Driving Mr. Meat

I recently made the trip home to Georgia to visit my family.  Yup, just me and my crazy, super energetic toddler.  (We can discuss my bravery later.)

I soon remembered why my dear son is not the best traveling companion:

A- He does not stop eating.
B- He does not stop talking. 

My Kid Is a Vacuum

Those that know my son, also know he eats non-stop.  It is to the point of ridiculous.  I would have thought that he had a tape worm, except his pooping is equivalent to his food intake.  You name it- he will eat it.  Seriously though, if you mention food around him - be prepared to be berated until you present him with said food.  Especially meat.  Of any form.

*This is a video, that may not work on a phone for whatever reason.
Hope you can view on a computer!

I've learned to be prepared with an arsenol of food on road trips (even if it is the .3 mile trip to the grocery store).  It all sits in the passenger seat beside me, ready for me to launch it over my shoulder towards his car seat.

On the way out of town, for some reason I prematurely mention that we are going to go through Chick-fil-a and you would think he just made out with Dora the Explorer.  I fail to mention that it is not the one close to our house, but the one a hour and half away.  He is confused by this and asks approximately 1 million times if we are there yet; but, once he sees the glorious red glowing sign- he's okay with the wait.  He proceeds to eat 6 nuggets and a large order of fries, even though he has been eating constantly for the past 1.5 hours.

An example from another trip of him divulging in some chicken wings.
Because that is road trip food.

My Kid Cannot Zip It

He used to fall asleep pretty soon into a trip, but now he just talks.  And, talks.  And, taaaaalks.

He points out every water tower, with an excited squeal of: "Ooooh- watah towah!"
Followed by: "What in dat towah, Mommy?"
Me: "What do you think?"
Him, thinking for a minute: "Watah!"
(We've got a rocket scientist on our hands, folks!)

Every single truck that drives by: "Ooooh- wook at dat twuck!  What type of twuck is dat?"
Me: "No clue."
Him, "Dat is a dump twuck Momma."
Me: "Oh, ok."
Him: "But what it dooooo?"
Me: Banging my head on the steering wheel.

He also likes to ask what every single person that we know is doing, where they are at that moment, if they are happy or not, when he will see them again...  This leads to the unfortunate confession by me (that I had worked so hard to make him believe thus far in life): Momma does not know everything.  Sigh.  (I do understand why this confuses him.)

Throughout the trip he repeats 1000 times, "Mommy, I not tired."  Really?  Cool.  I didn't ask. 

Also famous, "Mommy, I no go to sleep. I stay wake da whole time."  Lord, please let him be lying. 

2.5 Hours into the 5+ hour trip... it finally gets quiet.  (Insert angelic choir singing "Hallelujah" here). Naturally, it is literally 3 exits before we get to the one stop I look forward to- Starbucks.  Fret not though, they have a drive thru (God bless America).

Knowing I will loose my shit if my ordering awakes him, I pull a few feet away from the ordering box (?) and lean out the window as far as I can.  Yes, I look like a total moron, but I'll be damned if I get the crazy cracked-out-on-caffeine barista that cranks up the volume so that New York can hear him and his overly enthusiastic and annoyingly fake greeting.  I loudly whisper my order and somehow successfully get out of there with my kid still asleep.  I hop back onto I-20 and put it in cruise control.

I try focus on a positive aspect in this situation and I soon realize that I can at least be glad that there is only one kid in my car right now.  Then, I suddenly get anxiety for all those people out there with multiple kids; and, a headache from trying to grasp how you do a road trip with more than one child.  I just don't understand.  Medication?  For both you and the kids?

Realizing I am not yet ready for another kid to accompany me on road trips, I start channeling The Little Engine That Could, and my mantra becomes- "I will survive this trip... I will survive this trip... I will survive this trip..."  As I repeat this over and over again, it obviously evolves into me "singing" an impromptu silent rendition of "I Will Survive".


No, literally.  Traffic.  It slowly comes to a freaking stop.  Do you know what happens when you go from 80 (I mean 70, Mom) to 0 in a German made vehicle?  The loud noise of the road, that had been amply filling your car and usually works nicely as a sound machine for your kid, also stops.  Thus, the living creature in the carseat wakes up. 

Do you know what happens when your kid wakes up after only a 20 minute nap to find himself locked in a car seat?  All hell breaks loose.  That's what. 

So, we both have ourselves a little crying fit until traffic starts moving again.  With several onlookers staring at our car with general concern, I just point to the wailing child in the back and then the stopped cars in front of me.  They know.

After no additional napping, and what seems like an eternity, we eventually make it to our destination: Nana and Pete's house.  (Yes, "Pete" is my Dad's chosen grandfather name for my son to call him.  No, it has nothing to do whatsoever with his actual name.  My mom mentioned once that she knew a Peter that went by Pete for his grandfather name and there you have it- that is what my father also chose.  Yes, we explained to him that really did not make any sense.  I mainly think he made it stick to drive my mom crazy.  And yes, he is also pretty weird.)

Anywho- I say 'hi' to my parents and immediately find the wine.  I chug, I mean sip a little while I watch my son hug his grandparents with an excited, "Nana! Peeeeeete!" squeal; and, my wine-stained lips slowly turn into a smile.  I guess that makes the terrible act of making the trip worth it?

At least Nana knows me well enough to buy the box of wine.


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