Aren’t road trips with three small kids so awesome?

I love road trips; until I get on one with three kids in the backseat. That’s when I realize: road trips completely suck.

So we’re driving along in relative peace when June starts whining from the back seat. I had given her a box of raisins to keep her occupied. Don’t ask me why I thought she would actually eat them. I look back and she says, “Owie!” and touches her nostril. Hmm, that’s a little odd. Why would her nose hurt? And why is her left nostril bulging like that?

That’s when she sneezes and the first two raisins fly out.

“Mommy, I gotta go potty!” Rex says at the exact same instant. Now, we all know when a three-year-old gets desperate enough to ask to go potty, you’re in trouble.

“Jason! Pull the car over!”

“Honey, we’re in the middle of a dust storm, this really isn’t the–”


Car pulls to the side.

I am not going to horrify you with the details of me trying to convince Rex to pee downwind in a dust storm. I would have had better luck inserting a catheter in him; there was no way that child was peeing with 45 mile gusts of wind at his back. We piled back in and I dried his dusty tears.

So on we drive. In a few miles we see two things, first, a sign that says, “Rest Area 3 Miles”, and second, a gas station.

“I’ll just get off here,” Jason says.

“No! Wait for the rest area. We can let the kids out to play,” I say, perched on the edge of my seat, gripping the dashboard and my door handle like a person suffering from severe claustrophobia. Believe me, I was way more uncomfortable than either of my children.

“But the gas station–”

“Just go!” Jason cautiously drives on, keeping his head down and his eyes on the road as we speed past the gas station. One mile. Two miles. Four miles.

“Where’s the freaking REST AREA!” I say calmly.

“I told you we should have–”


We drive another 15 miles of rest area-less highway. Can I just say how cruel it is to play a rest area joke on people? It’s not funny. Ever.

We finally pull into a gas station and unload everyone. I drag Rex and Harry inside and find this sign posted: “RESTROOMS OUT OF SERVICE. PLEASE USE OUTDOOR FACILITIES.” Honey buckets. All they had to offer were filled to the brim honey buckets. So disgusting.

I couldn’t do it to him. I stuff the boys back in the car, ignoring their seatΒ  belts, and race across the street to the nice, clean, tiled bathroom on the other side.

And Junie? Jason pulled three more raisins out while he waited for us.


  1. Michelle says:

    What? No one puked? I could so top that!
    And remind me to tell you about the time my husband WOULDN’T pull over, and made me “help” our 5 year old son pee in a Snapple bottle… or when he wouldn’t pull over so his pregnant wife could puke…
    Or when we showed up at Grandma’s with all the kids clothes, plus everything not plastic or metal from their car seats in a big garbage bad (also filled with puke)
    Good times… you make me feel really O.K. about not going anywhere for awhile.

  2. Honey buckets? That’s disgusting!

  3. Wow, and you have to come back! That is a most desolate drive too, not even trees to go behind. I hope all of the raisins are out…or at least make their way out.

  4. Couldn’t you have just shipped the children and met them there? I hear UPS & Fedex have some good deals. Just a thought for the drive home.

  5. I am laughing at your pain, the visuals are hilarious. I have an idea for your next family home evening, I think your kids need some survival skill training – peeing into a dust storm should be second nature by the time they are 3. At least Junie’s got creative food storage techniques.

  6. Why didn’t you think of him peeing in a snapple bottle?

  7. Oh, I’m wincing for you Annie. Thank heavens for the tiled/clean bathroom across the way. I think I would have barfed at the honey buckets.

  8. How far are you from Vegas? 5-6 hours? And I have Bryce convinced we can take a 24 hour drive to his sister’s in LA. You have me re-thinking my plan. Oh and I will not be serving raisins or anything smaller than the nostril.

  9. Oh, the family road trips. Full of horror stories. I have a TRILLION of them and it ususally involves car break downs. nightmares —I still should be in therapy about. Your story about the rasins in the Nose, (so funny) reminds me of something I did to my sister —now I am inspired to post it.

  10. I agree, we’ve taken quite a few roadtrips up to Washington (what 12 hours or so in the car, if that doesn’t make you hate your kids I don’t know what will), the way home is always the worst. The last couple hours it was just crying. Lots and lots of crying. HOURS of crying. Aren’t you so excited to come back now?!? Sorry, I am a little evil.

  11. Dang, that definitely stinks. Poor Rex. And the raisins? I’ve not had any of my children stick stuff up their noses or in their ears thank goodness, it would definitely freak me out. You are wonder woman.

  12. Why is it that something you so look forward to can turn into a nightmare in seconds? Oh wait, it’s because you have 3 kids under the age of 6! However, you have to admit that is the exact same reason why sometimes a nightmarish day can turn into hugs and giggles. So there’s still hope for the drive home!

  13. Honey buckets… hmmm… don’t quite know what to say.
    I’ve had a child shove raisins up their nose only they weren’t raisins, they were tic tacs and we had to visit the Doctor to get them out.
    Good times.

  14. Three rules of roadtripping:

    1. Bring empty water bottles for the boys.
    2. Bring pull-ups or poise pads or something for just in case you don’t pull over in time.
    3. BENADRYL. Lots and lots of Benadryl!

  15. Wow. And to think I’d wanted to go with you. And since you’ve had such a LOVELY time in Vegas so far, I’m doing way better handling my jealousy.

    Thanks Rex.

  16. I’ve done that before but we were on the verge of running out of gas. Stressful and not at all pleasant.
    Have an awesome trip and good luck on the drive home. πŸ˜‰

  17. Road trips and kids….shudder…..cringe…

  18. I just found out I have a soccer game the night of the Biggest Loser finale….not sure what’s gonna happen there!

  19. WHEW, I was a little behind on your blog so I just read the last three posts. First… no the coconuts do not make you look fat πŸ™‚ But yes maybe we should go on a power walk down the beach and then drink a lo cal smoothie – I’m buying πŸ™‚

    Secondly, woot woot to going to Vegas πŸ™‚

    Thirdly, hahaha, I have yet to have any kids and so I still like my road trips… well, that is, when I don’t get sick πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

  20. hahahahahahahahahahahah


    Sorry, I had to put the lol because I literally did laugh out loud on this one.

    hee hee

  21. I just love Kendra’s comment. It’s so Kendra. Always looking at the bright side.

  22. Oh man! I laughed out loud this time! (Which I often do)

  23. I’m sorry to admit, but I’m laughing. I really hope you had some fun while you were away from home. But I have to admit the picture I’m visualizing is making me laugh even more. We’ve had similar experiences, and really I know it is not funny. Maybe the giggles are just sighs of relief it wasn’t me in the car.