1114 miles+ of Fun

27 02 2007

404878332_aaa4fa5f09_m.jpgI can’t believe I took a toddler on a roadtrip. Whose idea was that? He wasn’t exactly bad in the car, but he was… work. I get carsick just glancing down into my purse to look for gum; I probably spent 16 of the total 19 (and then some) hours we were in the car facing backwards, either shoving pb&j into Ethan’s mouth, searching for his pacifier, his books, his magazines, his socks (kid HATES when his toes are warm), his utensils, his ANVILS, and other various weapons from his arsenal, or scolding him (“Ethan James, we do NOT yell over the Dixie Chicks!”). Shame on me for thinking it would be any different. (But hard work or not, isn’t he just the cutest thing when he’s sleeping?!?)

One thing I was prepared for, however, was that blowout diaper that I knew we would have to experience at least once during the trip. While it didn’t happen at some shady rest stop along the highway, it did happen at an Olive Garden, which is almost as bad. Cleaning poop out of someone’s armpit changes a person. If Rene decides never to have children, I can’t be positive those dirty 15 minutes in the bathroom wiping him down will have had nothing to do with her decision.

Some highlights from the trip (other than the poop):

404858875_ac25508dbd_m.jpgAt the Tom Ridge Center in Erie (which is located where the last drive-in movie theater on Earth used to be, tear), we had a lovely lunch at the Sunset Cafe with Oma, learned about that time that flying saucers attacked Presque Isle, got mauled by bats, “saw” our old house, and had way too much fun in the gift shop (did you know a felted bag sells for 80 bucks if you buy it in a gift shop?? 80 bucks!).

404844994_de1abc4905_m.jpgIn Rochester, there was The Sock. At the Strong National Museum of Play, Ethan got to stroll up and down Sesame Street, which was pretty much the most awesome thing he’s done in his entire life, despite the angry mob of children we had to fight along the way. He met some of his idols, got on tv with Elmo, got a temporary job as a postman, had a close call with a boy-eating fish head, and climbed into Big Bird’s nest (which he did not enjoy one bit). (Also, did you know that they make Fruit Rollups flavored lip balm (and Cinnamon Toast flavored, among others)? I couldn’t resist. However, I urge you to; it tastes neither fruity nor rollup-ey. More wax-ey than anything, actually.)

400220527_a000d3a1a9_m.jpgThen it was back on down to Erie, where we visited the Children’s Museum. We went in caves, got friendly with Recycle Michael, played grocery store, fought germs, and, um, this. Later on Rene and I felted things, which we’ve been wanting to try for awhile. Rene felted a bag, and I felted the potholder looking thing, which will be a clutch if I ever get around to sewing the sides and adding a button. It was really hard for us to purposely toss our hard work into the hot water. Nerve-wracking, in fact. But they came out nicely, and now I want to knit only with wool and felt everything.

We finally left to return to Virginia Saturday afternoon. Unfortunately (or fortunately, I haven’t decided), Ethan took a nice loooong 4 hour nap right before we left, so he was wide awake almost the whole 7 hour car ride. There came a point when I couldn’t take the whining anymore; I was just as tired, cramped and bored as he was, and didn’t know what else I could possibly offer to amuse him. And then Rene suggested a Red Vine.

“They’re kind of hard, so maybe he’ll be quiet for a little while while he gnaws on it,” she said. “Plus, they’re sugar-free.”

I would have sold my ears at this point for a couple of minutes without any whining, so I handed him the candy. And she was right; the next15 minutes were as sweet as that vine must have been, because he didn’t make a single peep. He finished it about the same time we stopped for a late dinner, and when I opened the car door and the overhead light came on, we saw what we’d done:

404856783_fa8a08bb07_m.jpg

It was a fitting ending to the trip, I think. It was fun, it tasted good (Valerio’s and Hogan’s, mmm!), and it was a little messy. I think next roadtrip, we’ll try Florida. Only instead of road, we’ll go with sky. And maybe leave the toddler at home with Dad…


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6 03 2007
Goodbyes and mistakes « Sublime Bedlam

[…] Posted by Caley under Parenting 101  A mere four days after returning from the roadtrip, Jeff, Ethan, and I (really it was just I; Jeff can’t handle more than his own needs (if it […]

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