The Armpit of Traveling

We just got home from a big road trip. We always drive when we travel with our kids, even if it is a crazy long distance. This time, we spent 40 hours driving over 2,000 miles. Whenever we do a big trip, I like to share about our experiences and how we survived.

I’ll just jump right in and share about the worst parts of our trip. I mean, aside from the 2,000 miles and 40 hours on the road. With autism times two. Let’s make this a top ten countdown…one of my pastor’s would probably love that I did a top ten. I’ll count the mileage and hours as #10 and #9.

#8) Where is your diaper??? A few hours into our trip, I realized that Handsome was sitting in the back of the car without any pants on. And he had managed to pull his diaper down well below all the necessaries.

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We made an emergency stop. This would be the first of 8 emergency stops that involved putting his pants and diaper back on.

#7. The Carolina corridor of I-95. I absolutely loathe that stretch of travel. I’m sure there are some decent places along that stretch, but we have yet to find any.

#6. The toilet hover. Every place we have ever stopped at along I-95 is one of those places where you get an unexpected and incredibly painful quad workout while you hover over the toilet seat for fear of picking up some communicable disease.

On a previous bathroom stop on this stretch of interstate, I had to change Handsome’s diaper in a gas station bathroom. As he was bent over for me to clean his backside, he picked something up off of the bathroom floor and ate it. I think I threw up in my mouth. And then I prayed over his health.

#5. Changing a poopy diaper under tough circumstances. What is worse than hovering over a dirty toilet? A toilet that won’t flush? (Yep, experienced that one on this stretch, too). How about no toilet at all? As in the case when we stopped at the last known stop for a lengthy stretch, where all kids used the potty, we got fueled up, food, drinks, etc. And then as soon as we exit back onto the interstate, suddenly there is a dirty diaper. He always does this. He waits for a clean diaper to do his dirty business. I mean, look at these conditions I had to work under to get to this diaper change. And yes, that would be the middle of nowhere, immediately off of an I-95 exit in one of the Carolinas.

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Yes, my husband took pictures of this. But only because I asked him to, we both knew it was blog-worthy.

#4. My name. The next armpit of traveling, is how often I hear my name called. Just for fun, I kept a tally as often as I could remember to count it.

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That may not seem like a lot, but considering it is way underestimated, counted only in the car rides, and counts are only from two of the three kids. Numero tres called my name many times, but I did not count his nonverbal grunts and yells in my general direction.

#3. Autism. Traveling with autism really stinks. This thought alone could never be summed up in a list of ten. If you have a child or children with autism, then you know. You know how the literal autistic mind works? Sometimes it’s profound, and other times it just leaves you thinking where do you find that kind of logic?

Like: “We can’t move here, we left exactly 68% of our stuff in Florida.”

Or: “Do you like horses?” “What are those?” “You don’t know what horses are?” “What kind of vegetable is that?” “It’s not a vegetable, it’s an animal, like on a farm” “Oh, a horse. I thought you were talking about vegetables because we are standing in a garden.”

#2. Small hotel rooms. My husband travels enough with his job to keep us in platinum elite status with Marriott. This gives us awesome room upgrades. It’s awesome most of the time. Unless you’re in Arlington, VA. Where the room upgrade is a nice king room when you’ve got all three kids with you. We had to request a downgrade, for the two lumpy queens and a rollaway bed. Did I mention the room was small? And it rained one day so we had to stay in the room all day. All.day.long. And the only thing to do was watch a marathon of Good Luck Charlie on the Disney channel. Yes, that’s my eye twitching as I type this.

#1. Minecraft. Can I tell you how my attention span completely deadens when my kids start talking about Minecraft? “Did you know that if you spawn a squid on land it will just flop around until it dies?” “Can it still kill you?” “I don’t know, I didn’t do it. {Insert friend’s name here} said he did it. I’m going to try it when we play again.” Blah blah blah, ender dragon, blah blah blah, snow gollum, blah blah blah, pig zombies, Diamond Steve, pick axe, blah blah blah.

So as not to sound so pessimistic, there were some incredible highlights. I’m not saying there isn’t enough to do a top ten with this, I’m just saying I am too lazy to put it on here right now.

Some of the highlights include meeting Martha Washington at Mount Vernon, spending time with my family, listening to the first two audiobooks in the Percy Jackson and the Olympians series (during our 40 hours on the road), and walking around our favorite vacation spot, Williamsburg, VA.

Finally, I want to leave you with this. Don’t you just wish you could have one of these in the home?

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Merry Christmas friends!


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