I am thrilled to share Paula Schmitt, The All
Sports Mom with you. Enjoy!
Summer Road Trip
By Paula Schmitt
Ah, summertime. It's that time of year once again
to pack up the family and head out in the car on a road trip. So
delightful! I just can't wait! Every year I plan this road trip -
whether it's two or six hours cooped up together, nice and close,
in the car; WE ARE GOING TO HAVE A GOOD TIME, DARNIT!
The car is ready and packed (and I do mean PACKED). We head out
for a week's vacation to the lake and the sun is as bright as my
mood. However, by the time we reach the expressway (a total of
fifteen minutes), the clouds begin to form as I hear a whining
from the rear of the vehicle.
"I NEED TO GO POOPIE!"
"NO you don't." I singsong with a nice big smile.
"Oh yes I doooooo."
OH. MY. GOD. It's starting already, only a quarter of an hour into
our trip. (Think happy thoughts, think happy thoughts.) Knowing
there is no negotiating with the sphincter of a child, we pull to
the nearest rest area.
Twenty minutes later, back on the open road, "Are we there yet?
I'm getting tired of sitting in this car!"
Where are my earplugs? I swear I packed my earplugs.
Ten minutes later, "Are we almost, almost there yet now?"
We manage to travel halfway through our journey before making
another pit stop for potty and snacks. Tanks on full, we pile back
into the car, totally refreshed and ready to get on the road
"Mommy, Nick doesn't have his seat belt on!"
Uh-Oh. Another cloud forms over my sunny disposition. Nick has
violated the SEAT BELT RULE. This is, without a doubt, the biggest
way to both get in trouble and really push Mommy's button. Storm
clouds in full formation over my mood, I turn around and thunder.
"Get that seatbelt on right now or else, mister!!!!"
I then pull out our list of rules for traveling and read them
aloud (for the fifth time today). I swear I can literally see them
going in one ear and right out the other.
When I am done reading our rules for road trips I turn on some
nice, relaxing music, lean my chair back and close my eyes.
"Mooooooommy, Tony is sticking his tongue out at us!!"
THAT'S IT! I holler the words from the Holy Grail of parenting,
"Do you boys want Daddy to pull this car over and for me to come
back there right this minute?"
I have turned into a crazy woman, panting heavily and foaming at
the mouth. I then glance over at my husband, who is conveniently
relieved of all parenting duties by virtue of the steering wheel.
He smiles, asks for a drink and reminds me that we only have ONE
HOUR until we are there.
Over the next hour there are spills (Here's your drink dear.
Oops!), fart wars (I hang my head out the window like a slobbering
canine), more potty breaks (You people never pee this often at
home!), and a spitting-on-each-other fight (Stop it now, or walk
the rest of the way!).
I try to keep thinking positive ... we are almost there, we are
almost there. I repeat it like a mantra and envision myself
relaxing with a book, down by the lake. So peaceful. We are almost
there. We are almost there.
I am yanked from my trance by Daddy's announcement, "Here we are
everyone! At the lake!"
There is no response. It is quiet. We slowly turn around and see
four sleeping little angels off in la-la land.
I look at my husband with a sneaky little smile, roll down the
windows, and we run to the lake hand in hand.
Paula Schmitt, author of Living In A Locker Room: A Mom's Tale Of Survival In A Houseful Of Boys,
has been published in hundreds of publications. She has appeared
on numerous radio talk shows and in print publications such as
American Baby magazine, Adoption Today magazine, Adopting for
Tomorrow magazine, The Chicago Tribune, Kids VT Family Newspaper
and many others. She is the Founder and CEO of Mom Writer's
Productions, LLC, Founder and Editor of The Mom Writer's Literary
(2005) - "A literary magazine for mom writers who have something
to say", and Founder and Executive Producer of her radio talk
show, Mom Writer's Talk Radio which is to launch this coming fall
When she isn't writing, editing, or taxiing her children to their
sport events, she prefers to spend quality time in central Vermont
with her husband and five children. To read more of her columns
visit www.paulaschmitt.com <http://teammomusa.schooltoolz.com/schooltoolz/%22http:/www.paulaschmitt.com
/%22> and for some much needed adult conversation email her at
The All Sports Mom
"Sideline Survival Strategies from an MVP (Mom with Vast