As my one friend told me when I told her I took a 9 hour drive by myself with a toddler and a large dog, "you must be brave." My response was yes, or insane....
My son was actually remarkably good for a trip most adults would find downright annoying. We made it almost all the way to West Virginia without any mishaps. I stopped at a Burger King, (yes, I am that mom who vowed that her son would not get fast food until he was five or older... that clearly went out the window.) On a hot day with a dog in the car, there was no stopping for a leisurely meal. First of all, let me tell you, if you take the wrong turn in the hills of West Virginia, there is quite often not an easy fix. They do not have "blocks" to go around there... That added about an additional 15 minutes to our trip and possibly a couple of grey hairs.
We went in to the Burger King, I went to the bathroom with him strapped to his stroller in a handicapped stall and then went to order food. I got this, I said to myself. I even navigated the restaurant doors for the most part with the stroller without a hassle. I got out to the car and then... When I picked up my son from the stroller, the stoller tipped back, knocking off the back m
y purse, the diaper bag backpack and most importantly the vanilla shake I had bought for my son as an awesome treat. I still needed to get the kid strapped into the carseat, so as I was wrestling with him (he now was seeing that a longer car ride awaited him and was not thrilled), I imagined the shake getting everywhere. "I got this," I quietly said to myself to try to keep it together. I cleaned up the stroller, and of course all of the liquid shake had escaped and gotten everywhere. Got it cleaned up and thought, "oh yeah, I got almond milk," as my child was screaming for his shake and his fries were too hot to eat and pretty much nothing was going to satisfy him. I got the almond milk (I had tossed it in because it didn't require refrigeration and who knows when you're going to need almond milk?) and diluted the ice cream of the shake into a cup for my son. This took several dilutions. I tried to keep my chill. Just as I was starting to pack up, an older couple comes by and the man says, "just think, someday he's going to be a teenager, I'd start praying now!" I responded, "I started praying when I was pregnant." "Good move, " he said.
Bravery... We went to the Newport, Kentucky Aquarium on Monday. The boys had a great time running all over the place, seeing "fishies". At the very end, they had a 75 foot long rope bridge (enclosed by netting) that walked over their huge 385,000 gallon tank with nearly two dozen sharks, four exotic shark rays and more than 300 fish. It was so narrow that my son had to put one foot in front of the other (it did have netting on both sides and as one of the workers said, over 250,000 people have walked across it uneventfully). It was still scary. My friend and her son wanted to cross it and I was so hoping that my son wouldn't and that would be my way out. Of course he wanted to go across (thankfully he didn't try to show off his spiderman skills on the netting.) It's kind of funny when a two year old get's a mommy to do something she doesn't want to do. Isn't it supposed to be the other way around? I guess being a mom to a two year old takes a different kind of bravery : )