Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Six of One, Half Dozen of the Other

We spent a lot of time in the car today -- two different trips of around four hours or so each. I am pleased that we are (for now) past the stage where a baby is crying hysterically in the backseat and I have to endanger my life by climbing into the backseat, cramming myself between the car seats, and then trying to appease a cranky little one.

Even though the boys are pretty good in the car these days--give or take some screaming contests and the fact that Little Bit pooped twice in ninety minutes during our second trip of the day--I still think it's hard work to be the mommy passenger on these road trips. I sit shotgun but barely have enough room for my feet and legs with the food/snack bag, wipes, stray diapers, McDonalds bag, half-full water bottles, purse, and selection of DVDs. Then, just when I get myself semi-comfortably settled, someone needs a snack, a drink, a kleenex, for mommy to "press play," for mommy to change from Up to Chipmunks Christmas in the DVD player, or for mommy to get out her ipod so we can listen to "Boom Boom Pow." It's tough, right?

I used to feel jealous of hubby in the driver's seat and think, "I'm making myself nauseous turning around to help these kids" and all he has to do is drive. But today I was thinking about how driving sucks too. It's one thing to drive when you're alone in the car, listening to your tunes (or audiobooks). That kind of driving is kind of relaxing, as is chatting with other passengers (hubby and I do get some chatting time on family road trips, which is nice). But it's really no fun driving in the rain, negotiating traffic, fielding "how much longer, Daddy" queries, and so on, with the sound of Tom and Jerry's Christmas or screaming contests in the background.

So, it's a toss up as to who has it easier/harder when traveling with kids. What do you think?

I think that however long the road or challenging the trip, it's worth it when family is waiting to welcome you at your final destination. We'd travel any distance to see the loved ones we saw at the ends of both journeys today.


CJR said...

Trade with Troy and see.

Mrs F with 4 said...

My husband drives... puts his ipod on, and smiles beatifically the whole way.

E... said...

While I think the driver might have higher blood pressure during the actual trip, I think the fact that he can block out the constant requests for attention because he has to concentrate on the driving makes it a little easier. Though, I do usually get to read while the kids if and when the kids sleep, so maybe that's a point for me??

T-Baby said...

I may have to try the Ipod idea. I do not want to trade which may mean driving is easier. MEP forgets she does get an occasional nap riding shotgun. I did have to wake MEP up more than once to fulfill a request from the backseat.

Amy said...

I have to sit in the backsit and entertain (for 10 hrs) when we drive to see family; I'd prefer to do the driving. Even in the backseat you have no leg room with all the stuff and the car seat.

Sue and Randy said...

I totally think moms get the bad deal. I'm still bitter from our trip from Houston to Nashville last summer when I had to pump in the front seat, turning around to then feed the baby the bottle, all the while stressing about drinking enough water to repeat the process again very shortly. No point in even considering driving...I'm pretty sure my husband couldn't handle the switch.

LAP said...

We have tried switching from the traditional roles and rarely does it go smoothly. Keeping in mind that I pack the bags of child gear for the car, this is some sample chatter from the car when I take a turn driving: "No, the $1 crafts from Michaels are in the other bag, next to the snack bag, no not in the diaper bag...she's mad because you didn't let her pick what pack of fruit snacks she wants...does Wook need her paci?...are you sure it will be obvious where I need to turn next?, the pink cup is for Fancy, it's in there, I promise...oh, yeah, you can't find the Cinderella DVD because I stuck it in the Max & Ruby case...I know I can get over, but the guy in the white truck over there is driving all crazy..."

Riding in the back of the minivan is a huge step up from riding in the back of the SUV, sandwiched between carseats. Highlights of the back seat in the van are watching movies, enjoying the thrill the girls have when one of us actually rides in back, and not straining my neck with the constant turnaround. Downsides are that NEVER are all three kids sleeping at the same time so there is no nap time for me, just time to continuously serve someone something, and to feel just a tiny bit queasy from riding in back.

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