracting.
But once I stopped using my perfectly matched time/location accent, I quickly realized the words themselves were unrecognizable. I didn’t need to add any breathy ‘h’ sounds or drop the ‘t’ at the end of each word. Nothing was actually in English after all.
Sample sentence: Ser Timnee Julip sat himself at the klouner of our creft with his sorreg at his side, ready to lourble Padicia or Sawa if they should happen to roun ner with a drahgon.
Babe. I can’t read this. You know I love the sound of my own voice, but seriously? This is gibberish. Honestly, I think I like you a little bit less just knowing that this is what you have been reading on that Kindle for the past week. There are a gazilion books in the world. I know for a fact you haven’t read Eat, Pray, Love. Much better use of your time. It might inspire you to take me to Bali or make me gnocchi. (Yes, your reading should always bring you back to me and my needs somehow.) I’ve heard good things about Fifty Shades of Gray. I’m just saying.
I still read to him because I am a dutiful wife. And because I really do love the sound of my own voice. But I’ll never really look at my husband the same again.
Oh, and Xavi had diarrhea. Which adds to any car trip, really.
We finally arrived and the weekend was magnificent. Blah, blah, blah.
Then we began our return trek home at 4:30 am on Monday morning. Because post-kids, driving past 8:30 pm has us both slapping each other in the face to stay awake and stopping on the side of the road to do jumping jacks, but somehow my husband is able to pull it together if we start our drive in the middle of the night. I still sleep in the car until at least 6:30 am. Because I am thoughtful and supportive, that’s why.
Thankfully, Xavi had gotten rid of his stomach bug. Unfortunately, only because he had passed it along to Carlitos.
Fun times for all.
In addition, Carlitos suddenly told us he had to pee toward the end of the drive. By ‘the end of the drive’ I mean at that little curve in the highway right before the Holland Tunnel as the entire state of New Jersey heads to work at 9:00 am on a Monday morning. Packed. Stopped. No exits.
I actually had a similar issue (okay, only different in that I was in the driver’s seat, rather than a car seat) when we first moved to New York. But Carlitos is not a girl and he didn’t have to endure what I had to go through.
No, he did what his daddy loves to do sometimes does when in a pinch: He peed in an empty coffee cup. Proudly.
We got my husband to work and drove down to Brooklyn, taking in the sights of Chinatown at about the exact moment we were supposed to be putting on our smocks in Xavi’s final painting class of the session. Love when that happens.
Still doing my best to reclaim the day, I drove us home to change so we could go food shopping. I got both boys out and had them wait by the front door while I took the most important things out of the car: blanket Xavi intentionally poured his whole water bottle onto during the ride, my purse, their shoes…oh! and the coffee cup of pee. Because that sucker would stink to holy hell if left in a closed, hot car. Good thinking, Annie!
As we got to the front door, Xavi decided that he wanted, nay, needed to be the one to unlock the doors. He seemed certain his left arm might just fall off and bees would begin swarming his face if he was not given the house keys that instant.
Have I mentioned that Carlitos is in his underwear at this point because some pee missed the cup? And Xavi is in pajamas that have a mysterious yellowish/light brown liquid all over one side?
I unlocked the doors, gently nudged Carlitos inside (lies) and then turned back around to peel my screaming lunatic off of the sidewalk and into the house. He backed up, so I leaned down to grab his arm and lift him through the doorway, when it suddenly started pouring.
Only, I looked up and it wasn’t raining.
Apparently, I had officially become the living, breathing equivalent of Eyore, with my own personal rain cloud and everything. Wait…either that or…
You have got to be kidding me.
Yes, in a parenting award worthy maneuver, I poured the cup of Carlitos’ urine onto my own head and down my back. Like a boss.
Needless to say, we all took showers. And there may have been some yelling on my part. A Time Out or two. Possibly for me.
I am thinking tomorrow will be a better day. It kind of has to be.
What are the chances of pouring someone’s pee in your hair as the start to your day two days in a row? It has to be slim to none, right?
I hope so, because it’s not as fun as you’d think. Truthfully, I’d rather read Game of Thrones. It’s that bad.
Oh no, I love those books, can we still be friends?? 🙂 You can read them to me in that accent any time.
You are right about the gibberish, I got used to it though. It still bugs me that he writes Ser. It is not Ser, it is Sir. What a pointless departure from English.
Carly – I suppose, but ONLY if you let me read to you in my accent. Or just only speak to you in my accent at all times.
Exactly! I kept pronouncing it ‘ser’ because when you are making up words they should be pronounced as spelled and my husband kept correcting me and telling me to actually say ‘sir.’ I kept doing it anyway. I think he secretly loved it.
Hope your week has improved since then. Bookmark this one for Carlitos’s high school graduation (or presidential inauguration). Nothing like a good “this is what I have put up with on your behalf” story. At the very least it will constitute a good threat of a story told in front of friends to guarantee good behavior when he’s older.
Can you still do the grab-and-lift with Carlitos? Do you need to? R is now the same weight as C, and it’s becoming more and more difficult to do the force majeure thing with him. I sure hope his ability to reason comes into play before my muscles give out.
Yes, this is one for the books. Or his wedding speech. SOMEthing.
I am not sure if I can still do the grab and lift with Carlitos as he doesn’t necessitate it anymore. He knows to move it if I start counting to 3. Clearly, I can barely still do it with Xavi since it resulted in a pee pee head. :/
Yeah, Xavi’s use of the word ‘no’ combined with his apparent lack of concern over losing toys or being in Time Out is leaving me…mmm…searching for other tools.
I started laughing so hard that I had to quiet myself down since I am attempting to have both kids nap today- and if they think for a second fun is happening without them they will be calling for me in a jiffy- great post 🙂
Shannon – Thanks! I still can’t believe it when someone says I made them laugh. That makes ME laugh! haha
Yes, do NOT let them think anything fun happens while they slumber. It’s all dishwashing and counting of arm hair, guys, DON”T WORRY.
What a lovely Joy Ride you must have had riding with the boyz enroute to the Maryland Shore. Only five hours? Actually I can relate. Not with Caroline, since there is only one of her, but when I was slightly older than Carlitos. My family would head up to our summer place in Vermont in a 1939 Packard. Two hundred miles along state highways from Longmeadow to Woodbury, Vermont. Three and a half hours you say? No. Closer to seven hours. Back in the Day tires were tubed. Meaning they went flat every three hours or 100 miles, which every came first. Cars used to overheat. Particularily in the summer when the car was full of antsy, vomity kids and a trunk full to the gunwales. My parents sought to “coordinate” my motion sickness which occurred at least twice on the 200 mile trip, my sister’s need to pee every hour on the hour, and my mother’s need to break up backseat brawls among my sister, brother and me. Such “coordination” rarely happened. By Greenfield or Brattleboro all hell would break lose in the backseat. By Bellows Falls the Packard would protest the journey. We got to see most of the small villages along the Connecticut and White Rivers, although the stops were never planned. So I can relate to Carlitos’s Ghost Pooping. Can’t wait until your have a third child to read your travelogues.
Mr. Will- Wow, lots of credit to your parents! I can’t imagine dealing with carsickness on top of it all!
I do have to say that the boys have figured out how to behave pretty well on long car trips. They must have inherited our wandering spirit!
Today we are driving 4 hours upstate to a cabin on a lake so I am sure there will be more stories to come…even before baby #3! 😉
Oh, dear GOD! Urine?!?! On your head?!?! I am so very sorry. Seriously, if we lived closer, I would’ve taken your kids for the day so you can take a shower and fix yourself one of those adult milkshakes.
[…] point of this post is that we have done a lot of driving so far this summer. Well, my husband has done about 90 percent of the driving, if I’m being fair. Which I […]