Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Do I Sound Bitter? I'm Trying Not to Be Bitter on Christmas.

So our drive north yesterday ended up taking SEVEN HOURS, due to icy roads and terrible driving conditions. We counted some 22 cars in the ditch, and at least three "real" accidents (i.e., smashed car, emergency vehicles present). For much of the drive our traveling speed was around 45-50 miles per hour, on a freeway with a speed limit of 70. We swerved in a serious way three different times, during which Mama may have uttered a few words that young children really should not hear. For the record, seven hours in a car with a two-year-old and a four-year-old who absolutely never, ever nap in the car, not even for five measly minutes, is somewhat torturous. I believe we had gone around 20 miles when Julia sighed heavily and groaned, "We've been driving for SO LONG!" and Genevieve began her repeated chant, "Boppa, Nonna? Boppa, Nonna? Waiting and waiting and waiting and waiting!" (Indeed.)

Oh, did I mention that at one point Genevieve also THREW UP ALL OVER HERSELF AND THE CAR? Yes, there was that too. Right about then, while I was gripping the steering wheel and attempting to keep us out of the snowy ditch and Christopher was stretched nearly horizontal into the back seat in a frantic effort to clean up a bunch of toddler vomit while tears streamed down Genevieve's cheeks and her screams filled all of our ears, we were passed on the right by a zippy compact car housing a young, cheery, apparently childless couple--laughing, joking, perhaps even singing, and with a festive plate of undisturbed Christmas cookies perched on their pristine backseat. And it was that particular juxtaposition that caused Christopher and me to look at each other and admit that we wanted to KILL THAT CHILDLESS COUPLE ON THEIR CAREFREE, MERRY HOLIDAY ROAD TRIP. Damn you, cheerful childless couple! Damn you and your responsibility-less, no-problem car ride, your baby-vomit-less car upholstery, your vehicle ringing with jokes and carols rather than a litany of, "Mama, WHEN are we going to be there? Mama, I'm tired of riding in this car!"

And by the way. When we finally arrived and attempted to put our overtired, cranky girls to bed after their long, nap-free day, we were treated to an hour-long screaming fit by Genevieve, who was scared of and unwilling to sleep in a novel place, and to a sneeze-and-sniffle explosion from Julia, who promptly came down with a cold. So, you know: NOT EXACTLY CAUSING ME TO RE-THINK MY AVERSION TO TRAVELING WITH VERY YOUNG CHILDREN.

[And one last note to everyone out there with children who actually sleep problem-free in new places, in new beds, in the car, wherever they may be, no problem at all, just throw them a blankie and they're out cold: YOU ARE DAMNED LUCKY. YOUR CHILDREN WERE BORN THAT WAY. MINE WERE NOT. THUS, TRAVEL FOR US IS WAY HARDER THAN IT IS FOR YOU.]

Aside from all that, and the fact that of course the girls woke up super-early this morning and took extra-short naps this afternoon, all is fine! We're stuffing ourselves on fudge, homemade caramel corn, shortbread cookies, peanut-butter blossoms, candy-cane cookies, chocolate-mint bars, and homemade Chex mix. And, due to an already-overstuffed vehicle, I, um, decided to leave all my running gear at home and skip my runs this week. Uh....perhaps a mistake. Excuse me. I've got to go drown out yesterday's driving-related memories with some eggnog.

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