This Traveling Road Show Will Not Be Coming to a City Near You


The suitcases, Pack and Play and other assorted tote bags were crammed into the back of the SUV, after much struggle and cursing.  With only one item left to fit into the puzzle-piece mess of cargo, I was feeling optimistic. 
But, sadly, the last remaining hole in the chaos wasn’t big enough for the odd-shaped bag I was attempting to stuff into it, and the whole mess came tumbling down like a Jenga tower.
Baby Boy is screaming in his carseat for a movie, and Big Sister is moaning that she’s hungry and wants a snack. 
And we have yet to pull out of the driveway.
This is the traveling road show that I sometimes admit is my family, and I can assure you that we are not coming to a city near you.
You can breathe a sigh of relief.
After three road trips in the time span of a month, I’ve made the executive decision to shut down this tour of terrors.
As a single person, I used to love to travel.  The longer the distance, the better. 
But throw these other humans into the mix, and it becomes my own personal hell.  Schedules, naps, terrible-two temperaments, and bizarre food fetishes don’t mix well with the uncertainty and unpredictability of travel.
And that’s just the getting there part.
What happens once you’re there, and you realize you’ll now have to suffer the humiliation of your child’s temper tantrum in front of a public audience?  If you’re me, you worry about whether you should pull the plug on this visit before your host (or anyone within a three mile radius) reports you for disturbing the peace.
And then there is the fun that ensues at bedtime, with the entire family crammed into one hotel room.  Our last night of misery featured Baby Boy standing in his Pack and Play at the foot of our bed, screaming all night, refusing to sleep.  Then Big Sister fell out of bed with a thud, knocking over a cup of water on the nightstand, which spilled on me, of course.
The next morning, I packed my ragged bunch, sleep deprived and crabby, back into the SUV and high-tailed it back home to nurse our wounds in the comfort of our own insane asylum.
So, talk to me about a girls’ trip, or I’d certainly entertain a weekend away with Husband.  But do not ask me to drag this rag-tag crew back out onto the interstate, or I might hyperventilate just thinking about it.
We will not be the family sending out a Christmas card showcasing us in a picturesque setting from our summer vacation.  We will not be those cool parents who take our kids to Colorado, or Europe, God forbid. 
I don’t know how you people do it.
This Road Warrior is hanging up her REI Packable Travel Hat until further notice. 
 

Comments

  1. Ha- I don't blame you! I don't know how people do it... kids have so much STUFF they need!

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    1. I'm always blown away by all the crap we have to take when the kids are along!

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    2. I remember packing a ton stuff just to drive an hour south to visit my parents for the day.
      Almost four years later, and we've yet to try an overnight trip. And who are these people that fly with their kids? I think they are superhuman.

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  2. God, I can remember some epic blow-outs my otherwise happy family had when we would pack up the car for our annual end-of-August trip to the Jersey shore. By the time everything was loaded in, I'm pretty sure my parents felt like unloading every damn thing and just staying home.

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    1. Ha, gotta love those family vacations!

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  3. I am so TOTALLY with you. TOTALLY!!! This is the greatest line:

    So, talk to me about a girls’ trip, or I’d certainly entertain a weekend away with Husband. But do not ask me to drag this rag-tag crew back out onto the interstate, or I might hyperventilate just thinking about it.

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    1. Ha, ha, thanks! I've decided that traveling with kids just plain sucks!!

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  4. Ugh! The road trips are just impossible at these ages! This cracked me up though!

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    1. I'm thinking it will get better around age four...I'm counting on it!

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  5. Im so glad my kid is past that age...now I have to bring dog stuff. Will the crap never end?

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    1. I long for a life without loads of crap.

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  6. When the children live under your roof -- this is what you get. And a kayak on top and five bikes strapped to the back. We briefly discussed my getting a new car recently. Every one boiled down to "but when we travel to see your mom. Or go to the beach." Those are the times that try men's souls.

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    1. Definitely. My dream is to one day own a Mini Cooper.

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  7. Right there with you baby! I love the line about shutting down this tour of terrors! I have yet to find all the packing, unpacking and en route drama worth the effort and hyperventilating! Fun post!

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    1. Agreed! No more drama for this mama!

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  8. It gets a whole lot easier when there are no pack-and-plays or carseats involved. We drove 1,000 miles to Colorado last summer with our eleven-year-old and thirteen-year-old plus two dogs, and it was awesome. But when mine were the ages of yours. . .NO WAY!

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    1. Thank you for giving me hope today. For sure, my 8-year old is not as much of a problem as the 2-year old.

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  9. ha! i know the clown car of misery as well. road trips with kids are no fun!! but they certainly are memorable. :)

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    1. Will certainly make for some good stories one day!

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  10. Mine were good travelers once they were out of diapers. Before that, forget it! Ugh! They were always pretty good in the car for short rides, though. Sometimes when they were screaming at bedtime, we would drive them around for a while and they would fall asleep.

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    1. Yes, short rides are no problem. It's at 2+ hours when things get ugly.

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  11. Don't mistake a family trip for a vacation, they're not the same thing.

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  12. Ha! We pushed you over the edge! Alas, you left a pool frisbee at Hupedo....you'll need to bring the family to retrieve it.

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    1. Girl, you didn't push me, my crazy children did!!! I don't remember Susan ever being as difficult as James is, but I can only hope he will get easier with time. This old gray mare is worn out. And P.S., you can keep that dollar store pool frisbee!!! Thanks so much for having us & hope the rest of your trip was restful.

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  13. Oh, how sad it's made me to see travel change with kids! I'd love to one day enjoy family road trips, but right now, it is really hard! Totally feel you on this.

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    1. Am living for the day it gets easier to get mobile.

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  14. Oh lord this post puts terror in my heart. I'm about to travel from Nairobi to Chicago with a baby and a 4 year old. 2 8 hour plane rides and a puddle jumper. And an 8 hour time difference. I'm toast! But, I've been there before and I totally feel your misery. I guess, like other have said, this all gets eaiser when we are no longer dealing with naps and car seats. 5 years and counting...

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    1. Well, I'm hoping your excursion goes a lot better than mine have lately, and I think yours will, given you're not straddled with a completely unreasonable 2-year old. If I could skip 2 and go right to 3 or 4, I'd be a happy woman. Good luck!!!

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  15. Aw, c'mon. That kind of Christmas card is comedic GOLD. And I'm 100% with you.

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  16. I don't blame you. Not one bit! :)

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    1. Thanks for the affirmation. Glad to know I am not just being bitchy.

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  17. I hear you! A vacation is only a vacation if it's not more work than regular life. And when they're small kids have so. much. stuff. it's insane. I fully support your executive decision.

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    1. Maybe someday I will get to have a real "vacation"...probably when they go to college!

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  18. This is why I'm afraid to have kids...I live for travel. :( I'm sure I'd manage, but still, crippling fear.
    This was very funny, btw. :)

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    1. Kids are not for the faint of heart. But they can be pretty cute. Thanks for reading!

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  19. I hate traveling with the kids. I love the kids. I love traveling. But traveling with four kids is beyond stressful. So I get this completely. And now I'm suffering PTSD from reading this...

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    1. Ooh, four kids, that is twice the fun of what I'm dealing with!! Sorry to give you PTSD :)

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  20. We started traveling-nothing fancy but longer car rides & airplane trips so they got use to it. There were definitely some ugly moments along the way but 2 years ago we took a 29 day 5000 mile 11 state road trip...best trip ever!!

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    1. Well, you're giving me hope that things will improve! :)

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