I may be a time traveler.
Correction. I must be a time traveler.
Not the kind of time traveler that you are accustomed to reading about in an HG Wells novel. There are no Eloi living above ground in silky dresses. My character will never be played by Michael J. Fox riding a skateboard to the tune of Huey Lewis and the News. My shiny Delorian is actually a Honda Odyssey with four kid’s seats, 23 cup holders, and a headrest that is well suited for hanging a diaper bag that a wallaby named Tobias calls ‘Home’. My theme song is the intro to Sponge Bob Squarepants. The only thing that would have made the drive worse would be no AC like the picture above of my ancestry in their stylish Ford.
Today, my fully loaded grocery getter, confirmed Einstein’s theory of general relativity. Alien abductions are associated with “lost time” events. Road trips with my group result in “found time” events. The faster I drove the more time I found had passed between each stop. The trip was one we have completed many, many times in the past. All records indicated that this trip should take approximately 5.0 hours from driveway to driveway. We shattered records with an impressive 7.5 hours.
I know this claim is so outrageous that you might not believe me so I have included a play-by-play as evidence.
11:30 am – We departed from a city in the east and were headed west. Since the hour was near lunch the loving grandparents sent us away with Lunchables and snacks for the kids. We even had a box of juices. Supermom and I thought we had better grab some lunch at a drive thru before hitting the interstate. Zaxby’s seemed as good as anything so we zipped around and ordered two snacks to-go. While we waited, Supermom started to distribute Lunchables and noticed that two of them were pizzas and needed to be heated. The minivan is a top-shelf swagger wagon but we did not get the microwave option. She went inside to get a few (4) kids meals because everyone has to have the same meals or a blackhole will form in the universe.
11:50 am – Supermom returns with the meals and Don Threeto pulls off a perfect delay tactic of “I have to pee.” I take her inside to pee and after that ordeal of her explaining to me that she isn’t a boy we loaded up and were on the way again.
12:05 pm – It starts to rain just enough to make me question if automatic wipers are needed. There was not quite enough rain to lube the wipers but enough that I couldn’t see well. We got in a small fight about me hitting the wiper arm manually. This rain continued for the next fifty miles.
12:45 pm – Interstate traffic comes to a complete stop as we see a large gathering of people in the road ahead of us. We pulled out Waze (a super cool app that you really should use on trips, thanks Ben) and we found that there was an accident about 500 feet ahead of us. A truck pulling a large camper had jackknifed and flipped on the side of a mountain. The passengers seemed okay but the camper and truck were in pieces. I hope everyone is okay. Luckily we were close enough behind this accident that we made it around in only 15 minutes.
1:30 pm – I have to pee so we stop. The car could use a full tank of gas so that happens too. Then the three older girls have to pee. I send them into the restroom as a group with instructions to a) not touch anything and b) help each other with hand washing and whatnot. Fifteen minutes later three girls emerge with arms wet from the elbows down. I don’t even care why. We get in the car and start to leave. Lady Bug has a wet diaper so we pull to the side to change it before continuing. Back on the road at 1:50.
2:15 pm – The rain has finally stopped but Lady Bug has started crying. We turn on a movie on the kick-ass DVD player and traffic comes to a halt. Once again, Waze informs us of an accident and we are able to reroute on local roads to bypass. This accident was a large semi-trailer that caught on fire. The cargo burned so hotly that the remains of the truck fit neatly on a flatbed tow truck. We saw this on the exit just past the accident but I am getting ahead of myself.
2:35 pm – We are travelling down a local road in a small town that I haven’t seen before. Supermom is trying to feed Toby (the wallaby for the newcomers). Lady Bug is still crying. Just as we beg her to stop or to tell us what is wrong, she projectile vomits into the back of my seat and her own lap. It looked like her face was pouring out a cup of wet cornmeal. Awesome.
2:40 pm – The clothes have been changed. Wipes are piled with bits of chewed chicken and fries in a Walmart bag. I can smell it in the cloth of the car seat. The three other kids are giving us helpful information like, “She threw up”, “I can smell it”, and “I’m hungry.” Not kidding.
3:00 pm – We are back on the road. And travel uneventfully for an hour before the next round of events.
4:00 pm – Lady Bug starts crying without any clear reason. Supermom knows what is up and starts to climb in the back to be prepared. Sure enough, she rockets the pacifier out of her mouth using only bodily fluids. I keep my eyes on the road but I hear the sound of rocks hitting wet mud. A splat of puke spattering around. We are ten miles from an exit so Supermom gets things cleaned up the best she can. The first exit we come to is busy so we opt to keep going a few miles to one that is more user friendly.
4:30 pm – Lady Bug seems better and is watching a movie. Supermom goes into the gas station I assume looking for a large bag of marijuana but returning instead with Sour Patch Kids and a soft drink.
4:50 pm – We are back on the highway On the home stretch. Lady Bug pukes again and gets her clothes this time. We stop at the first available exit which is an abandoned hotel and a small gas station. This time we change Lady Bug into last night’s pjs and the fast food bag from lunch is over flowing with used wipes. Supermom insists that she needs to wash her hands. I suggest we go down to the next exit because this gas station looks rough. She insists we stay there and she goes inside to wash her hands. She returns to tell me about the barefoot lady who was popping pimples into the sink where she needed to wash her hands. We continued to the next exit.
5:15 pm – We decide that Lady Bug is either car sick or has allergy snot that is making her stomach unstable. She is fun and lively right up to the vomit thing. The joint committee on blind decision parenting decided to try some Benadryl to settle her allergies and maybe help her relax for the rest of the ride. The gas station didn’t have a children’s liquid. I started to crush a pill and mix with some Advil (I know the appropriate dosage) and a car pulled up beside me powdering a pill into a syringe to give to my two year old. I felt like a champ once again. She was given the dose and made a terrible face because of the taste of the Benadryl. I gave her the slightest taste of juice to help her out. How does she repay me? That’s right, by vomiting everything at approximately 5:30 pm while we are once again on the interstate. To which Threeto comments, “I didnt see that coming!” Really???
5:31 pm – We are an hour away from home base. Supermom has cleaned the best she can but the car seat is soaked. Lady bug is floating in and out of consciousness. The other three are asking for constant status updates. Supermom is fighting a migraine and Toby is preparing an impressive wallaby scented present of his own. I don’t even care.
5:32 pm – I vow to the Lord Jesus Christ that this van will not stop until it is in the driveway and I will chisel everyone out of whatever crusty coat of excrement they have created but not a second before. We are a solid hour from the exit.
6:20 pm – Almost there. Everyone is tense from some tense question and answer sessions. We notice a beaten up truck in front of us taunting another vehicle. The driver of the truck pulls along side the other vehicle and he reaches out to punch their side mirror. In the back of the beaten up truck I can see the silhouette of a small child bouncing around, I assume drinking Mountain Dew in their underwear.
6:30 pm – Off the exit.
6:45 pm – Into the driveway. I carry Lady Bug into the house and my shirt is soaked in stomach juices leaving a dark green pattern down my front. I disregard and carry in several loads of bags with a dead look in my eyes.
7:10 – Luggage is inside. Lady Bug springs to life and is running in circles and laughing. No fever. Fantastic. The wallaby is another story. Stress of travel has made him into a squirrel shaped salad shooter. I grab the keys and head back out the door to Walmart to get supplies for the week. I notice that I smell like a cooked ham that got left in a bay window in July.
This is why we need flying cars and the knockout medicine that Dexter uses on his victims. I just want it to travel across the state in piece without need for gloves. Snoop dog doesn’t stock the stick icky that I need to get through that again.
If you ever feel like life is against you on a road trip. This post is for you. You’re welcome.
-Underdaddy to the rescue.