Wednesday, September 11, 2013

The "8-Hour" Drive

When we asked our friends for advice on taking a baby on a road trip, they all said the same thing: "Don't do it." We didn't listen (of course) and the drive to Michigan was pretty rough.

The Plan

Lauren will leave work at 5 pm so he can drop the dogs off at doggy-daycare and still have enough time to help me finish getting everything together and packed before leaving around 6:30-7 pm. We'll arrive around 2:30 in the morning.

What Happened (and no, I'm not making this up)

5:15: Lauren calls. "Hey hun... I'm a bit tied up at work. I'll leave as soon as I can." No problem.

5:30: A grumpy Brayden is sitting on the kitchen floor crying for his dinner while I rush around making it. Lauren calls again: "Apparently, we were supposed to drop the dogs off by 5. You need to take them in as soon as possible. Still haven't left, but should be leaving in the next 10-15 minutes. Sorry."

5:32: Pick up my screaming son (who doesn't stop screaming). Try to get the dogs' belongings down two flights of stairs and into the car without dropping said child. Go back upstairs and get the dogs into the back of the car.

5:45: Arrive at the doggy daycare. Get my (still grumpy) child out of his carseat and try to carry both him and two 50 lb. dogs to the door while a couple stands 20 feet away from me staring. (Thanks for the help, by the way.) Feel like I'm in one of those Christmas movies where a frantic mother is trying to balance 48 gifts and a screaming toddler while talking on the phone. Yes, this is my life right now. Go back to the car to gather the dogs' belongings and realize that during the 10-minute ride, one of my dogs tore through the plastic bag and ate almost her entire allotment of treats for the weekend. Awesome.

At least she got to go shopping.

6:00: Back home. Finish Brayden's dinner. He decides he doesn't want what I made and just screams in his high chair for ten minutes.

6:45: Lauren finally gets home. We hurry up and give Brayden a bath, finish packing, get the car loaded and leave.

7:45: Finally on the road. Grumpy baby has become volatile baby. Alternates between laughing at his toys and crying because he's in his carseat.

8:35: I try to bring up happy things to improve everyone's mood. "So do you want to grab dinner in Ann Arbor Saturday before the game? ... You grabbed the tickets, right?"

8:36: Lauren is still bellowing out the longest, loudest string of expletives I've heard from him in our seven years of marriage. (No one grabbed the tickets)

8:38: We turn around. After 45 minutes of driving.

9:17: We get about two miles from the exit for our house and hit traffic. Cars are STOPPED. There was an accident. Blocking the entire interstate. No one is moving at all.

9:20: We get off at the last possible exit before the blockade of cars and navigate our way home from there.

9:40: Finally home. Grab the tickets and go. We are officially leaving our house for an eight hour drive at almost 10:00 at night. Amazing.

12:30: Hit a tollbooth. $13.50. We have $7 cash on us. Get a ticket to pay it online along with an awesome "you're an idiot" fee.

2:20 (am): Brayden wakes up. Realizing he is still in his car seat, he begins to cry. He does NOT want to be in there anymore. Lauren is tired anyway (as we should have already been to Michigan by now). We decide to stop for the night.

2:40: We get into our hotel room. Brayden is now 100 percent awake and ready to play. Mommy and Daddy are 100 percent tired and ready for sleep.

"I know you think I'm tired, but I'm about to torture you for almost two hours."

2:45: Because we're going to Grandma and Grandpa's house (where a nice comfy crib awaits Brayden), we have no place for him to sleep. He gets into bed with us (which he's never really done before).

3:00: Brayden decides it's playtime and chooses the game "professional wrestler." He bodyslams us, jumps up and down on the bed and laughs the whole time. Mommy and Daddy say it is NOT funny. Brayden disagrees.

4:30: Brayden finally tires himself out and goes to sleep. Mommy and Daddy immediately follow suit.

7:30: Brayden wakes up and is ready for morning. Fantastic three hours of sleep for the grown ups.

8:00: Holiday Inn breakfast

8:30: Leave the hotel and start on the last three hours of the trip.

8:32: The whole point of traveling at night was to do it while baby was sleeping. Brayden starts crying. Already.

8:35: I jump into the back seat and try to calm him down. I read him a book. Thirteen times in a row. That kills about 10 minutes and now I want to shoot myself.

8:45: Brayden starts crying again. I give him every toy we have in the car until he gets angry with it and throws it aside. That kills another 15 minutes.

9:00:  Construction zones. Traffic slows down. GPS adds another 20 minutes to the arrival time.

9:15: Daddy turns on Raffi and begins singing to Brayden. He calms down. Daddy goes through two CDs then sings the same song to Brayden for another 15 minutes. I want to shoot myself again.

10:30: Brayden gets fussy again. I move to the back seat and try to calm him down again.

11:45: We're closing in on our destination so naturally, Brayden decides to fall asleep now.

12:20: Finally arrive. Realize we have to do this again in two days.

At least Michigan won.


  1. If only the University treated our sanity the way they treat monetary donations. A few more of these trips and they will rename the Ross building after us. :)

  2. Oh dude.
    The things I've learned about travel with kids is that paying extra to do whatever is easiest (flying) is always worth it. :)
    I've been there so many times with the crazies before going on a trip, add in another baby, there's a reason there's a flask in my glovebox. I KID. It's in my purse.

    1. Lol. Lesson learned.

      What I'm really looking forward to now is Thanksgiving... when we HAVE to drive up to Michigan because the dogs are joining us for the wonderful event. (If only there was a pregnancy-friendly alternative to drinking...)

  3. OMG!!!! Kit ---this really should be submitted for a sitcom episode. The forgotten tickets, the balancing act of dogs and child, re-reading the same Just wow. Sorry to laugh at your expense here, but I visualize this 100%...I can even see you trying to make everyone happy with banter only end up wanting to shoot yourself.

    The adventures of LBK...

    1. Trust me, if I was listening to someone else tell me this story, I'd be cracking up too.