I may be home with the kids most of the time, and I may take them to the grocery store and a plethora of other dreadful errands, but taking a trip, with two kids under four without your other half is kind of hard!
The first hurdle was the car trip itself. I almost didn’t take the trip because I was concerned about four hours in the car with two kids. There was one time when we were coming back from visiting my sister when she lived in Silver Spring, Maryland that was especially awful. The ride should have taken three hours but it took us six since the kids decided to coordinate their bathroom breaks, diaper explosions, and nursing needs on opposite schedules from each other and my car’s need for gas.
I had no idea what I would do if I found myself in one of those situations, but Mr. Man isn’t breastfeeding anymore so I figured it couldn’t possibly be that bad. On this trip the kids were nearly perfect. We stopped at a rest stop for dinner and they were little angels, Mr. Man slept the second half of the trip and Little Miss watched the Lego Movie. I really couldn’t have asked for more from them.
The difficult thing, besides the rain, fog and my wiper blades that were mostly useless, was that I was kind of alone. I missed having someone to talk to along the way and without conversation, the trip dragged. I found myself checking my GPS compulsively to see how much time we had left.
The other reason I missed my husband was for the lugging of stuff/children. He says that we work like a machine, and I think he’s right. We don’t tell each other what we are doing or ask one another to get that or go there, we just know. Recently we took a trip to BJ’s in a huge rainstorm. When we finished our shopping, my husband ran out to get the car and pulled it up front. Without speaking to each other, I grabbed Mr. Man and he took Little Miss to the car. After I got Mr. Man buckled, I saw that he had left the opposite door open for me to buckle Little Miss, who was waiting in her seat, while he loaded the trunk. I ran around and got her in, he brought the cart back, I jumped in the driver’s seat (which he had not moved even though he is six inches taller than I am), he hopped in, and off we went. Like a machine.
Well without him, I just felt like a discombobulated pack mule. I have an injured shoulder and Mr. Man refuses to walk and hold your hand. At least with my sister’s help, we were able to heft everything up to her apartment, but this morning she had to work early and I was left to get my kids, a playpen, a thermal bag, the diaper bag, an eco bag and two pillows down three floors and to the car. It did not go well. I stripped down to my T-shirt in the 40 degree car once we were all in, if that is any indication of what had happened. Just imagine wedging a playpen in an elevator door so it didn’t close your one year old in while he sat on the floor refusing to budge.
All in all though, it was a really great trip and I am glad I went. We got to see my sister and her dog Charlie, who we all love. We played in the snow, walked, talked, shopped and ate a ton of amazing food. We got to see my sister's new apartment. We also got meet her new coworkers who made a fuss over the kids and Little Miss fell in love with all of them. Mr. Man got a new friend, a shaggy, stuffed raccoon we named Rocco and my sister gave me a dress that she liked better on me than on herself. I had missed her, and we were all happy to see each other and spend some time together.
I’m proud of myself for being brave and going it alone, but next time I am bringing my other half. He can drag the playpen.