More From the Road Trip

Back in June I started posting excerpts from my new book and this latest installment is a continuation of the chapter dealing with one of our our family vacations. To read what precedes this click HERE

Everything was peaceful for an hour or so, then the kids started squabbling, which soon deteriorated into full fledged fighting, and parts of the car bingo game were flying around the back of the van. Danielle refused to take a nap, no matter how hard we tried to get her to lie down, so I went to the back of the van to keep game parts from hitting the back of Carl’s head. The twins took that as an open invitation to use me for a trampoline, so considering the noise, the jumping, and the crushed Cheetos all over the mattress, I quickly retreated to the front seat, leaving the mess with the kids.

By lunch time, we were all more than ready to stop for awhile to see if we could straighten our cramped bodies from the sitting position to a standing one. But somehow the kids weren’t nearly as anxious to run around and make noise as they had been in the van. In fact, meal times were the only real quiet times of the whole trip.

When we pulled into another rest area for supper, it was an instant replay of the lunch break. The kids sat quietly at the picnic table, ignoring all the grass that just called for little feet to scamper all over it.

After we finished eating, we tried to get everyone to get one last drink, and go potty so we wouldn’t have to stop again for awhile. No matter haw hard we tried to avoid frequent stops, nobody had to go potty when we needed gas, but fifteen minutes later one of them simply wouldn’t be able to wait another second.

We made two quick stops between six and ten, and then the kids finally fell asleep. Thank you, God.

Of course, at this point, Carl and I were too tired to have a meaningful conversation, and we avoided the music so we wouldn’t disturb the kids.

About midnight, we decided to do a drive-through for a cup of coffee. We realized we were hungry and wanted something other than stale Cheetos, so we decided to get hamburgers, too. We thought if we didn’t turn off the engine the kids would not wake up, but that was a short-lived dream. The cashier had just handed Carl the coffee and burgers when the kids popped up, one at a time like they were all trying to be a jack-in-the-box.

They also appeared to be quite wide awake.

Since we hadn’t planned to get them hamburgers, we tried to hide ours in the front until the kids went back to sleep. But that wasn’t happening.

“What do you have?” David asked.

“Coffee.” I answered. “We need caffeine to stay awake to drive.”

“What else?”

“Uh,,,” Do I lie so I don’t have to explain why we don’t have burgers for them? Or do I try to figure out how to share two sandwiches among seven people? I’m good, but not that good.

“I smell food.” Michael said.

I glanced at Carl for help.

“um… I don’t think so,” he said, hastily dropping his burger in the center console. “Must be your imagination.”

Keeping my eyes straight ahead, I slid the McDonald’s bag to the floor between my feet and leaned my head against the window. Maybe if it looked like I was going to sleep, the kids would take the hint.

Yeah, that would happen about the same time that cats would do what they’re told.

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