So. With that long-winded explanation as to my absence (which could have been summarized by saying that "I am Melis and my life is absurd." At this point, you all would have known exactly what I meant.) I leave you with You Know You're a Mom When-sDaze from one of my favorite ladies in the world, Arizona Mamma!
Road trips offer unique challenges to parents. For instance, successful distance driven is no longer measured in terms of distance between gas stops but in distance between potty breaks. For us, it is often anything over 50 miles at a stretch.
Said potty breaks themselves are also iffy. We must select appropriate toilets; i.e. those that do not flush themselves. So while I prefer a fully-automated, brightly-lit modern restroom, Jack prefers those stinky, dingy, one-toilet and sink coffin-like restrooms you need a key from the attendant to open. They have toilets that look more like those found in a house. If we have no option but to use a restroom with an auto flush (which is usually the result of a combination of not having many choices and us telling Jack we have no option) I have to straddle the back of the toilet so that my butt blocks the sensor while he goes potty.
Food on a road trip for us is also unique now that I'm a mom. No longer can I say, "Wow, Subway sounds deliciously healthy; let's stop there." Can a 13-month-old munch on a sandwich from her car seat as we barrel up the interstate? No. I'm relegated to the world of french fries and chicken nuggets or french-toast sticks for breakfast. Though I bring plenty of fruit and veggies and healthy food for our destination, eating that kind of stuff in the car is too tricky. So I eat McDonald's 15 times in 2 days.
You know you're a mom (on a road trip) when you elect to clean and pack all day and then drive through the entire night because exhaustion is better than the certain fury of trying to drive with 3 whiny, crying, toy-chucking kiddos who ask to eat or pee every 20 minutes.
And then when you get there and realize you've forgotten to bring a single pair of panties for yourself but each kid has enough clothes to survive a trip twice as long as the one planned. And rest assured: Woody's hat is safely on his head and each sippy-cup spout is tucked neatly in its lid.
You know you're a mom when you drive in the dead of night not to your mp3 collection or a book on tape. You don't scan the radio stations as you go for fear of waking up the kids as the music goes in and out of range. Instead you listen to Cars on repeat because it's better than nothing and they all fell asleep to the soothing sound of Lightning McQueen's voice and you're at loathe to do anything to disrupt their slumber.
Then again, you know there's no sweeter sight in the world than what you see in your rear-view mirror... Three angelic faces all tilted to the same side, barely-there smiles and deep breathing to let you know that they're happy. They're yours, and they're happy about it and you know it's all worth it.