Monday, December 18, 2006

And they’re OFF!!!!

We went to Los Angeles this weekend for the First Official $HOLYDAY gathering.

Guess what we learned, ten minutes before we loaded the last thing into Homer before launching onto I-5 for our eight hour drive?

The DVD player in the new minivan is busted. It don’t work. It ain’t functional. There were to be no movies. No Baby Einstein, no Strawberry Shortcake, no Finding Nemo.

People, I almost aborted the mission.

And then I said to myself, I said, “Don’t be silly! My parents drove from San Francisco to Los Angeles, like, twice, without the aid of a rear DVD entertainment system. Ha! In fact, we didn’t even have air conditioning! HA! IN FACT!! I remember when you’d pass signs that said ‘last gas 50 miles!’, and then you’d have to push the car the last 45, barefoot, in the snow!”

It’ll be fine, I said.

No problem, I said.


You know, how my parents made that journey without killing one or both of us, I don’t know. Because I was about >>>>this<<<< close to at least turning around and smacking Boo Bug a good one.

It wasn’t that they were being awful, the way I remember my brother and I being awful. You know, smacking each other, taking each other’s stuff, claiming we didn’t, getting into slap-fests in the backseat and kicking the back of dad’s seat until he lost all patience (and my dad is a very patient man) and began randomly smacking any kid he could get a hand on.

It was just an awful lot of kid-ness, in a confined and not altogether Most Comfortable Ever space, for eight solid hours. I don’t care what the booster seat people may claim, I have yet to find a seat that my Denizens say is comfortable for more than an hour or so. Then again, I find very few seats comfortable for any length time either, so I guess I can see their point as the hours drag on.

It didn’t take long for me to start snarling, “If anybody asks me {where we’re going, why we’re going, whether or not they’re going to school today, if they can have a sucker, how long we’ve been driving, how much longer we’re going to be driving} even One. More. Time, that’s IT! I’m putting you on the ROOF RACK!!!”

I found myself pondering, as we passed Harris Ranch (famous for steaks, and the overpowering aroma of cow poop), how the pioneers managed to make their way via wagon train from one place to another. At roughly ten miles a day, it would have taken us forty days to get from here to there.

Forty days of “…and you know what? You know what else? Mommy? Did you hear me? I said {blah blah blather yadda blah blather}!”

And, “I’m going to throw up!”

And, “I need ta go POTTY!” (this always said about eight minutes after the last stop for same).

And, “I dropped my {pillow, dolly, blankie, Ming vase}!”

Not to mention the lovely moments when all four of them would, responding to some secret signal, all start yelling at once about different things. The sighting of a horse would meld with the realization that someone had left their priceless whatever behind, overwhelming the cry that vomit was impending and all of it overshadowed by a burst of wailing from the toddler that meant either his ears were popping from the mountainous terrain we were whipping through at a solid 75 MPH or that he had just loaded up that diaper with something nobody wanted to deal with at that particular time.

It’s no wonder the pioneers made the kids walk behind the wagons. Keep up or perish, kid. What? What’s that? Sorry kid, can’t hear you – the oxen walk kinda loud. Just keep up, OK? We’ll chat when we make camp…half an hour before bedtime.

The Denizens had a great time marauding with the cousins, mommy had a wonderful time drinking all her sister-in-law’s wine, and the husband got to take Eldest and Boo Bug to Disneyland. They shut the place down, people.

I finished two sets of those coaster from KnitPicks. Well. Finished the knitting part. I still need to felt and cut them. The people at the parties were almost as amused by them as I was. Well. Or, they were laughing at me, that’s entirely possible. Or even likely.

I also finished a pair of socks, which were promptly given away as part of the White Elephant gift exchange. And started a new pair of socks on the way back up.

And now we’re home.

Home, sweet home.

Back to work, back to play, back to the mess and the clutter. The normal crazy and chatter. The revolving door of friends and family traveling for the holidays. The cooking, the cleaning, the laundry.

Holy days and new (tax) year approaching.

It’s good to go, it’s good to be home.

I can’t wait to sleep in my own bed tonight. And, oddly, to get back to work tomorrow. I've had some ideas while I was away, on that and other fronts. Lots to ponder, lots to do, lots to play around with.

Time away is a good thing, people. A very good thing.


Anonymous said...

ah, yes, threatening the kids with riding on the roof rack. Then two hours of said kid screaming because you didn't reeeaaally mmmmeeeaaannn it. And how not letting the kid actually ride on the roof rack makes you the MEAN MOMMY.

And yes, I'm quoting here.

Marianne said...

Heads would roll at the dealership if it were me! That thing is brand new!

Anonymous said...

So did you take Homer in to get him fixed yet?

21st Century Mom said...

Lesson learned - always keep some of those quiz cards in the car.

Also - Baby Einstein? Noooooooooooooooo!!!! They don't call it crack for babies for nothin'!

Glad you had a good time, though.