October 24, 2008

Traveling with Tots

First, Some Math:
Kids + 2 Parents + 1 small space + 1 long car ride to Jackson Hole=
units of total chaos

What I pack in the
survival basket:

Normal stuff: books, activities, snacks, water
Other stuff: wet wipes, paper towels, toilet paper,
throw-up container with a lid!

Jenny's Rules for driving in the car:

#1 No whining about stupid things (Catching Megan mid-whine about a stupid thing).
#2 No annoying repetitive noises.
#3 No dropping things on the floor and then stepping on them.
#4 Use the garbage sack.

Various reactions to watching Andrew utilize the throw-up container
Over and over and over and over again:

Jenny: develops sympathy car sickness
Alicia: rolls down the window so she can breathe unpolluted air
Megan: complains that she is cold and demands that the window be rolled up
Rachel: quietly keeps to herself
Rex: bees grateful and proud of his beautiful wife for packing that handy throw-up container

Here are 2 books on tape that the kids bring:
#1 Gummies to the Rescue! (exclamation mark included)
#2 It's a Small, Small World (a blatant infraction of rule #2)

To my horror, Andrew requests both of them. And. I oblige. Because there's nothing I won't do for a puking four-year-old. (Though, I admit, I turn off the front speakers.)

Four things that happen at once:

#1 Megan, practicing Spanish, asks me, "Are you tomato?" (she means "timido")
#2 Alicia, also practicing Spanish, says, "Quieres take a picture of the river?"
#3 Rex is being a tour guide: "And over here we have Lunch Counter..."
#4 Andrew is fake snoring

And, then I say, "Okay!!! Megan, I'm not a tomato; Alicia, are you meaning you want to take the picture, or you want me to take the picture?; Andrew, that's a very silly fake snore; and, Rex, I'm so very glad that's Lunch Counter. But, if nobody minds, I am just going to read quietly for awhile."

In Afton, the road passes under a huge arch made of elk antlers and this is what I say:
"That's horrible! Think how many elk had to die to make that hideous thing!"
Then Rex says: "Jenny, elk shed their antlers annually."
That's when I say: "Oh."
Then I say: "Well, it's still hideous!"

Then I almost get in trouble when Andrew says,
"Mom, you said something bad."
"Really? What did I say?"
"You said butt!"
Racking my brain, I realize that I said: "I thought those were big buffalo, but they're probably just average."
Before I can explain myself Andrew is chanting, "Buffalo Butt, Buffalo Butt, Buffalo..."
And then he gets in trouble.

But what makes it all worth it

is that on our way home. In the dark. When we're all very tired. And everything else is silent. Megan starts singing "If the Savior Stood Beside Me". And the Spirit is strong and I remember why we take car trips together as a family.


  1. such a funny and nice post.

  2. Car rides (the fear of them) have kept us from many a lovely destination. I can't believe you survived with a barf bucket in the car! My new favorite swear: Buffalo Butt! good post.

  3. Poor Andrew! I'm glad that Rex "bees thankful and proud of his lovely wife for packing the throw-up container." Really, good job thinking ahead. Remember how you always had tissues and I was always the one with the runny nose and no tissues? My kids are going to be in for it. Maybe we could just go on a all trips with you.

  4. Somehow I missed this post, but I'm so glad I found it. So sweet.