Posted by Kirsten Patel, Elementary Mommie-on-the-Run | Posted in The Elementary Mommy-on-the-Run | Posted on 10-05-2012
Since summer is fast approaching and for my family that means Road Trips! My kids are seasoned car travelers and I actually love family road trips. But my husband and I have some rules we like to stick to. I’ve been over these before in the magazine, but it never hurts to review.
On a family road trip, there are Mommy jobs and Daddy jobs.
The Daddy job is to drive in a straight line on the Interstate for 1,000 miles. The Mommy job is to feed, entertain, cajole, referee, play, settle, soothe, navigate, translate, buckle, unbuckle, re-buckle, clean and every other mobile nurturing task possible at 70 mph.
Daddy must concentrate on the road. Mommy must concentrate on the three road-weary children who still need to eat every four minutes whilst unpacking their “surprise” bags that took her three days and $1,738 to assemble so that the children don’t disturb Daddy for seven minutes.
Daddy must stay in his lane. Mommy must settle all other territorial disputes that erupt in the back seat resulting in no less than 13 hours of intense negotiations, treaties and bribes.
Daddy listens to sports talk AM radio in cities to which he has no association and about teams to which he has no allegiance nor apparent interest by the look on his face. Mommy must change 80 DVDs in order to find the only working one, Cars, which then is watched repeatedly for the next ten days.
Daddy says things like, “I know it’s midnight, but we just need to go a hundred more miles until we stop for the night.” Mommy says things like, “I’ll buy you a pony if you stop asking me when we’ll be there.”
Daddy points out interesting things along the way. Mommy repeats them in an audible voice because no one in the back can hear Daddy over Cars or sports talk radio volume.
Daddy is willing to travel extra miles to save two cents a gallon on gasoline. Mommy wonders if her sanity is worth the fuel savings.
Daddy protests a questionable “s” int he 98th round of the alphabet game. Mommy lobbies for “straightjacket,” “suicide” or “for the love of all that is good and holy, could you please let this one slide?”
Daddy sometimes gets cross at Mommy when he asks her to look up something on the map and she can’t quickly figure it out. Mommy apologizes, but her eyes are bleeding from lack of sleep.
Daddy needs the air conditioning set at 62 degrees because he is the driver and must be comfortable. Mommy makes blankets out of pocket tissues and straw wrappers.
When Daddy does finally stop, he seems to always pass the restaurants Mommy chooses. Mommy eats a lot of BBQ and deep-fried items on sticks on vacation.
When the family finally arrives at their destination, all of the relatives exclaim to Daddy, “Oh! You must be exhausted from driving all that way!” Mommy silently weeps and wishes that commuter bus they passed back in Fresno would suddenly careen out of control and put her aching, road-filthy, utterly dog-tired wretched body out of its misery. Oh, for a bottle of wine!
Curiously, Daddy does not offer to switch jobs for the return leg.