24 February 2014

Dissection of a solo road trip with a toddler.

This past weekend I pulled off a huge surprise and drove to Charlotte with Gideon to see my parents.  They had planned an 80th birthday dinner for my grandma, but initially I wasn't planning on going.  I knew Taylor couldn't go that weekend and I really didn't want to drive solo with Gideon, but as it got closer I decided to go because I'm a glutton for punishment.  I thought I would share a little glimpse of our solo trip (on the way back).  

  Gideon was exhausted when we got on the road around noon.  Probably because while still at my parents house I refused to let him nap because I needed him to sleep at least part of the three and a half hour trip.  For my own sanity, you know.  Well, it worked and the first hour and a half he was passed out.  Confetti rained down and horns were blown.  I was mom of the year in my own mind, at this point.   Traveling alone with a toddler is a piece of cake, right?

This is the command center.  Snacks, toys, sippy cups, all easily accessible for me to hand back to Gideon when he wakes up and needs something or decides he is done with being in the car.  I was ready to go when he woke up.  

And there he is, folks.  It was toy time.  Can't break out the snacks too soon or we will reach our plateau and it is only downhill from there.  Toys did not go over well.  This book entertained for all of two minutes before it was hurled across the car.  And was followed by four other books, Elmo, a basketball, his shoe, and a paci.  Panic starts to set in.  Just breathe, mama.  Just breathe.

We make it to one of the last highways, only to get stuck in standstill traffic.  Panic now rises.  Break out the food.  Break out the food.  Crackers, breadsticks, milk sippy, water sippy.  He is only mildly interested.  Inching along.  I consider breaking laws, but my tags are expired and I know it wouldn't bode well to call Taylor from jail.  

Disaster, you guys.  Only two cookies left.  These were the only things that really kept him happy.  Why oh why did I eat so many before he woke up?  We can't recover from this.

Screaming toddler.  And now my bladder has reached capacity.  I consider how messy it would be to just go.  Right here, in the car.  Could I use one of Gideon's diapers?  I unbuckle my pants to help relieve the pressure.  I tell Gideon I understand he is upset, but mama has to pee and is just as upset.  This is what nightmares are made of.  Traffic finally starts to move.

Insert photo of gas station bathroom.

I'll spare you the photo here, but let me set the scene.  I drive miles before I find an exit with any kind of stop.  A gas station in the middle of nowhere.  I come barreling in the parking lot, bladder throbbing, park, locate toddler shoes, tie toddler shoes (goodness, why did I not get him slip on shoes?), hightail it to the bathroom.  Gas station bathroom.  I just need that to be clear.  Handicap stall.  I set Gideon down and ask him not to touch anything.  Like he is going to listen.  Finally, finally I can pee.  But, Gideon decides this is a good time to cry and have a tantrum and want to be held.  So there I am, peeing with a toddler sitting in my lap. Is this a good mental picture?  You're welcome.  I figured it was better than the alternative of him throwing himself on the {gas station} bathroom floor.  And I am usually a squatter in these places, but it wasn't happening.  Followed by a thorough hand-washing and getting the heck out of there.  

We made it home.  We made it home.

I relayed this story to Taylor and all he said was "hashtag mom life."  Thanks a lot, Tay.


  1. This is too funny, Emily!
    ~ Beth Anne

  2. Now this made me laugh!!!! Btw, that unknown comment was me, but I deleted it because I didn't want to be unknown. ha.

  3. I once had to drive Shepard to the beach by myself. I think he was about 16 months. I knew there would be no place to stop to go to the restroom, and that he would likely be asleep for the night as soon as we got out of town. I wouldn't drink anything for hours before I left because I just couldn't figure out what I'd do if I had to stop. I sipped just enough water to keep my mouth from going completely dry. Boy, was I happy to see a restroom, a beverage and family on the other end of that trip!


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