When you travel with your family, what are the things that stand out?
Maybe once the trip is over, your family can spend hours by the fire or around a table telling of the immense country side beauty. Perhaps your trip down memory lane includes tales of lavish shopping, fine dinning, or reviews of star studded plays.
Anytime travel with the family is for leisure, the majority of the pictures, videos and/or memories are of sights, sounds, smells and taste unlike what you can find at home.
So, why is it that my family’s idea of “sight-seeing” has nothing to do with things we can’t find at home?
I am sure at this point, you are wondering what hell it is our family does on trips.
Let me first say that when we travel, there are six of us. On male and 5 females, all of whom are potty trained, except for one.
For an example, I’ll use our trip this past weekend to see my friends T & Bob.
They live in a small town in east Texas. it is about a 4.5 to 5 hour drive there. However, I bet that you did not know that there are 20 towns between our little town and theirs. Well, technically there are more towns than that, I am speaking strictly on the route we take.
Many of these towns offer multiple restroom break options. For arguments sake though, we will just call it 20.
For those of you who have ever traveled any distance with a child or children, you will appreciate this next statement: When a child says “MOM, I gotta pee BAD!”, regardless of the fact that they just went 5 minutes ago, you heed the call or risk having the cloth interior of your car whizzed on (or worse).
This trip began like so many of our other trips begin; every one get a quick sip of water and go to the bathroom! Yes, go try, even if you just went. Followed promptly by a stern lecture on how we will not be stopping any where for at least 2 hours.
After everyone gets a drink and uses the restroom, we head out to the car to get seatbelted in. Secured into our seats, we head off.
Five minutes into the trip, still in the town we live in, the 4-year-old, Christyan says “MOM, I gotta pee, BAD!”
“Really Christyan? Didn’t you go at home?”
“Yes, but I am going to explode!”
I pull into the convenient store heading out-of-town. I ask if anyone else needs a restroom break and in unison “No Mom”
Christyan finished up her business and we proceeded down the road.
The next town is about 5 minutes away. I hear a small voice from the back seat “Mama, I got to pee.”
Catherynn, our 5-year-old, assured me she knew exactly what she was talking about.
Same routine as the first time. “Does anyone else have to go potty?”
Ok, let’s go Catherynn.
Once Catherynn was finished and while she was putting her seat belt back on, I checked the baby “just to be safe”. More like “just to jinks myself”.
About 10 miles down the road Camrynn, the 17-month-old, began whining a little. Then the smell hit.
I whip off the highway at a wide spot in the road where the “town” is made up of 2 liquor stores. Before so many of the smaller towns in Texas went wet or started selling alcohol, it was not uncommon to find these “towns” made up of only liquor stores situated about half way between 2 slightly bigger towns.
Anyways, I quickly cleaned Camrynn up and got her happy again, and we were off like a herd of turtles, heading east on the highway.
It is about a 15 mile stretch to the next town. Once it came into view the 9-year-old, Carolyne, pipes up “MOM! I have to pee!”
“Really Carolyne? Does anyone else have to go? This is ABSOLUTELY the last time we stop until we get dinner!”
At least Carolyne can take herself, but she is s-l-o-w.
On the road again…
As we pull into the next town 8 miles down the road, I realized that during all of the confusion, I had forgotten to go to the restroom.
I pull into a truck stop and ask “Anyone need to go?”
“No” followed by a bunch of giggling.
Wouldn’t you know it. Ten miles down the road, Chris announced that he needed to stop.
Luckily, after Chris’s pit stop it was about 30 miles to the next restroom option.
Sure enough, we had to stop.
Thirty more miles and we were in the town where we were going to get dinner – to go.
We all went to the restroom while we waited for our dinner to be made.
I kid you not though, we played restroom tag in ever, single town until we reached T & Bob’s house.
Ask us about any trips we go on, just be prepared for a run down of all the restroom facilities between our point of origin and our final destination.
The official count for this 5 hour trip was 22 restroom breaks and 4 diaper changes.