The longest drive of my life

I decided to take the kids to Fort Myers for the long Labor day weekend to stay with my mom. We were all excited to spend three days just playing, swimming and spending time with friends and family.

The drive, from our door to my mom’s, should take just under two hours. I knew we could hit some traffic. We left home right after picking Kendall up from school and drove through the busiest part of the city right at rush hour on the Friday before a long holiday weekend. I expected the drive to take a bit longer than usual. The trip ended up taking us four of the longest hours of my life to complete. An hour into our trip we hadn’t even travelled 15 miles on I-75. I was frustrated, annoyed and ready to turn around to make the drive Saturday morning. Instead, I continued on.

This drive taught me a few things that I hadn’t discovered on our previous trips along this same route or during our marathon 3,000 mile trip earlier this summer.

1. I need to install one of those partitions that limo drivers use to separate themselves from the craziness behind them. But instead of putting it behind the driver and passenger seats, I want our partition to be behind the second row. Why should Luca be subjected to the craziness going on behind him in the third row?!

2. Never leave home without pre-portioned servings of baby formula even if you plan to be at your destination for the next feeding. Using those tiny scoops that come in the formula can while standing at your open trunk in a CVS parking lot only leads to lots of spillage. Had I been stopped by the police my car definitely would have been searched due to the large quantity of white powder all over everything. It could have been a really awkward situation for all involved.

3. Having two Kindles with ALMOST identical games loaded on them is not the same as having two Kindles with EXACTLY the same games loaded on them. They will always find those subtle differences and fight viciously over who gets to play whichever one is preferred that day.

4. Touching a sibling’s car seat is the same as an attack on their body and it will be defended as such.

5. No matter how tired a baby is, he/she will never sleep during a long trip when there is screaming going on.

6. Turing up the music only makes the screaming louder and does nothing to drown out the noise.

7. A three-year-old will always have to go potty when you are stuck in traffic and between the two exits that are the farthest apart, even if they went right before leaving home and had limited drinks leading up to your departure.

8. The lane you are in will always be the slowest. The only way to speed it up is to change lanes and watch the car you were just behind advance quickly away from you.

9. Nothing will entertain a young child as much as tearing up a napkin and throwing the pieces on the floor of a recently vacuumed car. But the child will, under no circumstances, clean it up without a fight.

10. A baby who tolerates long drives well will always melt down 20 minutes from your destination, regardless of the length of the trip.

11. Things to add to my car trip emergency kit: snacks, water, toys, earplugs, Xanax, a bottle of wine, child-size muzzles or duct tape and little straight jackets.

I think I’ll be much better prepared for our next trip.

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