Two and a half years ago, we took a family vacation to Florida. We spent about 13 hours in the car (each way) with a 3-year-old, 2-year-old and 8-month-old.
I was so full of joy to be with our family in the minivan.
No – seriously – I was giddy with excitement. All of a sudden everything seemed like it was getting easier, and the sun was shining, and VACATION!
I even spent most of the drive there and back documenting our trip – with minute-by-minute updates of cute things the kids said and how much we paid for gas and when someone flooded the gas station bathroom. You can read more about that trip here.
So when we ventured out the day after Christmas for another drive to Florida, I was equally excited. Our kids were older, so I figured it would be even easier. We were going further south, so I figured it would be even warmer.
And just like last time, I brought my notebook and a pen and planned to take notes on all of the magical things that happened on our 18-hour (one-way) road trip.
But I spent most of hours 1 and 2 stopping at gas station and fast food bathrooms so that Alice could throw up.
And then on hour 4, I came down with a fever, headache and terrible aches and chills.
And then at some point, the 2-year-old also came down with a fever and chills.
Oh – and guess what – just because mom has a fever on a road trip doesn’t mean that anyone is less demanding or whiny or needy in the car. You know?
So, naturally, what was supposed to be my sweet diary of our trip and a place to record all of the fun and sweet things that were going to happen on the 18-hour drive became a diary of all of the reasons that I should divorce Even Steven.
(A quick hello to my mother-in-law. Don’t worry – everything’s fine. We’re still married!)
But – seriously – nothing is more annoying than Even Steven on a family road trip.
First of all, he’s all chipper and excited and full of energy. He’s got his coffee and his cruise control, and guess what happens when you’re driving? You get to ignore the kids.
Which is usually great – but not when I’m struggling to survive.
Okay – that’s a little dramatic, but still, I had a fever! And my heated seat wasn’t quite hot enough to combat the chills. Total misery.
My divorce diary had several entries by the end of the trip, but these were the highlights:
1. I would work hard to get all three kids happy at the same time. One would be using the Rainbow loom. One of them would be eating a snack. Another would be coloring a picture. I would turn around, close my eyes for a minute – and all of a sudden Even Steven would start excitedly yelling for everyone to LOOK AT THIS OBSCURE THING THAT I CAN BARELY SEE AND YOU DEFINITELY WON’T BE ABLE TO SEE IT BUT WE SHOULD ALL SEE IT.
He would interrupt happy kids and a sick and tired mama to make us try to see a random building that we had already passed and that had no meaning to us.
And then the kids would whine and cry because they couldn’t see it. And then someone would drop their snack and someone would kick someone else, and I would have to make another note in my trip diary / divorce journal – and press really, really hard with my pen. Because that helps sometimes.
2. I would work hard to get all three kids sleeping at the same time. There is very specific music involved in this. Special blankets. Stuffed animals. Window shades. Rubbing of ankles and feet. And without fail, within 20 minutes of all three kids sleeping, Even Steven would need to stop for coffee.
Like – it’s possible that he would die if he didn’t get his coffee right then.
Guess who has kids that wake up when the car stops?
Well – pretty much everyone in the world – and me.
3. If he didn’t need to stop for coffee, he needed to listen to the radio. I would work hard to get all three kids asleep at the same time, and despite our vast CD collection that is literally SAVED into the internal memory of the minivan – Even Steven would wait until the kids were sleeping to decide that he wanted to listen to the radio.
The radio in the random town that we’re driving through so we don’t know a single station. That radio.
So we’d all get to listen to static, random channels and more static for about 3 – 5 seconds each as he scanned through stations.
Guess who has kids that wake up when static, people talking and more static are blaring in their ears?
If you guessed my kids, then you are the great big winner. You’ve won a road trip vacation with Even Steven! Woo hoo!
4. It has always been our vacation “tradition” that when we stay overnight in a hotel room, I get the kids ready the next morning while Even Steven loads up the car.
And – without fail – on the way to Florida and the way home – Even Steven would pack my purse deep into the back of the minivan. Like – need to stop the car, unpack several items, find the purse and then repack everything – while looking like this the entire time:
And I would like to add that I even tried to hide my purse the second time, but he found it and then later bragged about finding it and still insists that I would have forgotten it at the hotel.
Me: I was hiding it from you. So that you wouldn’t PUT IT IN THE BACK OF THE MINIVAN.
Even Steven: Whatever. You would have left it at the hotel. You should be thanking me.
Me: What kind of an idiot thinks that a PURSE doesn’t need to be in the front seat? A purse that holds my cell phone and every single thing I need in order to survive this trip?
5. And – probably the biggest offense of all – we were all starving. Like – so hungry the kids were crying, but we’re in the middle of nowhere and can’t find a place to stop kind of starving.
When we finally found a Chick-fil-A – Even Steven decided to go in and order to help save time.
And you know what he came out with?
GRILLED chicken nuggets for the kids. With apple slices instead of fries. And water instead of milk.
Are you kidding me?
Tell me who decides on hour 13 of an 18-hour trip that we should start eating healthier?
That would be this guy:
Ultimately, I’ve decided not to divorce Even Steven for these (major!) road trip offenses for two reasons:
#1 – He drove the entire 18 hours there and back.
Well, I drove for about 30 minutes in Georgia, but we ran into construction, and it started raining, and then I started crying and made him drive instead. So he basically drove the entire way.
#2 – This is a biggie – how could I divorce someone that is this freaking hot?
Pretty much makes up for all of his offenses (except for #5. There will never be forgiveness for #5.)
Have you ever thought about divorcing your husband on a road trip? Have you ever surprised your hungry kids with a “healthy” fast food meal? Have you ever thought that 18 hours took at least 20 years to pass?