Sunday, November 27, 2011

Day 1495 - Thanksgiving Road Trip

Although we went as far as buying a turkey for the freezer, we decided at the last moment to go to Northern California for Thanksgiving.  We only visited Santa Clara this time because Crazy Gaga was too busy cleaning out the slot machines at all of the Indian casinos.  Literally, cleaning out the slot machines.  She brings a bucket of sponges and Lysol and literally cleans the slot machines inside and out.

It was a quick visit, but it's always nice to spend the holidays with family.  How else would you know what a colonoscopy or prostate examination feels like?  And it's all the more better talking about it while eating turkey and stuffing....emphasis on the stuffing.

Although holiday conversations about body orifices are always intriguing, what I really want to talk about is the road trip to Santa Clara.  Just in four short years, these road trips have gone from exhausting to really exhausting.  When you're traveling with infants, the tough thing is the bottle feeding and the over-packing of luggage and supplies; did we really need to bring the Diaper Genie in the car?  But when you're dealing with four year olds, it's a whole other ball game.

I'd say between three and four years old, our kids began to get bored and infinitely irritated with car trips.  About the only two things our kids say to us on these long road trips are "Are we there yet?" and "You ran over another bird!"  This age was also the time when we decided to purchase a portable DVD player -- the savior of all car trips.

But the one thing that really got me on this trip was my thought that driving at night would make it easier.  We drove several hours, stopped off for dinner, and then brushed the kids' teeth and put them into their pajamas.  With about three hours left, I thought I could coast right through while the kid sleep through the rest of the trip.  But boy was I wrong!  Why is it that the kids will fall asleep coming back from Costco, but when we have 200 miles left to Santa Clara, all they want to do is raise my blood pressure?

As we pulled back onto the highway for the last leg of the trip, Andrew immediately started to whine.  What was he whining about?  He was complaining that it was too dark outside. 

"Andrew, it's night.  It's suppose to be dark," we explained to him.


"You need to go to sleep like the sun," we said.

"WAKE UP THE SUN!!!" he demanded.

His whines turned into screams and cries.  Inevitably, this began to get Emma upset.  Her tolerance for shrieking and very loud noises has decreased, so she got angry at Andrew.

"Andrew!  Stop crying!  It's too loud!" she pleaded.


"You stop it!"




And cue the dissonance tones of crying and shrieking by the Emma and Andrew Crabby-nacle Choir.

I put away the DVD player because I thought the kids were going to fall asleep.  So Lisa grabbed the player, and attempted to set it up for the kids.  This always gets me a little nervous because Lisa has to turn around in her seat and stick her butt in my face to reach the DVDs.  I fear that she might slip, and her ass on my head would be the end of the Ichikawa family.  I imagine our epithet would be something along the lines of "What an ass-inine way to die."

Of course the kids' excitement of watching a DVD turned into disagreement over what to watch.  Even when we told them they could take turns watching a DVD that turned into an argument over who got to watch their show first.  I felt like I was listening to CSPAN.

Ultimately, Cars 2  and Go, Diego, Go made the remainder of the car ride peaceful.  We arrived at Santa Clara at 10:15p and the only person who fell asleep in the car was Lisa.  Coincidentally, the only person who pooped in the car was Lisa, too.

As I got into bed at midnight and thought about our crappy car drive, I took solace with the thought that my crappiness isn't unique.  My crappiness is the one thing that bonds me with all of the other families across the country trying to make it home for Thanksgiving.  So this year, I give thanks to all of the other crappy families out there having a crappy day and crappy travel problems.  Happy Crapgiving everyone!

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