divorce · kids

Riding In Cars With Little Boys

I don’t mind road trips and recently I’ve been taking a lot of them. Shuttling my kids back and forth down the I-95 Corridor every other weekend to facilitate visitation has proven challenging but I do it for my kids. Yes, I’m breaking my own arm patting myself on the back because I hear way too many moms complain about driving ten minutes up the road to Target to drop their kids off, try driving three hours. Yeah, you ten-minute commute complainers can suck it.

I miss the days when my kids were babies. Yeah, I would have to pack half the house to take them anywhere BUT they fell asleep as soon as you turned the corner. Now, at the ages of 5 and almost 4, they are complete and total jerks from the time we pull out of the driveway until we arrive at our destination.

I’ve packed Kindles, toy bags, snacks and anything else they could possibly want but it doesn’t stop what will inevitably happen next. The fighting, the arguing and the crying. Colin doesn’t want to sit next to Quinn. If I put him in the back row with Bryleigh, then Quinn will cry because he’s by himself. I feel like I’m doing a seating plan for a wedding where half the guest list has been divorced from and/or dated the other half. I think the people who do the seating chart at the Grammy’s have it easier. Just put Taylor Swift away from all eligible bachelors and you’re fine. I wish I had those problems. Once the seating issue is resolved, usually through bribes, (don’t judge, I just want to get on the damn road) I can get on my way.

I love music, Bry and Colin love music, Quinn does not. How in the world he can be my child, I have no idea? I try to play it low but then the kids in the back can’t hear it and they start yelling for me to crank it up. Quinn wants it off and since I run my household like a Democracy, the majority wins – sorry Quinn. Eventually, a favorite song will come on and Quinn will start crying because the harpies in the back are singing at the top of their lungs and he doesn’t want to hear it anymore. He’ll yell, “Be Quiet” for about an hour before he gives up, rubs his blanket and falls asleep. One down, two more to go and at this point, I’ve just made it to Delaware.

To stop or not to stop? Nah! Keep going.

Somewhere in Delaware the racket usually settles down. The ride becomes smoother because of the lack of potholes and the last two eventually fall asleep. I don’t know why but for some reason, everyone always has to pee when we get to Joppa, Maryland. I would love to drive straight through and usually, do when I’m alone but it’s like they smell something there that tells their bladder it’s time to pee. They all wake-up and start yelling, “we gotta pee.”

Three kids in one stall in a 7-11 in Joppa. Not fun. It’s usually embarrassing because they are yelling “Hi” while looking under the stalls. Telling everyone that your peeing/farting/pooping. Oh, and I forgot to mention screaming when the toilet auto-flushes because they are afraid of it. If there was ever a point of this trip when I say “why me” it would be in Joppa on the pee break.

Once we’re back in the car and buckled up, I distribute snacks and juice boxes that will hopefully last them until we get to Virginia. Every now and again an empty juice box will fly past my head and hit the dashboard. Then I’ll hear an insane giggle from the back. I’m surprised I don’t suffer from a PTSD episode every time I turn my car ignition. I’ve dodged juice boxes, shoes and sometimes toys all the while trying to keep my eyes on the road.

The rest of the trip they’ll fight some more and sing. The toys that they just had to bring with them now litter the floor of the van, along with juice boxes and crushed Goldfish. If my kids ever become artists, their medium would be crushed Goldfish and McDonald’s fries. (I wonder if I could sell that on Etsy?)

By the time we pull into the parking lot of his job, I look like I’ve been road hard and put up wet. My voice is hoarse from yelling, “stop it” and “will you two knock it off.” He’ll ask me why I look like a train wreck and my usual response is, “I’ve been riding in the car with little boys.”




44 thoughts on “Riding In Cars With Little Boys

  1. Oh, my, Mommy! You’ve got your hands full! It’s great that you can laugh about it, and even better that you have the talent to share through your writing and make the rest of us laugh, too. Thank you for that, and you are in my thoughts and prayers.


  2. This is me- but my kids have grown up in the back seat of the car on road trips. My oldest has it figured out- she knows the rules of the car. My youngest however, he knows how to cry for 4 hours while I’m trying to avoid hitting deer and other cars. Try and have a happy SITS day, okay? You write wonderfully!


  3. What a handful! I wonder if those noise cancelling headphones (like they use at races) would be useful for Quinn since he doesn’t like music or his brothers’ singing.


  4. I absolutely love your writing style. You are funny and honest. I only have one boy and that can be enough to drive me crazy some days. So happy I stumbled upon your blog and I can’t wait to read more.


  5. Ohhhh I can totally relate to this…..having to meet my ex on the weekends and give him the kids was just a pain in the butt!!! we did this for years until I finally moved back to our hometown.


  6. My commute is 1/2 hour. My kids are in another school district–at one point they were in 3 different schools, with all kinds of different activities, different start and end times. Some days find me on the road with them for 7 hours–waiting for one kid to finish up so we can squeeze in dinner out there, to go to another activity while I hang out at the library waiting for them to finish. I knew I couldn’t stay in the home their father is in (too many bad memories) so I take responsibility for moving to another town to start a new life. I also didn’t want them to have to leave their friends even though I live in a much better school district. I feel in some ways, I got “the short end of the stick” because I didn’t choose to be divorced and it feels like I’ve really paid the price–but I think having a clear conscience is a wonderful gift to have.


    1. I really don’t think so either. Especially cars but I can’t even imagine being trapped on a plane with my boys. I don’t think there’s enough whiskey on the planet to get me through that experience.


  7. I remember those days! Bathroom breaks were the worst – trying to corral everybody by myself. My boys are teenagers now, so they’re driving me around! Really enjoy your blog – I’ll be back to look around!


  8. I can only imagine a long road trip w two boys! When I have my son & two nephews in the car I can barely make it around the block without losing it! Happy SITS day!


  9. I loved reading this!! So funny! My son is only 9 months old, and I’m already thinking I want another…thanks for making me rethink that thought! lol…Happy Sits day!


    1. More kids are great but I think I should have spaced them out more. Not like I planned to have twins, who does? It would have been easier if my daughter had been in school first though. Good luck to you and your family.


  10. Phew you just reminded me of those days when my lil tyke was giving me the same trials! A few more years and you’ll be out of this chaos…all the best till then Dropping in from SIT girls.


  11. Great googilymoogily that sounds atrocious. I’ve got two small ones and yes, this is so true. Hey, if you find that you can sell that medium on Etsy, let a mama know! I’ve got plenty of items, my favorite is the fries and goldfish encrusted floormats. Happy SITSday!


  12. I’m visiting you from the sitsgirls website and I love your blog post. I have a seven year old girl and I understand where you come from about travel. Boys, girls…they’re both the same. Lol. Great post!


  13. OMG! So funny. So so true. I have 4 kids (mostly grown now) but I remember the days of toy cars flying past my head while driving on the freeway. Today the 14 year old screams “shut up” while the 10 year old croaks out a Katy Perry song. I feel your pain. Great post!


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