I have three kids of various ages, all in that stage where they do not talk to each other, but talk at each other. A typical conversation at our home:
“Mom tell him to get out of my spot, I booked it before I left this morning.”
“Mom, tell her that booking means nothing I was born before her so I had the longest booking.”
“Mom I am not getting up, she can pull all she wants.”
“Mom he is a monkey”
“Mom she is a monkey with banana breath”
“Mom he is a monkey with banana breath and BO”
“Mom Haadia is in the spot we are fighting for, tell her to get up”
And so this goes on for entertaining hour after hour. Yes, I will post a list of names they call each other soon, it comes in handy when driving, standing at the ticket line and someone cuts in, at the airport waiting to board a flight, many many places have I seen it work wonders.
So, with school off, we decided that the key was to keep the kids busy, we went pottery painting – and they gave us ‘discounts’ to come back at separate times, with one child only each time. I wonder why.
We even grew vegetables in our garden, it was tricky as no one would water them or everyone wanted to water them at the same time, we still got peas, beans, onions and are hoping for tomatoes. Rabbits ate a lot. The neighbours hired our kids to water their plants too. Rest assured everything died. I like to think that the kids learnt a lesson, I’m positive our neighbours did too. We will probably be wanting to move before next planting season.
We went raspberry picking, that was a blast. The kids ate more than they picked, and for the next three days everyone had a stomach ache. Who would have thought too much fruit could cause pain. We went to see the doctor and I was told off. I was an inattentive mother allowing kids to do whatever they wanted, how would society function. Well, next year no more picking.
To be more adventurous we decided on a road trip…
I mean what could happen? Really they are only kids and we are after all the adults. We decided to test out our theory, on a day trip to the lake before we committed to renting cottages etc… It is true, age makes one wise. And now after the experience it has made us downright cautious and convinced that road trips are a recipe for disaster. Never again.
We started on bright, sunshine filled day, oh the breeze was scented with adventure and excitement. We were prepared, I had Googled games for the Road Trip to keep us entertained, none of that technology iPad stuff for us. No way! We had home-made yummy snacks, fruits, veggie and dip, none of that salty, fattening junk food for my beloved family. Bug spray, check. Ice water, check. Beach supplies, check. Awesome, we were off.
As soon as my husband rounded the corner and eased on Pembina (the highway), my youngest had to pee. Oh Lord! so we went back, and I let her into the house, she came back 1/2 hr later, she had to do other stuff. Meanwhile, in the car while my daughter was ‘peeing’, the other two minions were fighting over a French fry from last night’s dinner that had fallen on the seat. I happily informed them that we had healthful snacks, I got the ‘look’.
We were off, we made it to the highway and 10 mins. later my beloved, wonderful child screams. I turn, now what? Our bag of swimwear, towels, beach supplies was flying out he window. How didi this happen I ask.
“Mom he dared me to do it, you said we should play games. We were playing truth or dare.”
“I didn’t think she would, she should have picked truth, it’s her fault.”
My husband pulled up on the shoulder and I ran to gather what I could retrieve. Not much, the towels were hanging onto people’s cars, our sunscreen was splished on the road, as you can imagine. And some of my ‘surprise’ healthful snacks, well…
I walked over to the car, calm – all was not lost, and we headed back home, to recharge and get more supplies. My husband was ready to call it quits, but no. I wanted our special family time to happen. So an hour later, restocked, filled with junk food and in splendid moods, we were off again.
“Mom I am hungry”
Oh! finally a real road trip problem. “Well, I have fruit, veggies, yoghurt, what would you like?”
“Dad, can we stop at Burger King? I think I will faint.”
My husband pulls into a drive thru and we order, I eat the healthful road trip friendly snacks I brought, while everyone else eats disgusting burgers and fries. So, an hour later we are back on the road, I suggest games.
“Mom, we aren’t babies. I refuse to play.”
“Me either, I have my iPod.”
“Mom I am talking to my friend who is outside the window, I’m busy.”
I look at my husband, at least they aren’t fighting. He says that he is sleepy and maybe I should drive. That’s it.
I swing the car around and we head back home. I like to think of the cup as half full. We were on the road, we ate outside, we shared car memories. Yes, next year an overnight road trip it is.