Tomorrow we leave on a weekend trip that I am so excited about,  I am contemplating lacing my coffee with Valium and keeping the tumbler filled continuously until we return home Sunday afternoon.

I think I am most excited about the 5am wake up call.  There is nothing more refreshing than waking 3 cranky, tired children out of a dead sleep, hoisting them into car seats and restraining them tightly in 5 point harnesses.  They will be thrilled.  Especially the 3 year old who has just now decided that she has tired of her nightly routine of threats, pleads, promises, and near tears sleep fighting and has passed out in peaceful slumber at 11:18pm.  I expect she will have the rosiest cheeks, the most charming personality and the happiest Zippidy Do Dah of them all.  In fact, I am betting that she will give my husband a run for his money on who will be the most pleasant to deal with at that inhumane hour. 

After this amazing start to the day, I will then be subjected to 5 hours of crawling to and from the back of the minivan retrieving milk cups, snacks, blankets that were thrown, toys, books and whatever else the little darlings can request from their servant.  That reminds me – do not wear a skirt.  I repeat…  do NOT wear a skirt!! 

Despite wearing Pull-Ups, there will be multiple stops along the way to go potty at the dirtiest, most appalling bathrooms in Texas.  The fact that the key will be attached to a 2 x 4 and inscribed with “Killer Loves Inmate” will not deter my little angels from insisting that the bathroom is much better than the clean, sanitary traveling potty that I have safely tucked in the minivan.  And no amount of coaxing will keep them in the car to use it. 

So, being a good Mother, I will take my little girls to the bathroom, hold one of them dangling over the seat that I have decorated with a toilet paper ring while screaming at the other one “DON’T TOUCH ANYTHING – IT’S ICKY!”   After bypassing the hand washing station because it sides more on the nasty side, I’ll rush the girls past the candy aisle repeating “Maybe later, maybe at Grandpa’s, NO!”, receive the customary dirty look from the store clerk because I did not purchase anything and, sweat dripping down my brow, rush them back to the van avoiding mud puddles and oil drips.  I’ll get them back in the car seat, obsessively wipe their hand with an entire tub of baby wipes and sanitizer, prepare to sit back in my seat just in time for the baby to start wailing because she wants to eat.  My husband will curse under his breath and insist that I sit back and attempt to nurse her while in the car seat because he wants to get going.  

So, being a dutiful wife, I’ll balance on one knee, aim a boob at Megan’s mouth and while falling from one side to another while my husband drives as if he’s in the Indy 500, I will somehow get her latched and feed her back to happiness.  And then I will attempt to climb back in the front seat and play my favorite game of “how long can I sit before someone else needs something.”  My record is 6 minutes.  This trip I am going for 7.

We’ll get there – 745 “Mommeeeeee’s” later – and then all will be right with the world again.  With the kids occupied by their cousins and Grandparents, I will finally be able to pee.  “MOOOMMMEEEEE!”  Well, maybe in a little while.

After hours of play, several barely missed trips to the potty in all of the excitement, a few hundred “Don’t bother me” looks from my husband whenever I try to come in and ask for help with the kids and still no time for me to pee, it will mercifully be time for bed.  This should go smoothly since the kids have had no naps and been up since 5am.  The fact that it is, most likely, past 10pm will only add to the excitement that I am about to experience.

I discovered a long time ago that the only way to get my kids calm enough to fall asleep at Grandpa’s house was to risk my parenting license and allow them to watch television until they fall asleep.  I know it is a major risk, but so far, we have held the authorities and critics at bay. 

By the time the 4th Spongebob has aired – Yes, I know Spongebob is not age appropriate for my girls.  Yes, I know that I have banned it from my home.  Yes, I realize my license is further at risk.  No, I don’t care.  That stupid yellows sponge prevents me from feeding my young to wolves…  roll with it!  – Sarah has usually fallen asleep.  Would you be surprised if I told you Katie is not?  No?  Good, then you are paying attention!

The baby, well – sigh,t he baby sleeps with me when we travel.  And since Katie is not asleep, Megan is usually up parting into the night with her.  And in their partying, they will wake Sarah multiple times.  I will do my best to get them all calm and to sleep while ordering the husband to go sleep in the other room because, let’s face it – he is no help.  He needs his sleep lest he wake banging his chest, dragging his knuckles and picking fleas off of himself. 

So, for my own sanity, I’ll take one for the team and continue to fight the girls all night.  There will be two on an air mattress that will inevitably deflate half way through the night thus causing the girls to clink into each other much like my vodka glass used to clink into my bar mates.  Ahhh….  Vodka…  


Anyway – the baby and I will attempt to share a pallet made of sheets, blankets and the hardwood floor.  I will build her side up to make her most comfortable and leave myself with a single sheet to use as a mattress and blanket.  I will kick myself for, once again, forgetting pillows since I won’t have one after dispersing them among my family members.  But I will prepare to get some sleep anyway. 

I’ll end up on the edge of the baby’s pallet with the corner of a blanket covering my knees.  And at that time, my dog, who has joined us on the trip, will have mercy on me and come lay her huge black body up against mine, thus causing me to balance on one hipbone and an elbow.  It will be the most comfortable 37 minutes of sleep I will get this year.  In fact, I often try to mimic the position at home just to see if I can get really good at it.  I am thinking of calling it the “pain in my ass” by Lori.  I’ll be rich… 

And then morning will come and I will do it all over again.  Only this time, we will add in cleaning up the house, making breakfast for the troops and spending 2 hours tracking my husband down and coaxing him to leave at a decent time. 

This will be the weekend to end all weekends.  It will be the weekend that will drive me to learn how to manufacture Valium in my basement.  The fact that I have no basement will not deflect from my determination.

But I will make it.  I will live for the next adventure.  I always make it…  we always make it…