It’s official, I’m crazy. Cart-me-off-to-the-psych-ward crazy, according to my friends with children. Tomorrow we leave for an 8-hour roadtrip (not counting restroom breaks, nursing stops, and emergency i-gotta-pee-NOW stops, so more like 11 hours), and by “we” I mean me, my husband, my 13-year-old brother, and my 5-month-old son. The Motley Crew Travels to Iowa, Volume I.
What’s the destination? Not a comfy hotel in some nice metropolitan city with museums, zoos, and indoor pools. No, we’re camping. In a tent. On a lake in the middle of Nowhere, Iowa. Did I mention the tent part? Sadly, I’ve been told that tents do not come with built-in AC. Or built-in bathrooms. But I bought a 12-inch oscillating fan from Wal-mart, which I’m confident will protect the four of us from the 95-degree heat and humidity in a small nylon-enclosed space. (Stop laughing, it’s rude. Let me keep my delusions as long as possible, please.)
But before we can embark on this thrilling voyage of bonding, discovery, and excitement, I have to pack. I hope you noticed the pronoun usage in that sentence, starting with “we” and ending with “I”. Because I’m pretty sure my husband believes that a magic genie lives in the suitcase and coughs up shirts, underwear, swim trunks, and deodorant on demand. Although really, what else can I expect from a man who still swears that he has no idea which side of the closet is mine or what drawer to put whose pants in (there’s only one for each of us, and it’s been the same drawer for the entire time we’ve been married), so he can’t possibly put the clothes away. I am 100% serious. Apparently finding clothes to wear and putting them away are two entirely separate and completely unrelated skills.
Rant over. Back to the packing, which I’ve been working on for the last two days and still have not finished. I never dreamed how much stuff babies require for a 4-day trip. And I’m paranoid about forgetting something crucial, like my cell phone charger or diapers. I have a list (actually multiple lists) on my phone, which I refer to obsessively every 5 minutes because my brain is about as reliable as our older-than-me van with 200,000 miles on it. I’ve gathered almost everything into our living room, so if Josh wants to watch TV tonight he’ll have to perch on top of the pool floaty, towels, diapers, paper plates, and various clothing items. The main issue now is fitting everything into our Pontiac Sunfire (with freshly repaired AC – YAY!!), while leaving 10-inch-wide spots for our behinds. I hope Tim (my brother) is okay with holding a cooler on his lap…
Wonder why I’m attempting this? My mom’s side of the family has a big family-reunion shindig every year and this is the 5th anniversary with t-shirts and everything, so we’re the Michigan family branch ambassadors. Doesn’t really answer the question of why we couldn’t reunite at a nice Marriott hotel in Florida in, like, February instead of a blazing-hot Iowa campground in June, but that’s my family for ya.
So there’s the when, where, why, and how of our weekend excursion. Pray that we all return in one piece, don’t leave the baby or my brother, and remember everything important. I’ll try to update while we’re there, or maybe even in the car if I get bored.
I truly hope to talk to you all again, but if I disappear permanently, call the Iowa National Guard and tell them I’m lost in a cow pasture somewhere on Highway 80…