Mindi's Message- July 7
Ever since Laney was born, traveling has been an even bigger adventure than ever. Gone immediately were the days where my husband and I could pack a bag or two, hop into the car and take off to wherever we wanted to go. No, the birth of a child added a lot of stuff for the first few years – from playpens, many extra diapers and changes of clothes and formula at first to activities and games and potty seats later on.
This year, Laney is at an age where she is fairly self-sufficient (unless I need a few moments of silence or have something important to do). We thought for sure that traveling with her would be much, much easier, so we decided to load up over this past weekend and head to San Antonio so she could experience the wonders of the sea at Sea World.
She was excited as we loaded up the vehicle for the trip. We packed up just one partially filled bag for her and some additional snacks for the road (and the park and hotel), and a bag apiece for each of us. Simple, right!? It sounded that way to us, too.
We were only partially right.
It seems as though traveling with a pre-kindergarten aged child has its own set of issues. I think we had been on the road about 20 minutes when the “Are we at Sea World yet?” questions started. That was about the same time that the crushing boredom that only a small child can feel started to set in. Five minutes is a lifetime for her, so five hours must have felt like an eternity.
She read her books, played games on my phone, and stared into space. She wrote on her magnetic board and sang some songs. That kept her busy until about Breckenridge and we still had about four hours remaining in the trip.
Boredom eating began pretty quickly. It turns out that the stomach of a child that was “too full to eat more” an hour before at breakfast was suddenly ravenous when the snacks were out of reach. Or, at least the snacks that she actually wanted to eat were out of reach.
I’d stuck a Pop Tart down into the snack bag for a quick breakfast or snack at the hotel later on, and made the mistake of telling her that I’d done so. A few minutes into the trip she started asking for it – the one thing that was literally so far in the bottom of the bag it was out of reach.
We didn’t have to take diapers, of course, but we did have to take related issues into consideration. We just didn’t think those “issues” would be as numerous or require as many stops as they did.
Apparently my child, when riding bored in the car, has a bladder the size of a grape. She had to “go bad” in Breckenridge, so she did. Then about 20 minutes later, before we got into Cisco, she pops up out of the silence “I’ve gotta go to the bathroom!”
I didn’t believe her at first and told her she would just have to wait about 10 minutes until we could find a bathroom. That sat with her for about a mile before she blurted out, “I’M GONNA HAVE AN ACCIDENT!”
The only option was to stop in a fairly short patch of grass so she could go. Turns out she was right. She had to go bad and wouldn’t have made it another five minutes, much less 10 or more. From then on she knew she had us fooled and she “had” to stop about six more times in the next four hours.
But what can you do?
We learned a lot of lessons on this trip, with the most important one perhaps being the fact that you should always, ALWAYS, listen to the bladder of a bored child, no matter how many times they’ve gone. It’s the best way to avoid disaster.