The Road Less Travelled
August 18, 2015
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The road to hell is not paved with good intentions, rather with a fifteen-month-old toddler stranded in his car seat after a premature wake-up call from his nap. Little Man is not a good traveler. Let me give an account of the entire trip that began dubiously well. We managed to journey and to visit with my in-laws without incident. My son slept almost the entire way there, and actually enjoyed the destination; a marked improvement over the last time. Any parent can tell you such events are ominous, and the past Sunday was no exception.
My husband and I attempted to time our return home well (read: driving during nap time). Mr. Man’s afternoon of exertion gave him the look of a red and bleary eyed graduate student on the eve of submitting a controversial and ill prepared dissertation. The drive back was just under two hours; clearly the saints or gods of napping children would kiss my son’s eyelids, and my husband and I would enjoy the duration of the trip trying to find a radio station that would not induce convulsions. Clearly I was delusional.
It was appropriate that a hellish trip would be set in a climate that would give Hades ball sweat; fortunately the car was air conditioned, but it only took a brief stop to top off my gas tank for my son to wake-up in intermittent wails developing into full out cries of displeasure from the August heat seeking homeostasis in under five minutes. I had to admit that I could have joined my son in his fits if I wasn’t positive I’d look like a lunatic in an area that may have very well been a contender for scenes in Deliverance. True, exceedingly cheap gas kept the somewhat rural area populated by civilization, but one never knows…
Naturally, an exceedingly unhappy child coincides with traffic. This, however, was not the type of traffic one resigns to, rather a tease of atrocity that prompts poor diversion decisions…with more traffic. Despite the serenades of Little Man in the back seat and my husband’s increasing frustrations over the route, I must commend him for the effort; I would have driven us across country, only realizing my wrong turn somewhere in Minnesota mid winter.
Raggedly we made it back home, and I count my blessings we didn’t have to change one of my son’s infamous dumps in the trunk because that, my friends, would have reduced me to weeping on the side of the road. And, seriously, no one needs to spend a sweltering late August afternoon with that wrapped up in the back seat…