Sunday, February 28, 2010

Road Warriors

The subtitle of this post is “Mom-E’s & Dad-E’s Don’t Let Your Toddler Play in Raw Sewage”.

Read on.

When I was a kid, we drove EVERYWHERE when we went on trips and vacations. I was 18 the first time I flew (to Europe no less, on a spring break trip with our senior English class.)

(Turns out we probably drove everyone because at least 2 of my immediate family members were borderline phobic about flying.)

And so, I have some fond memories of these car trips.

Last week we skipped town and the whole gang travelled in the minivan to a conference I attended.

We drove 600 miles each way, divided over 2 days, for a grand total of 4 days and no less than 97 pee stops (including 4 in a span of under 75 miles).

Before you start asking yourself why Mom-E and I would willingly subject ourselves to such a sojourn with 3 boys age 5, 2, and 2 months, check out my Fatherhood Friday post from last week (HYPERLINK).

In short, despite the utter chaos at times, a toddler with intermittent explosive diarrhea, all of those pee stops, and 5 people crammed into a hotel room, the trip was exactly what we needed.

What can I say, we like each other’s company.

No movies (we were too tired and forgot them), not much tv, just enjoying time together as a family, complete with Big Brother providing entertainment at the pee stops by dancing IN the minivan to the “Humpty Dance” by Digital Underground.

There were a number of additional highlights on the trip, ones that you don’t get if you fly.

1. One is definitely that small boys LOVE and are ENDLESSLY ENTERTAINED by elevators.

(I wish we could modify the plans of our new house to include an elevator. Yeah, right.)

The boys were borderline obsessed with pushing the buttons. Big Brother even figured out how to (very helpfully) navigate the “open door” and “close door” buttons. Whenever Big Brother said “I want to push the button”, Little Brother echoed with “I want to push the BUTT, TOO!”

2. Second, Fruit Loops do not fare well in the microwave. (This one is funny now, but not so funny at the time.)


At the halfway point of our drive back, we pulled into the hotel at around 10:30pm (after an enjoyable dinner with our friend Rosi and her girls). All 3 boys were asleep.

Amazingly, we were able to get all of them into the room and into bed without waking them up. (Thanks to several kind folks who held doors for us—people are so much nicer when they drive instead of fly.)

After retrieving the rest of our stuff, we promptly managed to clog the toilet.

However, just before going to bed, it appeared that the toilet had spontaneously unclogged.

Apparently, it hadn’t.

I flushed and started to get into bed.

Hearing a funny sound, I went back into the bathroom, greeted by the sight of raw sewage overflowing from the toilet.

I managed to shut off the water, but not before there was a thin layer of water covering the bathroom, and about a 3 square-foot area of carpet outside the bathroom door.

We sopped up most of the water with all available towels, and were given a bunch of extras (and a plunger) by hotel staff.

Fast forward to the next morning.

We’re about ready to leave to checkout, the carpet still very damp with raw sewage.

Mom-E is feeding Bab-E Brother on the bed farthest from the door.

I gathered up two armfuls of things to make a trip to start loading the car.

Little Brother realized I was leaving just as the door was closing, gathered up his blankie, and charged towards me.

I heard Mom-E yell “no”, I put the luggage down, and swiped my card to get back into the room.

But alas, it was too late.

In his rush, Little Brother managed to do a somersault (with his blankie) RIGHT THROUGH THE RAW SEWAGE ON THE CARPET.

He followed this up by trying to dry himself off using the TOWELS WE USED TO CLEAN UP THE WATER IN THE BATHROOM, which made a nice raw sewage-soaked pile.

Needless to say, he (and his blankie) bought himself a bath before we left.

Ah, they were right, driving together definitely makes memories that will last a lifetime.

We’ll have to warn Little Brother’s future wife that he likes to play in raw sewage.

Have a good week,


  1. Oh yuck! This is why we always try to drive straight through. The overnight hotel atop will get you every time.

  2. Glad you had fun and made it back safely in spite of all the mishaps.

  3. Future wife? Why wait that long...let the prom date know!

    Glad you guys had fun. I want to take a road trip with my family too.

  4. @WM: Agreed. But with a newborn, just can't make 600 miles in a day.

    @Gramm-E: Yep, it was still a fun trip.

    @O'Shea: Good idea about the prom date. Road trips are fun.