Green River Star -

By Stephanie Thompson
People Editor 

Surviving the long road trip


Yes, the Thompson family once again survived the long 18-hour drive to and from Minnesota.

The trip itself was a blast, but the grueling hours spent in the car with a son who never stops talking is enough to try even the most patient parent. Every time you even thought of taking a nap, there was a kick on the back of the car seat or one of the boys needed something. I must admit here that I did nap more than anyone else in the car, but it was restless napping.

No matter how much preparation I make in advance, it never seems like enough. I packed books, notebooks, workbooks, coloring books, crayons and pencils.

I even packed a pencil sharpener just in case and even though I have them all nicely put in a backpack for both of my boys, who are 5 and 7, they eventually wind up all over the bottom of the car floor.

I also backed their LeapPads, headphones, DVDs and miscellaneous toys. And yet, those too would all wind up on the floor.

This led to the boys constantly asking me to search for something they dropped on the ground.

With my seatbelt still on, I am trying to reach behind my seat and find the items they have lost. My youngest son, John, keeps telling me “Mom, it’s right there,” as he points to the toy, book or headphones. I have to keep telling him that I can’t see where he is pointing let alone where the object is.

Sometimes I find what they are wanting and other times I don’t, but I’m usually able to pick up something off of the floor one of them wants to play with.

The next problem is batteries. Yes, my boys found out that batteries die and don’t charge as well in a car charger than the wall charger at home. This resulted in Matthew asking about 15 times every hour if the LeapPad was charged.

When we would stop to fill up the gas tank, I would first pick up all of the items that needed to be thrown away and put them in the trash can at the gas station. Next, I would take the boys to the bathroom. This is all taking place while my husband fills up the car with gas and washes all of the bugs off of the windshield. When the boys and I return to the car, I pick up as many toys, books and anything else I can find and put them back into the backpacks. I then hang the backpacks on the side of the kids’ seats thinking they’ll be able to reach them better and that should lead to less mess.

No such luck. It seemed like within an hour of leaving the gas station, everything was on the floor again.

To top it off, both of my boys have special blankets and stuffed animals they like to take on trips and those would always wind up lost at least five times a day.

Eventually, we made it to Minnesota and back. All of us were in one piece and all of us were tired, but even though it can be a bit trying at times, I’ll pick the car ride over an airplane flight with two kids any day.

At least this way, the chaos is contained to our car and not on display for an entire plane full of people to see.


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