The road trip from…. well, let’s just say it was bad.

winter road trip - pexels-photo-12875

Hubby is away at a conference and I thought that it would be a good idea to take the girls on a road trip to visit my parents. Bean was super excited and for a week before the trip, asked me every morning if today we were going to visit her grandparents. Then travel day came… along with a snowstorm. So we pushed the trip back a day. I get a phone call the next morning from Papa: “The storm’s here now. I’ll come to get you.”

So Papa drives a few hours to pick us up, only to turn around (after lunch) and drive back again. The girls were tired and I was hoping they would nap (at least for a bit) in the car. El cried. And cried and cried and cried… I would reach over into her carseat (Papa was driving) and shake a rattle for her, show her one of Bean’s toys, let her chew on my thumb, anything to try and distract the crying but nothing worked for longer than 5 minutes. She’s probably had a poo. Let’s pull over and I’ll change her. Except that the weather was atrocious and the thought of changing her in the car, with the door open and the strong winds gusting around her cute little naked bum, was not a pleasant one. I decided that maybe an indoor change table was a better idea. Tim Hortons it is!

Bean was asleep by this point, so Papa stayed in the car with her, while I ran into the Timmies with El wrapped up in a blanket in my arms. I get into the bathroom, put her down on the change table and realize that it was a blow-out! No wonder you were so upset little one! I clean her up, wrap up a now happy baby and head back out to the car. As soon as I put her into her carseat she starts screaming again. I climb into the backseat in case the sight of me will calm her down. Sadly it does not. Instead, her screams wake up Bean. “Mummy, El’s crying.” Right. I bite back a sarcastic comment and manage a thank you for telling me.

Another half hour of screaming and I decide that maybe the boob will calm her down. We pull off the highway to a rest stop and Papa takes Bean inside to buy me a coffee while I try to soothe El with the boob (aka breastfeeding). She only eats a little but happily stops screaming and entertains herself with looking around the car and out the window at the people walking by. Papa and Bean return with coffee for me (and Papa) and an apple juice for Bean. “I hope that was OK” says Papa.

I try to space out the consumption of the apple juice but every 5 minutes a little voice from the backseat says “Mummy, I want some of my apple juice now.” 10 minutes after the rest stop El FINALLY succumbs to sleep. Ah…. The sweet sound of silence (punctuated, of course, by requests for more apple juice). We’re half an hour from my parents’ house when a little voice from the back seat announces “Mummy, I need to pee!” Oh dear. We’ve just passed a major exit and are in the country where there’s a long stretch until the next exit.
Papa: There’s another rest stop in 10 minutes.
Me: We won’t make it that far.
Bean: Mummy, I need to pee!
Me: I know Bean, but you have to wait until we can get off the highway. Hold it for now please.
Papa: There’s an exit with a gas station in about 7 minutes.
Me: We need something sooner. Just take the next exit and I’ll figure it out.
Bean: Mummy, I can’t hold it! I feel the pee pee coming!
Me: I’m not opposed to the side of the road, but I would prefer if it wasn’t the side of the highway. (towards the backseat) Bean, look out the window. Count how many trees you see!
Bean: 1, 2, 3…
Me: We’ve got about a minute. Tell me there’s something coming up.

Then we both see the sign for the next exit.
Bean: 20, 21, 22…
Me: Just exit and then pull over. I’ll help her pee in the snow.
Bean: 30 trees mummy. I have to peeeeeeeee!!!!!
Me: Ok Bean, Papa’s going to exit up here, let’s get ready to jump out of the car. Put your hat and mitts on please. (I offer up a silent prayer: Please let us make it out of the car before the pee comes.)

The exit ramp ends at a carpool lot, so Papa drives into the lot and tries to position the car to block the wind. I throw open the door and am frantically undoing carseat buckles to get Bean out. I whisk her out of the car and into the snow. Did we make it? Has the pee come yet? Thankfully she’s dry, so I pull down her pants and help her to hang her bum out over the snow. The pee comes almost instantly and I’m keeping a watchful eye to make sure it doesn’t get on her pants, her boots, or on me. I can’t believe how much pee comes out of this kid! (Probably 300mL worth, since that’s how much apple juice she drank!) As I’m cleaning her up with a tissue she becomes all interested in the deep yellow hole her pee has made in the snowbank. “Mummy, look! My pee made a hole in the snow. That’s so crazy!”

I send a silent thanks heavenwards that I don’t have to clean up a pee-soiled carseat as I buckle Bean back into it. Thankfully the last half hour of the drive is event-free, even if the roads are now snow-covered. We arrive in one piece with Bean happily telling Grandma all about how her pee made a hole in the snow — definitely a highlight of the trip for her. I am now looking forward to some time relaxing with the girls at my parents’ house!

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