Have you ever traveled with young kids before? Was it like traveling through the nine circles of Hell?? Have I got a story for you! This is the story of The Wedding Trip…
The Week Before:
I was so excited a few months ago to be invited to my friend’s wedding back in our hometown. A week before the wedding it hit me that I needed to start planning what to pack and how to pack the car for that five hour drive. My husband travels for work so it was up to me to clean and pack everything. I made a list of everything we needed to bring, I bought the wedding card a few days in advance, and I vacuumed out our SUV. I was feeling prepared and excited and ready for the trip ahead. And then the chaos set in.
Two Days Before:
We planned on driving out on a Thursday evening after my husband returned from his work trip. That morning my last pair of contacts ripped. I called to order more contacts but my prescription was expired. I had to speed to my Optometrist with both kids, get my eyes checked, and purchase new contacts.
On the way home my 1yo son grabbed a sleeve of crackers out of the diaper bag and dumped them all over the back seat of the car. Let me remind you I had just vacuumed out the car the day before! We arrived home and halfway through packing the car my husband called to inform me there was an emergency at another job site so he would not be coming home that night.
Needless to say I was having somewhat of a bad day. So, our new plan was that I would drive to my mom’s house, where we would be staying in my hometown, with the boys and our puppy that Friday morning and my husband would drive out separately that Friday evening.
The Morning Before:
The next day the boys and I got up early so we could get on the road. What should have been a five hour drive turned into a six hour drive, because one rest stop is not enough for two kids and a puppy!
When we arrived at my mother’s house I was so relieved. I unlocked the door with my key since my mother was on vacation that weekend. I took the kids and the puppy inside, and then my relief turned to discontent.
A wave of anxiety rushed over me as I remembered my mother saying before she left for vacation that there was no food in the house and the sheets needed to be washed. I told my boys my plan for the evening: I was going to put the sheets in the wash, we were going to take the puppy for a walk, we were going to go to the grocery store, then go to Grandpa’s house for dinner, and after dinner I would put the sheets in the dryer.
So I went to the laundry room to start the washer. I walked upstairs and my plan started to unravel as I found the dog peeing on the floor and the baby pulling everything out of the cabinets. Every time I tried to clean something up, a new mess was made. And while I was cleaning, the four year old asked me 3,000 times to put a movie on and find his toys. I could feel that the weekend would not be good for my blood pressure.
The Evening Before:
We finally made it out of the house and as we headed to the grocery store, a storm rolled in. I literally had a rain cloud over my head. I could not wait for the evening to be over. We bought our groceries and had a lovely dinner with my dad and his wife.
I sped back to my mom’s house wanting to get the sheets in the dryer because I was exhausted. I ran to the laundry room only to find that the washer had an error code on it and the sheets had not been washed at all! The door to the washer was locked so I started the wash again and discovered that the trap on the bottom was open and all the water was rushing out of the machine! I angrily closed the trap and I will admit that some bad words came out of my mouth in that heated moment (ok, I’m not perfect).
The Night Before:
At that point I gathered what was left of my patience and put the boys to bed. Since I had to stay up to finish the laundry I took that opportunity to paint my nails and prepare for the next day. Then, FINALLY, I was able to sleep…
Just kidding! As I crawled into bed, the one year old decided to wake up. I stumbled over to the pack ‘n play and managed to get my little one back to sleep. I rolled back into bed and fell into a light sleep. Anxiety seemed to prevent me from reaching that stage of deep sleep. Next thing I knew it was 3am and my husband finally arrived. I was reminded of the book The Napping House, by Audrey Wood because of the chain of events my husband set off. My husband woke the puppy, who began to bark, which woke the baby, who began to cry, which woke me up, who began to curse (in my head).
After all that chaos we all managed to settle down and fall asleep. My last thought before finally drifting off was it’s ok because I can sleep in…
Just kidding! The four year old woke up at 6am and turned on the light which woke the one year old who woke the puppy! It was an unexpected and early start to my day, but I tried to remain positive, thinking it gave me more time to get ready for the wedding.
The Big Day:
That Saturday was a great day minus the fact that I was exhausted (and the part when the one year old decided to shove my mother’s measuring spoons into the dog crate for the puppy to chew up). My husband and I made it to the wedding on time (which rarely happens). And we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves at the reception.
The Day After:
The next morning my mom arrived home and we had a lovely breakfast all together. We then packed up our things and headed out on the road. My husband offered to take our 4yo and the puppy. I took the one year old and the bags. It was great because the baby slept the entire drive!
Even though we had a rough start to that weekend everything turned out fine. I powered through and survived because that’s what we do as parents.
So, I want to know, have you ever had a trip like that? What do you do when the place you are visiting/vacationing/staying at is not baby proofed? Are you able to keep your eyes on at least three things at once (ex: baby, hot stove, puppy)? And does anyone else get momma bear angry when someone tailgates you with the kids in the car??