Thursday, October 10, 2013

Over the river and through the woods – traveling with children

For some, road trips offer opportunities to enjoy the great outdoors – even stopping to see historical landmarks along the way. But for me and my husband, our recent trip to Colorado proved to be memorable and exhausting, especially with two active girls under the age of three in tow.

Talking to our elders, they all advised us to travel early in the morning, or late at night. That way, the girls would remain asleep for several hours instead of wide awake for the entire trip. We decided to head out before 5 a.m.

So, early one Saturday morning, we loaded up the car with diapers, pull-ups, wipes, luggage, toys, baby food, milk, along with a cooler that housed snacks for us and the girls. In an effort not to wake them, we kept both little ones in their pajamas.

Now normally, driving to where my parents live would take about 12 hours. But with a nine-month old and a two-year old, our planned travel schedule was a distant memory. It seemed we had to stop every hour almost. Why? Well, the oldest is potty training, and she felt the need to handle her business as often as possible. During one particular potty break, she was sitting on her pot in the back of the car when she proudly shouted, “I pee-pee in the pot!” Now mind you, it’s not even 7 a.m. and we were at a busy truck stop. Thankfully, those that heard my daughter just smiled and walked on.

And the nine-month old kept us busy, too. Although she wasn’t begging to be freed from her car seat like her older sister, her tactics for repetitive freedom were far greater. Every two hours or less, she’d get real quiet and her eyes would get real big. Then, I would smell a strong and foul odor coming from her direction. Yep, baby girl’s bowel movements were lethal. She left a trail of dirty diapers on the trip, not to mention two adorable outfits we had to frantically trash at a couple gas stations.

So, our planned 12-hour trip ended up taking more than 14 hours. Needless to say, my husband and I were exhausted going and coming. It was definitely a blessing to be able to see my parents. And would I do it all over again? In a heartbeat. To see the smiles on my parents’ faces as they spent time with their grandchildren was priceless. But if at all possible, our next trip to Colorado will be taken with the four of us relaxing on a comfortable commercial airline.

Chandra Caradine is a Sr. Public Relations Specialist with Texas Health Resources and Mom of two girls.

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