Engaging Each Day with Action Words

Drive. — Road Tripping with Kids: The Home Stretch

on August 18, 2013

It was time to wrap up our impromptu vacation. Time to pack up, wrap up the fun and head on home.

One problem. It was the first really nice, sunny, warm day we had had since this little trip started. And we were at the beach, playing in the waves, enjoying some body surfing and family splashing.

So, it was hard to leave that scene.

And when we finally did walk away covered with the last of the summertime sand, we still had to make the obligatory trip to Trader Joe’s (since we don’t have this kind of magic within 3 hours of where we live!). We still had to take quick showers to get the sand off of us, because sand in your pants + a 6-hour car ride = general unhappiness. And we also still needed to clean up our lovely host’s guest house that we were borrowing for the weekend and put it back in beautiful beach house (pre-my fam) condition.

And even though we were going to be two hours later leaving, we had already made the decision.

It would just be easier.

However, there is one major flaw in the well-known parenting theory:

“Let’s drive at night so the kiddos will sleep.”

Here’s the problem:

The kiddos sleep. The parents do not.

So, since the kiddos have slept their normal amount of time, the kiddos wake up at their normal waking hour of 7:23 a.m.

Parenting Theory #3,742. Obliterated. Boom. 

But, if you are a believer in this parenting method, let me give you some tips to get home safely.

1. Opt for the good cup of coffee. The crappy gas station kind is going to seem like a good idea, but ultimately, it won’t be.

2. Gas up. Go Pee. Feed everyone. Anticipate any need that would require a stop, because once they are asleep, the last thing in the world you want to have happen is to wake everyone up because of an unexpected stop. (See #1 about the crappy cup of coffee.)

3. Decide the rules with your partner. When one is driving, is it acceptable for the other to sleep? Or must they stay awake with you? Decide this early in your relationship. It will save you a ton of time spent in late night driving snarkiness later on.

3a. If said partner falls asleep when they are supposed to be awake, and they fall asleep with their mouth hanging open, then you are allowed to put things in their mouth. Beware of the choking hazard of course.

3b.  If said partner falls asleep when they are supposed to be awake, then the driver is allowed to turn up music and sing loudly.

4. Speaking of music, recognize the gift of a great unknown radio station. I don’t know what I found last night, but this station was pure magic and probably not even real. It was some kind of Alice in Wonderland Down the Rabbit Hole kind of alternative reality and I loved it. The playlist went something like Cold Play to 80’s Madonna, Maroon 5 to Spandau Ballet, (I’m not even kidding), Daft Punk to Billy Joel, Bruno Mars to Rick Springfield, and then there was Justin Timberlake to Elvis Costello (I can’t even make that up)… I don’t know who the DJ was, but I swear I was doing a little happy dance squeal each time a new song came on. It was like time warping between modern day and my mid-80s glory days. As a matter of fact, it was so much fun, I can’t even remember driving through the entire state of North Carolina. (Ok, that’s probably not a ringing endorsement for late night driving.)

5. So…no matter how super fun the radio station is…Stay Alert! Arrive Safely.




Have you ever driven home late at night so the kids will sleep?

Bonus: What two songs would you LOVE to hear back to back randomly on the radio that would make your entire life?!

5 responses to “Drive. — Road Tripping with Kids: The Home Stretch

  1. Jan says:

    I didn’t want this one to end! Loved it!!!

  2. Irvin Freely says:

    Sounds like a great getaway… Makes me smile to read about these funny stories.

  3. Lead Our Lives says:

    Great one! Reminded me of the trips made from Ohio to SC after a day of work, so that the children would sleep all night. Magic music, keeping partner awake with conversations about our dreams, and so on. Made a 12 plus hour drive more bearable. Thank for the drive down memory lane! 😉

  4. […] Sharon, writes a blog called Mommy Verbs. There, she contemplates the Candy Crush phenomenon, the rules of the road (trip), and reintroduces us to effective mom verbs, such as Receive, Blast, and […]

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