I have joked for years that I am cursed. Without fail it seems as though the night before I need to travel I struggle to go to sleep. Some may think I am anxious or nervous, but I am not. Sometimes I get to sleep but my children keep waking me up and other times sleep just doesn’t want to come. This happened recently. I really wanted to sleep, but it just was not happening.
Since I lacked sleep I went back to bed after putting my son on the bus the next morning. Yes that did mean that I put on a television show to (gasp) babysit my children. Actually, it turned out nicely that they slept for most of that as well. Yay.
Several hours later, after errands and searching for everything (not finding it all) to tracked with we were finally on the road. We made all out usual stops. Bathroom break one, two, and three. All our usual stops. The only new stop was to get some beef jerky to keep me awake. Yup, chewy beef jerky that costs a bundle.
I don’t know why I even bothered buying the jerky though. It was about that time that I regretted moving the children from the far back to the middle of the van. What was I thinking? Screaming, yelling, and more screaming–directly behind me. I wondered if my children even knew how to do anything but scream or fight. I even began to plan out how to put a partition in between the two youngest girls. They wouldn’t be able to get to each other that way.
One of the hardest things about long drives with children is the high pitched screaming of little kids-or any kid. Eventually, without realizing it, your foot begins to push down on the gas pedal a little harder. Eventually you start going faster. I noticed this of myself and wondered what a police officer would think if I got pulled over. Would he have pity on me and send me on my way (happened to my mom once)? Or…would my children be perfect angels and I would look like a crazed woman about to explode? My guess is it would be the latter. I am sure I would even have tears of frustration, or from the pain in my ears, and the officer would likely think I was crying because he pulled me over. Serves me right for traveling with children.
This trip I really did not end up going too fast too often because of the screaming. I wished I could have. Instead I quietly cursed every vehicle in front of me that decided going ten to twenty miles under the speed limit was fun. Didn’t they know I had screaming children in the car and there was a tired mom behind the wheel doing everything to keep sane?
On another note: I did understand how someone could go off the road when a spider scares them while driving (recent news story). I had a large bug startle me and it took every ounce of me to keep from freaking out as I could not tell what it was. I pulled over and let the sucker out. My oldest was about to join it. She was so creeped out that she was literally half way out the car already. Good thing I pulled over.