After a nine-hour road trip from Houston, Texas, to Daphne, Alabama to visit my parents; I am totally convinced of why children were made. They were made to keep us alive, by talking us to death! Because that’s what it takes to keep us alive, on the road. As sarcastic as that revelation may seem, it is the whole truth and nothing but the truth #ThatsMyFinalAnswer
It was bad enough that the trip should have only taken 6-7 hours, and after one stop for gas, it should have been smooth sailing. Had we departed Houston within the time frame, which my experience over the years, had stressed to me, to be the safest time to leave; I would have had 2 hours less the torture. However, because we were 1.5 hour late in leaving, due to making a last-minute grocery run for travel snacks, we also endured the feat of getting out of the city during Houston’s lunch time traffic.
I have never been asked, “why,” so many times in one day, and so I have never felt so ignorant in all my life. I also felt tired and exhausted, long before we made it to Beaumont, Texas. (Only an hour away). I began to question, “Why did I take this road trip? Can I do this? Am I really prepared for this……and LORD, will he ever just shut up and just go to sleep?” All the arrows pointed toward no, but I was waiting on the last answer from the man above, so I continued to drive.
I was already tired and still feeling the residuals of an “Adult Only” 4th of July weekend, which was followed by a lot of mommy juice earlier in the week. Nonetheless, I was still good for the road. Or so I thought. In my defense, this was not the first time I took the trip, so I knew what I was capable of doing it and I knew that it could be done. But, I must say, doing this trip with a kid, after the 4th of July, was a little different. Any other time, I can coast, with the music blasting… listening to the sound that my own mind makes, while I entertain thoughts of what I will do when I make it to my destination. I was not prepared for this! And GOD had not answered the call yet, about if my child was going to sleep any time soon. I kept driving and he kept asking questions. He continued to talk. No rhyme or reason of course, because he’s only 6-years old. It was random conversations and I truly felt like I was chasing him through a fully crowded amusement park, trying to keep up with him. He kept switching gears and I kept getting sleepier. I got more sleep than he did, so why was this happening to me? What did I ever do that was so wrong, that I would be “talked-to-death” like this? You can’t tell a child to shut up – that’s just wrong. But the traffic was atrocious! And the road rage and angry driver were all around me, so I had to take the good (staying awake and alert) with the bad (being talked into a coma) …and sang into the oblivion.
Finally, a phone call from a friend came in. I almost ran off the road, trying to take that call. It was like being stranded in a dessert and reaching for an oasis! I quickly answered and desperately sought out some adult conversation, almost as if in a hostage situation where I had a matter of seconds to get the information across. I just wanted to talk about nothing, just anything that did not involve, “Mom, do you know how many people are in the world? … Mom, do you know how many red cars are in the entire world? … Mom, why did GOD make the sun so hot? … Mom, are you going to take a short cut? … Mom, Mom, Mom … UTOH!” * RollsEyes… What is it now, Cornelius? What did you spill? So, anyway… I was happy to talk about a customer service complaint that my friend had to deal with at work earlier in the day. Who wants to hear that! ME! I did! I wanted to hear it, because I could not take another Knock-Knock joke, or another Why did the XYZ cross the road, what did the XYZ say to the XYZ, and I did not want to play I SPOT, anymore!
I feel so terrible about the fact that a game as innocent as I spot a little red car, could generate so much animosity. He just wanted to play a game. OMG, I am such an awful parent. I really just wanted to respond, “I SPOT SOME SLEEP! I SPOT A LITTLE BOY WHO WONT GO TO SLEEP! I SPOT A HEADACHE! I SPOT A BED THAT I WISH I COULD BE IN! I SPOT A MISTAKE THAT I MADE BY GETTING ON THIS ROAD, WHILE I WAS TIRED!” At one point, I swear I spotted an exit that said home, but I was still 6 hours away. Or so I thought. So, I took a deep breath and I kept it together though. I Learned how to do that in co-parenting class. I passed that class, so I knew the routine would work. 10…9…8…7… I couldn’t finish the conversation about the angry customer who called to talk about the over-priced service they were paying for, for the last 5 years and how she wanted out of her contract without paying any termination fees. That is because each time my friend got a word out, my son would ask, “ Mom, who is that? … How do you know him? … How do you spell his name? … How long are you going to be on the phone? … etc.
Right about then, we entered Baton Rouge, Louisiana. We were at a snail’s pace for 2 solid hours… until we hit the other side of Hammond, Louisiana and the talking had yet to cease. I stopped for gas and a bathroom break, just to stretch my legs and to give my ears, eyes and brain a break. I allowed him to pump gas and I just walked around the car, did some jumping jacks, jogged in place, did some YOGA, meditated, tried to summon the man above – so I prayed. Where are you GOD?
We hit the road again, for the final stretch home. But to my dismay, we were greeted by another set of halted cars, which prolonged the trip even more and subjected me to the final hour, which turned into the final 2.5 hours. When we made it to Tillman’s Corner, just after the Welcome to Alabama sign, I thought to myself, “OMG- 30 more minutes and I am home free. That is when the little tyke decided he had to do the number 2. Why GOD? Why? When I finally made it home, I realized that GOD was there the whole time. He was talking me to death to keep me alive.