. . . is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result. Well, we're doing it again. Driving to Michigan. As if it won't be fraught with "Are we there yet?"s five minutes into the 12 hour drive. By me. But I know that it will not be as bad as the trip we made in August of 2007. Just.not.possible. And here's why:
~I painstakingly pack the roof top carrier and back of van. We are leaving a day earlier than planned because my Grandfather is sick and we know he is not going to make it. He is in Arizona, with my dad, Grandma and brother. I want to be back in Michigan, with my mom when he passes. I am *super* organized in my packing. Even with Violet at 8, Sarah at 20 months and John at 5 months all under foot.
~Violet asks, "Are we there yet?" one mile into Pennsylvania. We live three miles from the Pennsylvania border. Do the math. That's four miles into the trip.
~Sarah's 8 oz cup of Pediasure spills all over my husbands bag of shoes. The entire thing. And we're in the middle of PA. So he throws them out at a rest area, because have you ever tried to get that stuff out? The only shoes he owns are the ones he has on, or dress shoes back at home.
~John has a blow out. I get the diaper bag. To discover that I haven't packed any diapers in it. Nor are they in the back of the van. They are in the roof top carrier. Which isn't water proof. And it has rained. And we cloth diaper. But I've put them in a space bag! So although we are now soaked, the diaper is dry. I remember to put some diapers in the van.
~My brother calls me to tell me it's time to say good-bye to my Grandfather. He's not conscious, but I say my peace. Sobbing, we stop at another rest area. (If you're counting, this is stop 3.)
~Violet hears me talking and wants to know what is going on. I explain the best I can. She insists on talking to Grandpa. How do I refuse? She can't have this be her memory of him. So I call my brother, and there, in the middle of a Pennsylvania rest area parking lot Violet begins to preach to her Great Grandpa. "Gampa, you are going home to be with Jaysus! And he will heal you and you will be healed! I will miss you but it will be OK because you will be with Jaysus!" The people walking by us are openly staring at us as I'm laughing and crying. Because you don't often see a four year old Baptist minister and a 34 year old bawling mom in the middle of a parking lot.
~Sarah starts yelling and signing "ALL DONE" about 4 o'clock. We left the house at 3 o'clock.
~We give up at 9 o'clock and get a hotel room.
~We eat breakfast at the hotel buffet, I take the keys, go the van with John and Violet.
~John has yet another blow out, so I change him on the passenger seat as Violet literally bounces around the van.
~As I open the trunk ever so carefully, the entire bin of jarred baby food/formula/juice boxes dumps out into the parking lot. My husband starts freaking out. But nothing is broken, so I begin yelling at him, "Be more positive, dammit! Think of what could have happened! Be.More.Positive.Dammit." Because nothing makes you more positive and happy like being yelled at and told to do it.
~A juice box falls into the bike rack, unknown to us. We slam the carrier close. Causing the juice box to explode all over us. I manage to not laugh. Because, really?
~My husband asks for the keys. I don't have them.
~We find the keys a frantic five minutes later, right were they belong, in the ignition. Duh.
~Get gas, get ticket for Ohio turnpike, my husband is making jokes, things are looking up!
~My husband slides the corner of the ticket into the console of the van, and the van sucks the ticket into it's deep, dark depths. We stare blankly at it. This is a very bad thing. Everything is silent, and he says, "The car ate the ticket." I completely lose my mind. I start laughing and cannot stop. Tears are streaming down my face. I can't breathe. I'm hiccuping.
~Violet yells she has to have a BM. I continue to laugh. We get off the turnpike. We'd been ON the turnpike for about 10 minutes.
~Violet freaks out because she hears her daddy say he's going to take the car apart (to get to the ticket) and how is she going to get to Granny's if the van is taken apart??
~I'm still laughing as I take Violet to the bathroom. I mean, really laughing. People are staring. I don't even care. I'm wiping tears. Giggling. Violet doesn't even tinkle.
~BUT, there is a Starbucks, and I hit it up for the largest, most fat laden drink I can possibly buy.
~I watch my husband drive past us and start to enter the turnpike. I don't much care.
~He backs up the on ramp to get back to us.
~But he has the golden ticket!!
~We make it to my parent's house averaging 1 1/2 hours driving at a time.
The fun didn't stop there. Stay tuned and I'll tell you the rest of the story.
*we've driven to Michigan since this trip, but I always fear it's going to be like this again. Always!