I survived the solo parent road trip!


More thankfulness! Let’s see. Today I am thankful for a mug the size of a small bucket from which to drink my tea.


I survived! I mean. I guess you knew that. Because I’ve posted since then. But I wanted to share with you some things that I learned road tripping with an 8, 6, and 1 year old. It was about 5 hours each way, but we have really beaten down the path, so we were very familiar with where to go and stop.

  • We don’t have a DVD player, but audiobooks are awesome. I ran to the library the day before and checked some out. On this trip we enjoyed Judy Moody Saves the World. We also started Harriet the Spy, but it didn’t seem to capture their attention quite as much. The Secret Garden had zero votes. I’ll get you next time, my pretties…
  • I over prepare for road trips, especially on my own. I purchased all manner of small activity books, and packed up crayons and pens and pencils. I also bought paper masks that the girls colored in the car. I pack a ridiculous amount of snacks and water. But we still had to buy McDonald’s cookies when we had a bathroom break, because it was a trip. On trips, you do things you don’t normally do. Suddenly that grocery tote full of snacks seems mighty dull. And the pumpkin pies are 2/$1 or 99¢ each. What’s up with that McD’s? Are you trying to add to the saved baby weight?
  • I would rather take all three girls than just the baby. Zoey is a lot of work. And it takes a village. The girls handed her toys whenever she made a peep. They were there for the diaper assists. Which was especially fun at McD’s. We always stop at a very quiet, out of the way McD’s when we reach the Minneapolis area. I took all 3 into the stall with the diaper changer. Zoey hates those. With a flaming hot passion. So I had Zoey on the table, one girl on each side. Zoey was screaming. Ella & Natalie were singing. “YOU DON’T NEED TO CRY…AT ALL…BECAUSE YOUR BIG SISTER’S ALWAYS AROUND YOU…YOU DON’T NEED TO CRY…AT ALL…BECAUSE YOUR BIG SISTER’S ALWAYS AROUND YOU…” Those are all of the words to a song Ella wrote for Zoey when she was born. There was a lot of sound coming out of that small bathroom. And I think we gave the other girl who came in a giggle fit. Because when we came out of the bathroom, she sharply elbowed the guy she was with and gave him the “that’s them!” look. I have three children. I am so over embarrassment. I know for a fact you’d rather hear the singing than screaming from all three, so I don’t harbor the least bit of ill will at someone’s amusement like that. Please, enjoy my side show. Mostly because I know how lucky I am that in this moment, it’s cute and funny. It could just as easily be a meltdown of epic proportions.
  • I am really committed to my love of the McRib. I got one in the car on the way back. A McRib. While driving. It CAN be done, but that doesn’t mean it should be. Only, what else are you supposed to do when it’s a LIMITED TIME? SCARF IT DOWN NOW, I say. Don’t think about what’s in it.
  • I have LOVELY children. Zoey got a little fussy from time to time, but it was never anything a bottle or a diaper or toys and books handed over from sisters couldn’t fix. Ella and Natalie were the most gracious helpers. There was actual help, and no sighing. They were happy to do it. Or they faked it really well. When Zoey would fall asleep, one of them would whisper loudly, “ZOEY’S SLEEPING!” Until she woke up there would only be whispering. It was more quiet than being at home. While we were out, I got another “you’ve got your hands full!” To which I always smile and nod. But I made sure to add, “I have a couple of very good helpers.” It felt like such an undertaking before I got on the road, but they made it feel almost easy.

2 responses »

  1. Oh my…….there are few things I like to do LESS than travel with small kids! Kudos to you! I think I was scarred early on by a 13 hour car trip with our just turned 1 year old. She took two 45 minute naps and didn’t LOVE tv at that point and I was just coming out of my pukey first trimester with the second baby. It was a nightmare. We are going to attempt a 14 hour trip this summer with tge 6,4 and 2 year old……I hope I survive, I was overcome by waves of nostalgia when visiting my brother solo last month and promised him a visit from the whole family.

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