We just got home from a week of celebrating Fall by driving through the Appalachians and around Nashville. Breathtaking! (More pix soon!)
Here are 10 lessons
we I learned along the way:
1) If you have kids, you will absolutely not leave when you plan to leave. Ever.
2) In a momma’s effort to walk into a clean house post-vacay, there will be words. Harsh words. Dads don’t typically get it (not a dig, it’s just not something of value to most men and it’s not the way most of them think). And you will still walk into a stale-smelling house where the toilets have rings. The trick is to not sweat it too too much; only just a little.
3) Husbands do not pack the way wives do. It’s just best to pile everything at the door and let Daddy cram it all into the car … and then don’t watch. Never watch. And if, by chance you watch and Daddy complains about the amount of things you’ve insisted must travel with you, don’t. say. anything.
4) When you have two children under 4 and one of them just learned to use the potty, you stop every two hours and you can add 30 minutes for every stop you make. Decide you’re OK with that now. Before you leave. Or your first day of driving will be torture and you will have a soiled kid. Yeah.
5) Jesus invented the DVD player for your car and 1/8in jacks for headphones so Mommy and Daddy can listen to their own music are sheer, Holy Spirit-divined inspiration.
6) Packing a week’s worth of snacks to save money is hard. Trying to cram them in a car so that you can actually reach them is kinda impossible. But it’s really worth it to have food you know your kids will eat. After 5 days of french fries at every meal, even the kid who eats french fries at every meal will refuse to eat french fries.
7) Mommy is always the last one ready to go anywhere. This is not because she takes the most time to get ready. Not at all. It’s because she’s spent all the getting-ready-time readying everyone else in the family.
8) Have a plan before you leave your house. Plans are important! You won’t actually adhere to them (be forewarned), but it’s important to have a framework to shape your travels. And if your husband/boyfriend/man-friend/babydaddy isn’t a planner, be sure you have done your homework and have a general idea what activities will work for your family and be sure to think about your family’s schedule. The schedule is important! Which leads me to…
9) “Road trip” = “no schedule”. Your 2-yr-old who takes daily 2-hour naps will not handle it well. So on the days you’re not driving through 3 states, make sure you consider your child’s nap times.
10) Experiencing firsts with your child and watching him/her in awe of nature is priceless. Absolutely priceless and worth every penny and bit of frustration and fights and meltdowns and over-crammed car and poopy cloth underpants and more meltdowns and schedules blown to smithereens and scratched DVDs and not leaving on time and lost nap times and coming home to a dirty house and mountains of vacation laundry… It’s worth it.