Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Ten Ways Road-Tripping With A Toddler Was Like A Space Odyssey

1. We had a vast supply of individually wrapped snack items, which might as well have been dehydrated food rations for all their sugar-laden, crumb-filled boring-ness.  But because they had a picture of a chocolate cracker on the front of the wrapper, they were highly appealing to the little astronauts.

2.  Strapped into our seats, we were ready for takeoff at high speeds.  Like, 35 miles-per-hour until we hit the highway, and then wheeeee, it was smooth sailing at 75 all the way, baby.  Still not fast enough for the toddler, though, who needed to know how much further we had to go after only 8.3 minutes of travel time.

3.  Like a true daredevil, the co-pilot (yours truly) broke the law by climbing through the cockpit and into the cargo-hold to retrieve a vital piece of equipment: the purple blankie.  Don't worry -- I defied gravity and velocity and law enforcement and whatever other forces may have been working against me. 

4. The heat of the sun was too much to bear, so our littlest astronaut cried and whined until the purple blankie created a light-proof shield between her eyes and the offending giant star.

5. Our own Major Tom -- the handsome husband -- navigated our way across the unpopulated terrain and towards our space station: Wichita.

6. Our space craft was outfitted with the most advanced toddler-pacifying equipment of our time.  Princess stories and songs on CD, My Little Ponies in a small purse, and a stack of paperback books in the back pocket of the co-pilot's bucket seat.  The only thing we lacked was a special gravity and odor-defying waste disposal system.  We really could have used that when the astronaut in the back seat needed to fill her diaper.

7. The view from our windows of the curve of the earth was spectacular.  Boring from the toddler's standpoint, unless it was suddenly filled with livestock or windmills, which happened with some frequency, given the locale. 

8. Ground control -- the iPhone's driving directions app -- would have kept us moving in the correct orbit, but we decided to wing it with Major Tom's awesome directional abilities.  It would have been a different story had the co-pilot been driving, but that's not a fair comparison: her skills would suffer in comparison to a space monkey, much less an intelligent, competent spaceship...uh...driver.

9. There was much too much excitement to sleep. Sad for Major and Mrs. Tom, due to the unparallelled chatter and arguing emanated from the back seat, but happy for the little astronauts, due to the unhindered yelling and singing which drowned out any and all instructions or threats issued from the cockpit. 

10. When we arrived at our uncharted destination -- the hotel -- we were greeted by alien creatures in the form of super polite and helpful hosts and servers.  Seriously, no hotel workers in their right minds should have been so accommodating and kind to the wired and tired inhabitants of our spaceship.  But we were grateful enough that we at least tried to save them from emptying a gag-inducing trash bin from our room; we stashed the dirty diaper down the hall in the laundry room's trash bin instead.  Just trying to keep the peace with the natives.

We had a wonderful road-tripping vacation this Labor Day weekend!  Have any of you survived space odyssey-like adventures with your little ones lately?  And did they make you feel like a weightless idiot when you landed back home?


  1. Oh yes, traveling with toddlers is definitely comparable to a space odyssey! We've had good success filling old metal baking pans (that have lids) with crayons and paper and magnets. That always keeps them happy for at least a good... oh... 20 minutes? :) Glad you had a good weekend!

  2. Lol! Defying gravity, velocity AND law enforcement...that's pretty rad :) I remember the days of arguing w/ my sibling on road trips but that happens when someone insists on looking out your window instead of theirs :) Glad you had a fun time!


  3. Hope you enjoyed your trip, what a cute post! And yeah, anytime we've stayed at a hotel we used the hallway trashcans for diapers (I at least tried to double bag them ha ha)

  4. When you have to go back to get something, it really does feel like you're defying gravity :)
    We're heading up north for some camping this weekend, will be thinking of this post on our drive!

  5. You're so funny! I'm glad the trip went well and you're back home! And hey, at least your space odyssey turned out better than the actual Major Tom's! Did Justin know you were making that comparison? Because he may have been a little nervous about making the trip...

  6. You make it sound like fun, but I know from a 2 1/2 hour road trip with my niece, when the Dora dvd gets to the end, you must stop and restart, if you want to survive the trip

  7. This was the best blog read of the day! I seriously love how you creatively share your adventures!
    We've taken a lot of adventures with our kiddos. For some reason, they love to travel, so we go! Snacks seem to be the trick for us!

  8. It's 17 hours of driving to go see family, and I am always amazed by the amount of junk food scattered across the floor of the car after a trip there and back, it's unreal!


Hmm...And how did that make you FEEL?