A little faith and a lot of love go a long way…

The ultimate road trip: Part 1

on June 18, 2015

Someone pour me some whiskey so I can tell you a tale of two clearly insane women who took four children ages 3 to 9 on a road trip to Florida.

Our adventure began at 8:30 am yesterday as we loaded my mother’s van with what is possibly an illegal weight of luggage and headed south. As we merged into the highway, panic struck. Fear nearly choked me as I slowly turned to her and whispered, “Oh my God…we made a rookie mistake.”

She glanced at me and said, “Huh?” 

“We didn’t have them pee before we left.” The fear quickly took hold of my mom as she realized the potentially fatal mistake we made. 

“Don’t say anything!” I whispered and said a silent prayer that everyone’s bladder would stay strong for awhile.

30 minutes pass and by 9:00 the Gorilla and my nephew have lost their minds behind us as my mother yells about the traffic.   

I gently ask her if she’s taken her medication yet today and unsurprisingly, her answer is no. We are less than an hour into this trip and I am wondering how angry I will make everyone if I ask to go home now.  

Before I can ponder my escape any longer, we are rear ended at 9:23 am. Seriously. 

Thankfully, everyone is fine, and there is no damage to either car, so we continue on our way to the tune of children fighting over which movie to watch. By this time, I have accepted my fate and silently said good-bye to my freedom. I am now a prisoner inside this van as we soar across the border into Maryland.

Eventually we hit Virginia and it’s time for lunch.   

    Up to this point, the children have done surprisingly well. Which is probably why my children decide this is now the time to completely. Lose. Their. Shit.
Binxy walks into the restaurant and begins screaming immediately after taking her shoes off. She weeps into my lap for an unknown reason for 5 minutes as I struggle to order drinks for everyone amongst the cries of needing to use the restroom yet again. Finally, I switch seats with her and she calms down…for now…

I take a deep breath, we place our orders, and then the Gorilla begins to  wail. He is inconsolable so I take him outside into the 95 degree heat. Because intense heat always calms children…right?  

He bawls and repeats over and over that he wants “the brown thing” on his burger. He is irate and his little body contorts as he can’t fathom why I do not know what “the brown thing” that he so desperately wants is. I finally decipher that what he wants is the actual burger. He sobs quietly as we head back into the restaurant.

We sit down and the Gorilla’s tears begin falling faster and his breathing becomes quicker, signs that I recognize indicate another meltdown. He chokes out that he is cold in the restaurant and weeps quietly in his seat for the next 10 minutes. His meal arrives and I pray that he will find happiness in “the brown thing” before him, but alas…this is not to be. He continues to sob until finally telling he he wants a pancake.

My options at this point are either to flip the table and storm out or order him a pancake. I grip the table, carefully weigh my options and their consequences, then order the pancake through gritted teeth.

The pancake consoles my first born enough that I am able to inhale about 6 bites before Binxy decides she needs to run about the restaurant and test every. Single. Seat. When I finally capture her and we head back to my own personal prison, the van, I silently vow that we will only stop at restaurants that serve alcohol from this point on.

But not before I get coffee and a cookie from Starbucks. I’ve earned it at this point.

Finally, we make it to North Carolina and it is 100 degrees.   


I am driving, I have made sure we are ahead of schedule and I am finding my rhythm. So it’s only fitting that my mother decides she is done for the day and begins snapping at everyone.

I tell her to pull herself together, we are making it to a certain point and we are already ahead of time. We can’t stop now! She agrees to calm down and we continue on. 

Binxy leads a few rounds of singing which the children each seem to enjoy. They belt out “Let It Go” and “Itsy Bitsy Spider,” the 2 songs she knows well and I know in my heart I have a future diva on my hands as she gives directives to everyone as they sing. 

By 6:30 pm we are done for the day. We find a Hampton Inn in South Carolina and check in to two rooms. My mother chooses Shoney’s for dinner and I silently curse her as there is no booze…until I am told my children are young enough to eat for free. Score!

By 8:30 pm we are back to our room and I suspect my little angels will fall asleep quickly. 
By 9pm the Gorilla is snoozing. Binxy, however, has decided we are having a sleepover. Besides the fact that I just want to tune the world out at this point, we did have some fun mommy/daughter bonding time.  

At 10:40 pm she is finally asleep. My night is spent mostly awake as she prefers to take up the entire bed and kick me when I try to share the bed with her. I wake up today exhausted, but our trip as only just begun…


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