Thursday, November 18, 2010

Awkward Mom vs. the Road Trip - part I

Just sit right back and you'll hear a tale, a tale of a fateful trip....

So, we aren't out of the parking lot, and Super Toddler starts clamoring for the green CD. The green CD being the Sesame Street CD. Now, I am fine with this, as it avoids the pink CD, the silver CD, and the red CD (Barney, German lullabies, and this Christmas album Super Toddler loves that has a positively scary version of Good King Wenceslas, respectively). We get on the highway to the melodies strains of One Fine Face.

We speed up the on-ramp, only to slow down to a crawl in construction traffic. Ever been in construction traffic with a toddler? It is an education. He points out all the different trucks to me, assuring me that Muck and Dizzy are their names, no matter what any grown-ups may tell me. I dutifully wave to Muck and Dizzy and receive some cheerful, if slightly confused, waves back from the construction workers. By now, Super Toddler has lost interest and is belting out C is for Cookie. It doesn't help that his father is also singing along at the top of his lungs. This is gonna be a long trip....

Fortunately for me, Super Toddler falls asleep by the time we get to Kalamazoo and play #4 for the green CD. I switch it to grownup music, which doesn't seem to discourage Awkward Dad from singing. It probably doesn't help that I put in Weezer, tossing the "grown-up" aspect of the music choice up for debate. I attempt to enjoy the impromptu concert from the driver's seat and settle in for the addition of a hour. You see, we moved into the Eastern Time Zone with our move to Ann Arbor, and the power that little hour can wield is amazing. When you have watched the news at 10pm your entire life, to have it switched to 11pm (the same year you enlarge your family to include a rather nocturnal baby) becomes a big deal. I have yet to see many benefits to being in eastern time. Even with the addition of daylight's saving time, it is still dark here in the mornings. Every time I call my family they seem to be eating dinner, and as much as I adore Modern Family, 9pm is pushing it for me these days. However, I have noticed one little benefit to being in eastern time. Anytime we travel back to the proper Midwest (yes, I said it), we gain an hour. I can tell my mom that we left at 8 and really leave at 9, and she is none the is like magic! 2 things here: 1.) Clearly, I was no rebel as a teenager. 2.) My mom is totally going to be the wiser after she reads this. Anywho, gaining an hour equals awesome. Losing one, not so much, but more on that later. Right now, I am focusing on Awkward Dad, as he honks the horn to signal our arrival at the Michigan/Indiana line, somehow in rhythm with the CD. Untold super powers, this one.

Deep into Indiana (which is completely relative, as it is maybe 100 miles wide where we cross), the Super boys wake up. There is a slight stirring from Super Baby and a rather rude request for fruit snacks from Super Toddler. And so it goes the rest of the way through Indiana. We turn the green CD back on, so Awkward Dad can have peace from hearing fruit snack requests as he negotiates the Chicago traffic. It is odious and we have a close call with a Hormel truck, but we are soon heading south, as Bert sings about pigeons. I think things are going well, until I hear a blood-curdling scream from the backseat. I spin around, convinced that the back of the car is somehow breaking off, to be met with this: "Mommy! He is looking out my window!" Super Toddler indignantly glares at the offending sightseer, Super Baby, who is laughing and smiling right back at him. "See! He is looking out my window again! Make him stop!" No amount of reasoning or bribery can solve this, so we decide to go to lunch. You know, lunch other than fruit snacks.

Speaking of lunch, I better feed these two before Super Baby decides to pull up on the table where Super Toddler set that huge bowl of Cheerios and pulls them down all over he appears to be doing right now. Sigh. Must dash, more later!

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