Summer Road Trip–Alone with Five Kids

I thought for sure that my kids would provide me so much material during out 12 hour trip.  When have they gone longer than 10 minutes without fighting or being the most annoying people on earth?  Never.  Until we piled in a car and all of them had a Nintendo DS to keep them occupied.  In anticipation of their general awful behavior, I had a plan.  We would make periodic stops and take some goofy pictures to document our trip and maybe give them a chance to stretch their legs or have something to look forward to.  But, since they were mostly quiet and only had a couple of minor squabbles, I took advantage, and just drove. 

They finally gave me some trouble when we stopped to eat dinner at the McDonald’s, a mere hour and a half from our destination.  I had a couple of really nasty diapers to change, courtesy of my 21-month-old daughter, who was apparently waiting for a restaurant to stink up before she let loose.  Fine by me.  Better the McDonald’s than my car.  Then, in uncharacteristic fashion, my 5-year-old decided he’d have a go with a poopy accident.  There’s something about the McDonald’s that makes people want to poo, I guess.

Anyway, I got some goofy pictures of the kids on the Play Ground (post-clean-up, of course.)

Brotherly Love

Molly the Gymnast and Billy the Fashion Expert

#1 is not dead. I swear.

See? This is one of his better pictures.

Things were pretty boring until we got to the motel.  When we pulled into the parking lot, I instructed Miss Molly and Crazy Billy to lay down in the backseat.  Why?  Well, there is a three kid limit to a room.  Now, I don’t have the funds to rent 2 rooms.  Since we enter the rooms from the outside, it was essential we sneak the other two kids in.  So, I told them to lie down so they wouldn’t be spotted.  They obliged, but after about 30 seconds, Miss Molly asks in a suspicious voice, “Is this a joke?”  No, dear heart, it’s not. 

I get the room and drive around to the parking lot.  It turns out, we have to walk across a large expanse of grass to get to the door.  The chances of us making it unnoticed, at 11:00 pm when there is nobody else around, are not good.  Considering the kids picked that exact moment to be loud, obnoxious, and clumsy made it impossible.  They dropped blankets and suitcases, Billy talked in his only tone of voice which happens to be an outside-on-the-playground-with-tons-of-kids-radio-blasting-swarm-of-bees-passing-by voice, and all of them decided it was time to start pretending they were in Wrestlemania.  On a positive note, Anna learned a couple of new words.  The sh%% one, which she only said once (as did I, in a moment of panic and frustration), but only because she liked the other one much better.  We made our way across no-man’s land with a 21-month-old repeatedly saying, “dammit” at the top of her lungs, and the other kids laughing hysterically at the profanity coming out of such a sweet baby’s mouth. 

Do you kiss yourself with that mouth?

Miraculously, no one accosted us and made me pay the $70 for another room.  Even more amazing, not one person knocked on our door once we got in the room and all the kids started arguing about who was sleeping in which bed.  Turns out, one was on the floor and another one had a bed all to himself.  The other three slept in the bed with me, where the most comfortable spot must’ve been my head and my feet.  Anna head butted me several times before finally drifting off.  When I woke up the next morning, I could barely stand, my back hurt so bad.

The next leg of the trip was even more pleasant than the first.  Even less arguing and no traffic.  Well, until we got about an hour outside of Louisville.  The rain was really coming down and the interstate went down to one lane for a while.  We only stopped moving for about 2 minutes.  That was scary, though.  While we were sitting there, a huge bolt of lightning struck not 100 ft. from us.  We all flinched/ducked/squealed.  The crackling was freaky.  By the time we got home, the rain had slowed to a drizzle and I was more than ready to get out of that car.  This was a welcome sight.

Home! I forgot how GREEN it is here!

I must say it was a pleasant trip.  Somehow, I feel like the trip home will more than make up for that.  They still have their Nintendo DSs and I still have the camera.  Maybe I can get some better pictures on the way home.  Honestly, I’d rather just drive.  Hopefully, the kids will cooperate.  Though it would make for much better reading if they acted more like themselves.  If you’re hoping they will, just so you will be more entertained–shame on you.

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31 thoughts on “Summer Road Trip–Alone with Five Kids

    • There have been times this week when I have wished someone had confiscated a few of my kids. We hit the road in five more days. Not looking forward to it.

  1. The line about pooping at McD’s made me spit out my water! Oh, just hysterical. I love how you write. And your kids are very oddly just like my kids, nintendo DS’s and foul language and all. Glad you made it safe and somewhat mentally sound!

  2. It wasn’t to long ago I took my 2 cousins I babysit for out for pizza. The little one just turned three about a week prior. Well being the poor college student that I am I try to stretch a buck as far as it will go. At the pizza place we went to kids 2 and under eat free. So, when the guy at the counter asked me how old she was I said she was two. I mean she had only been three for a week and I was pinching pennies here. Well the minute I said it she loudly proclaimed so the entire restaurant could hear, “No i’m not. I am three.” I tried to ignore her as her brother chimed in yet another extra loud she is three, not two. I wanted to run and hide. The nice cashier did not charge me for her meal. I guess the look of sheer embarrassment on my face was probably the highlight of his day. Kids. Gotta love em.

    • My daughter did the same thing to us while we were ordering at one of the steakhouses in this area. It was a buffet style restaurant, and kids 10 & under ate for like 1/2 price. We tried our best to make her 10 . . . to which to LOUDLY corrected “I’m 11!” . . . hefer!!! (LOL)

    • My daughter did that to us one night right after she turned 11. We were in one of the local steakhouses were they have the all you can eat buffet, and kids 10 & under eat 1/2 price. We tried our best to make her 10 . . . should have cut her tongue out, or duct taped her mouth shut, or something . . . LOL.

      Gotta love ’em!!

    • I have one of those stories from this week as well. In my case, it was an honest mistake. I have trouble remembering how old my kids are all the time. 🙂

  3. hilarious! and your writing paints the perfect picture. just what i needed to break up a very busy, stressful work day!

  4. Girl! Count your blessings. You rarely get that kind of a road trip without DADDY! Maybe you will be blessed on the ride back. Well, MacDonalds=MacDoodoo for me everytime. hehehe! 🙂

    • With Daddy along, it’s usually quieter and faster, but we sure don’t stop as often. I need that walking around time. Oh yeah, my music selection is better; 🙂

  5. Getting arrested, sneaking into motel rooms………….. you know you are gettin quite a reputation here! 😆 Glad you had a good trip. The green? That is how I feel when I go back to New Zealand!

  6. You made it!! I have to say I love your approach with each kid having a DS. We may have to rethink our stand on them. Only one kid has one, she got it from a friend, so of course on a road trip they all fight over it.

    • Yes, it was “the one toy they really missed after the fire” that my grandmother replaced. They keep their noses buried in it, but on a long trip it sure doesn’t bother me. They will have serious withdrawals when we get back home to time limits.

  7. Wow you are an amazing mum!! And 5 kids is such a blessing – it must be hard taking care of 5 kids alone on a road trip but you did wonderfully. Good on you 😉

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  9. Goodness – I can’t imagine! It was always an adventure enough when just me and my mom went on road trips, never mind four more kids.

    PS: I totally cracked up at the line, “There’s something about the McDonald’s that makes people want to poo, I guess.”

  10. Can’t help but wonder if you’ve ever thought of writing for publication. You wrote somewhere that you wanted to be an editor but you seem to have the chops to be a writer. When you say, at the end, that you think it would be more interesting if your kids were acting “more like themselves,” I’m not so sure about that. Every good story has a conflict and there’s constant conflict in your stories. It keeps your readers glued to your text. And I’m not even a mother; I can’t identify with what you are saying by experience -but I can get into it, by the way you tell it. The part about how you wanted them to be quiet and they weren’t, not worrying about how it was going to make you look or make them look –that’s what makes it good.

    Glad you all are doing well 😉

    • Honestly, writing for publication is THE DREAM. I simply don’t know where to begin.

      You are, perhaps the most encouraging soul I’ve ever “met.” I always love reading your comments because I feel all warm and fuzzy and like anything is possible. Thanks for that.

      • I *know* you can do it. Look at all you’ve accomplished already. You have so much material, Erin, and you instinctively know what you’re doing. I’m not sure “where to begin” because it’s probably different for everyone, but my thought is to pray on it. You capitalized “THE DREAM” and that has to mean something HUGE. Your life deserves it. My thought is to pray on it, see what comes up, let an idea bubble up and trust your gut, wherever it takes you. Maybe it’s a short piece, maybe it’s long. You can write a little at a time and you may or may not have to give up something; I don’t know. But baby steps until you get there. Don’t worry about who will love it or who will publish it –as long as you love it, somebody is going to publish it. Worry about that part later. Just write it, whatever it is.

        That you are not scared to write that you couldn’t afford another $70 and that you told your kids to be quiet so you could sneak them in and they weren’t quite –that’s what it’s all about. Most people think they have to hide that stuff and make themselves look good and the irony is, when you write what people can relate to, even if it’s not their particular situation (they can relate to hiding and sneaking and worrying), it’s good. It’s worthwhile. It sells.

        • It’s funny how many people have commented about the motel incident. I get, “I would never tell anybody about that!” a lot. My response is always the same. “Why not?” 🙂 If “what it’s all about” is shamelessness, I certainly have “it.”
          Seriously, I do have a few intriguing ideas in my head (writing projects and what to do with them.) All that’s left is to act on them, I suppose. Again, I appreciate your support and you are on top of the list of people to tell if something ever comes of the writing thing.

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