Friday, April 25, 2008

...Gang Aft Agley

Like that title? I'm so literary.

Seems that no matter how hard I try to be organized on the packing end of a trip, things are always a mess after a day on the road. I can't find a darn thing, I didn't bring enough warm clothes (times 5 people) for a trip north, and Larry is out searching for a store that might carry 2 child-sized toothbrushes and a razor. I can't imagine how we could have forgotten anything, as we loaded more stuff into our minivan for a weekend trip than Ma and Pa Ingalls packed into their covered wagon to move their entire household across the prairie.

This is us, only we have car seats. And a lot more stuff.

Someday our children are going to figure out that all other 21st-century youth have IPods and DVD players to entertain themselves on long car trips, and they are going to be very angry. What can I say, kids? Your parents are cheap Luddites. You gotta play the hand you're dealt.

Anna was not exactly overcome with tears to see us leave this morning (she's staying at a neighbor/friend's house so as not to miss an orchestra audition tomorrow). And she looked downright annoyed as Larry attempted to explain to her the importance of locking the door behind her when she leaves the house. I mean, he is just so hung up on personal safety, and why are old people so paranoid, anyway?

At one point during our car trip, the driver in front of us threw some litter out his car window; so Larry insisted on playing Highway Police by honking at him. We happened to be stuck in a traffic jam at the time; if the driver/litterer had happened to be the truculent type, he could have easily gotten out of his car, walked back to ours, and smashed our windshield in. I pointed this out to my beloved in a rather heated tone, so then our kids were treated to a loud parental discussion of the merits/disadvantages of vigilantism. I'm sure it was educational.

No more Internet access until Monday, Lord help me; but I'll take notes, and we can all catch up next week, 'kay?


  1. We have learned to pare down when traveling with kids. In fact, the grandparents get downright annoyed because they have to wash outfits to have enough for the kids to wear. But it makes life easier on us. Sadly, for sheer numbers, it's still a lot. And you've got more than I do, kid-wise.

  2. Well, come Monday, you'd better be prepared to cite your source for that title!

  3. Who needs iPods and DVD players for long car trips?
    Especially when you have fun games to play like:

    "Slug bug"
    "Stare at your sister until she screams"
    The "Whiiiiiiining game" or otherwise known as "How much longer?"
    "Kick the back of mom and dad's seats"
    "Kick the back of your sister's seat"
    "Kick each other"
    "Say that you need to go to the bathroom ten minutes after leaving the last gas station where you swore that you didn't need to go to the bathroom" (usually 100 miles before the next gas station)
    "Give your brother a bloody nose"
    "Heave into a bucket"
    Sing "The song that never ends"
    "52 Cheeto's pickup"
    "Cookie fight"
    "Pick your nose and paint the window"

    My husband always said that he survived his whole life without television in the car, so the kids didn't need one.
    I pointed out to him that the DVD player was more for us than for the kids, and we bought one for our last long car trip.

    It was the best $100 we ever spent. It kept them focused on something besides torturing each other and annoying us:0)

    I hope you have a great trip!
    Happy knitting!

  4. Ha! My friend once flipped somebody off in traffic and then ended up parked next to them at the grocery store. It was awkward.

  5. Hope you have a great trip and avoid the litterers with anger issues!

  6. Hope you have a great trip and avoid the litterers with anger issues.

  7. I have that discussion with Mike in the car, too. There are crazies out there...

    Have a good weekend,


  8. And cup holders! Please tell me your wagon has cup holders! Have a great time!

  9. My kids don't have ipods and the rest either. They travel as their parents did back in the day--I do wonder about that covered wagon business. It sounds wretched.

    Happy vacation!

  10. "The best laid plans of mice and men . . ."

    I actually quote this often to my kids. Fellow English major, perchance?

  11. I hope you have a blast and everyone survives.

  12. Oh, those car trip days! I'm all for technology. Have a safe trip.

  13. We drive to upstate NY every sumere, so I am very thankful my kids can read in the car without getting carsick. They certainly didn't get that from me.

    I can't wait to see you at Webs! It should be pretty crazy! :)

  14. I can not stand when people throw litter out of their cars. I mean what the hell? Tell Larry, I would have been honking and yelling too.

  15. Ah, long car trips w/o electronic stimulus and fights, uh, that is, animated discussions about how aggressive to be with other drivers...sounds like our family. Good luck!

  16. IF you think you want a dvd player, wait until the day after thanksgiving sales, great deals then, but you have to get up at something like 3am to get in line, hope pray, stay warm and then you still might not get one, but if you do, its a great deal at alot less price. Have fun

  17. I only let Laura use my iPod on long flights. I had to order a car with no DVD player even though the dealer offered me the Exact Same Car on his lot with a free DVD player. No DVD. Even if it is free. There will be conversation in my car. Even if it is about chasing down dangerous litterbugs. Darn litterbugs, can't stand them!

  18. Lol. I now have a separate zip lock with a spare toothbrush and paste for all that I use just for travelling. I got so sick of rebuying them every where that I pack them all.

    You're braver then I am, this mini-van I bought the DVD system with it. I NEEDED the silence.

    Spoiled kids? Yep.

    Enjoy the trip!

  19. I want to know why the designers of my 15 passenger 2006 chevy van only put 4 cup holders in it. I mean, there are 15 seatbelt, shouldn't there be a few more cup holders?

    I had 2 screens and a DVD player installed after I bought it, as well as a trailer hitch and parking camera on the back. Hubby said to get anything I wanted, as this will be the family car for at least 10 years.

  20. Last year we drove cross-country with a 3yo and a 1.5 yo. No DVD player, nuttin'. Thank God they weren't potty trained yet.

  21. We bought a smaller car -
    so they have no choice but to travel light!

    We did used to have dvd player in the last car, but honestly it resulted in more arguements than you'd think!

    I still think a London taxi would be best for transporting children.....that thick glass shield between you and your passengers.....ahhhhh!

  22. I hope you have a great trip!

  23. I would have honked, too. Briefly. And hoped that I didn't get attacked for it.

  24. It was educational for sure, home schooling at it's finest!