Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Travel (with your family) is not for the faint of heart

I’m stressed, and stress brings on writing-I guess it’s therapeutic, like journal writing. I’m hungry, the kids are hungry, and we are driving on. We are in the middle ground-between decent places to drain our excretory systems and feed our digestive systems (too many museums in one week) and nothing. It’s wide-open (but nice) highway out in Tennessee. We’ve stopped at two gas stations to let Mary Claire go to the bathroom. The first stop was McDonald’s (decent) and we got apple walnut salads for snacks, and the second was awful. It was a gas station (opposite a truck stop) so of course I chose the gas station. It was dirty: the bathrooms were dirty, no locks on the doors (so Clay accidentally walked in on someone and started crying), there was a bar of soap (like Underwood’s bathroom-which I told them about), and the food had DUST on it. Gross. I dug down to the bottom of the box to get a non-dusty (if not old) bar of chocolate (Special Dark-when I mean business, but with the fewest possible number of calories, FYI), and a bottle of my fave: Aquafina (know it’s wrong to have a crush and water-favorite, but I do!). I went to check out, and the guy was watching me (maybe he’ll dust the candy!). I gave him a five, and he went to hand me my change, then popped the change in the air, caught it and handed it to me. I don’t know if this is a rare skill he chose to impress me (or cheer me since he’d seen me in and out of the restroom with three kids barking not to set my dog-gone purse down on the floor AGAIN! while I was going since there were no hooks/locks/shelves free of bar soap slime). I was freakin’ out, people! So I laughed at his impressive flip/catch/handoff and was thankful for the break in tension.

Then more driving, and lunch. We stopped at a relatively decent place on the east side of Memphis (only a couple miles from Wolfchase Galleria, if only we’d known…) and Ches went in to do the exam (to see if he approved of the food-relatively free of food poisoning after him not eating with us the other day!). We got the nod, and went in. Ethan ate standing up, as usual. He only sits to eat if belted in his booster seat at home or if eating in his car seat! The kids had pizzas and we had sandwiches. When we were ready to go, Ethan sat on his drink (on the table), and it crushed the sides of the cup-it went all over Ches’ shorts and Ethan’s pants. Heh heh heh. Sorry. Anyway, we have clothes! Ches put on a new T and new Nike shorts he bought yesterday and Ethan has on a new pair of capri/pants from Carters (so versatile!). We are back on the road. We are hoping for a great nap from Ethan, and no stops till we are on the west side of Little Rock. Clay is still wii’ing with Mario Kart, and Mary Claire and Ethan are watching a movie. Ches is the only one plugged into reality, as he is our designated driver (his position of choice. I’ve volunteered to drive so he could stomp Clay at Mario Kart, but I think he knows he’s too competitive and it’s crampy back there!).

He admitted today how mad he got yesterday when he lost at the laser shoot-em-up game where you get the pathogens with the gun. He said he just knew he was ahead, so he laid off on the fourth round (that’s what they all say..), and that GiRL next to him beat him 21,000 to 19,000 points! He was ahead of her by thousands, but she took over! He was so mad-it was funny (only to me, in a quiet kind of way)! He says he never thought he’d be like his dad-fiercely competitive, but here he is. And he’s trying not to play Clay too much, cause it comes out! I worry about Clay-we have very competitive family on all sides. I have laid off in the last few years, figuring if I win it was meant to be (and playing with kids drains the competition, you just know you’re smarter and don’t need to prove it). Anyway, it’s in our blood, so he’ll get there, good or bad.

Well, it’s therapeutic just to write it all down. Maybe that’s why I keep it up. An online journal, or just a debriefing. Or a way to get it off my chest. Almost like writing it down and throwing it away-except for the publishing it on the internet part. : )

Now I’m releasing all my stress, and planning my next few moments and days. Tomorrow we’re home and back “on”. We have Ethan’s gymnastics in the morning then Clay’s boy scouts in the evening (and I must return the two Red Box movies we rented today and get groceries as I’m sure our milk is chunky by now). Ches has a meeting tomorrow night, so I’ll have to take Clay to scouts. Then Friday Mary Claire has a field trip so I’ll meet them for lunch at the park so I can check her blood and give her a lunch bolus. I’m ***stress as Ches is following the truck in front of us too closely!!**** not planning to go into Clay’s class to help with writing since they have a Husky Howl this Friday. Okay, I must stop. This could go on all day!!


Gigi said...

Have some cappuccino and enjoy the sweet memories of travel and all it entails.


Holly said...

Yes, being home and having space to move around, I'm already better... : )

ps-Had a Midol, and shaky, but better! I'm in hyper speed. Shouldn't be allowed! : ) But, my headache's gone. Yes, it already seems sweeter now that we are out of the car! Ahhhh...