This one is for Kate

This weekend the kids and I took a solo trip up to see my dad and his family.  On the way there we made record time with only one bathroom stop, and that was because I needed to go, not the kids.  There was limited whining and bickering on the trip, and both kids were able to snap themselves in and out of their booster seats with no assistance from me.   We listened to “grownup” music for at least 50% of the ride, and when I insisted on turning the traffic channel on, no one complained and even helpfully told me which bridge to take.  I really and truly felt like I had arrived.

But then last night, we had a family BBQ with my aunt and uncle.  The kids sat at the grownup table and even contributed to the conversation a few times.  They (for the most part) used their manners, and A ate everything served to her and declared it all “Yummm!”.  After dinner, the kids quickly bored of the adult conversation and “mood” candle lighting and took themselves off to the porch where they colored and played almost peacefully until it was close to two hours after their bedtime.  At which point I grudgingly decided that it was time to get up from the table and escort them to their room.

As I tucked them in, I realized that we had hit a new stage.  The stage in which I can actually have hope of taking my children someplace and actually enjoying myself.  Plus, if both kids will eat hamburger and pasta with red or white sauce, we can take them to almost any restaurant (with the exception of sushi) and be able to find them something to eat.

But the best is yet to come.  On the drive home, when I made a wrong turn someplace in Connecticut and ended up taking an extra hour onto my drive, instead of freaking out about how I would possibly manage the kids for that extra hour, my first reaction was “Damn, think of the extra gas this is costing me.”

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Comments

  1. What a milestone! Congrats on the successful adventure!!! You give me hope. I’m not quite brave enough to try it on my own just yet. 🙂

  2. Congrats! I am not even brave enough to attempt a trip with my husband and child…we still need more time 🙂

  3. My kids are great car travelers too. The only freak out time we had on the way to my parent’s house was when I had to stop and get gas a mere half hour after Harry FINALLY fell asleep for his afternoon nap. He was not happy that he got woken up.

  4. Their good behavior has as much to do with excellent parenting as with their lovely dispositions (which of course relate back to GREAT genes!

  5. I can’t wait to get to that phase. I’m thinking I have to wait until Youngest is 10. By then, he might not take such enjoyment in driving his sister (and mother) batty!

  6. We took the kids to Flordia for spring break (a 19+ hour drive) we were not even one hour into the trip when my son started asking, “Are we there yet?”

    He drove me nuts… Then he realized that it was making me crazy, and he kept asking, “Are we there yet?” “Are we there yet?” “Are we there yet?” “Are we there yet?” “Are we there yet?” “Are we there yet?” “Are we there yet?” “Are we there yet?” “Are we there yet?”

    I could have knocked the kid out! But we did have a nice time once we were there, and it was a pretty easy drive back.

    Maybe next trip he will do a little better.

  7. Oh my, I have renewed hope that I might someday see a trip like that!

  8. Pour moi? Leetel me?

    Honestly, I wish gas were cheaper, because sometimes the car is the only place where we all get along (kids cannot touch each other! there are snacks!). Laurie Berkner got her well deserved break because we did not take CDs to Israel and the kids kind of forgot about her for a week or two after we got back.

    When the kids play nicely together and eat like human beings, I am filled with hope. Then I know they will not be these ages forever and I can see the light that is “4 and 6.”

    For now…is it bad that I try to only invite people for shabbat meals whose kids are good playdate material or who are Pied Piperish themselves and have no problems with entertaining every kid in the room?

  9. Yay, that is so huge. Then once this phase is mastered you will reach the ‘I don’t want to go anywhere with Mom’ phase :). Just to let you know it is out there.

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