September 12, 2012 by Gina
Over Labor Day weekend, we took a big road trip to Madison and Milwaukee, Wisconsin to visit old friends and Brian’s sister and her family. It’s about a 6 hour drive to Milwaukee from Minneapolis without stopping and with a three-year-old and one-year-old, you know we stopped a few times. This was also our first big trip with our “new” car, the Mazda 5 that will soon have three children in it!
Anyway, this post isn’t really about our trip or the car or anything along those lines. This post is about the preparation before the trip and how many of our trips start in the Corcoran household. This is not a lovey, dovey post – it is the reality of a married couple with two children. I admit that before any trip, short or long, I get a bit crazy and my type-A personality comes out. To the contrary, my husband’s laissez-faire attitude seems to really kick it. As you may have guessed, this is like mixing oil and water – they don’t mix.
So here is a peak into our the day before our trip and the morning before we left for our trip.
Wednesday late afternoon: Brian has the boys at the zoo for the day and I come home to an empty house after working and an OB appointment. So, I run around in my empty house and pack an carry-on size suitcase with my clothes, Finn’s clothes and Getty’s clothes for 4 days. I pack a bag with diapers, pull-ups and wipes and an overnight bag with p.j.s for myself and the boys and one day’s clothes. We’ll be staying one night in Madison with friends before heading to Milwaukee so I wanted one bag with everything in it for the three of us so I didn’t have to bring in so much stuff. I gathered the stroller and the Phil & Ted’s traveller bed. I packed everything in the car and left the fifth seat up in the back so that we could see how much space we’d have in the car and to make sure we could fit another child in there with all of our gear. So far so good – I left a generous space for Brian’s GIANT bag he always packs in (granted…he does have bigger clothes than the rest of us).
Wednesday night: This discussion or some version always occurs the night before a trip. Brian – “what time are we leaving in the morning?” Me – “I think we should leave between 9 and 9:30 so that we can stop for lunch, Getty will get his nap in and we’ll be in Madison mid-afternoon.” Brian – “ok”. Me – “Let’s leave no later than 9:30 and you are in charge of packing snacks for the family”. Brian – “Ok – NLT 0930 – got it and snacks; sounds good.” We go to bed with visions of a fun trip in our head.
Thursday morning: I wake up with the boys, get them breakfast, get myself ready and throw in any last-minute items we need (camera, baby monitor, my book). Brian gets up, eats breakfast and starts doing Army stuff from his laptop at the breakfast table.
0815: Me – “Are you going to take a shower? If you are you should probably get going since we’re leaving at 0930.” He’s still in his underwear doing work and no snacks or his bag have been packed yet. Brian – “Yep, I’m going in a few minutes.”
This EXACT same conversation occurs about every 15 minutes between the two of us and he keeps saying he’s going to go take a shower and pack.
0900: Me – “You need to take a shower NOW if you’re going to do it. We’re leaving in 30 minutes and you still need to pack, get the cooler and the snacks ready.” Brian – “Yep, going in a few minutes. The snacks are in the car.”
So, I go to the car and the snacks are indeed packed in the car. But (here’s my type-A, craziness-before-a-trip personality kicking in) he’s packed them in a really flimsy reusable bag and snacks are already falling out of the bag and the car isn’t moving. They’ll be all over the car when it starts to move or we have to find something. So I grab the bag out of the car and yell at Brian, “These snacks have to be completely repacked. This is ridiculous.” He ignores me as I repack them in a sturdier bag.
0925: Brian’s finally out of the shower but now has to go to the bathroom, which for some reason often takes 30 minutes. I’m not happy at all at this point and am loading the kids in the car because I’m ready to go and so are the kids and we said we were leaving at 0930!!!
0935: The whole family is in the car and ready to go and we’re waiting for my husband who is packing the cooler and finishing packing. He’s finally done with those tasks and then throws his bag in the empty seat where our baby will be going (yes – no baby yet, but I wanted to make sure we had the space) and not in the generous spot I left for his bag in the cargo area. So, I am REALLY not happy now! The craziness is mounting.
0950: We finally roll out of the garage and are on our way on our trip. Then the shit hits the fan because I’m pissed that we’re leaving 20 minutes late and Brian is reminding me that we really don’t need to leave on time because we have no schedule.
Me: “You aren’t listening to me. This happens every time we go anywhere. I pack EVERYTHING and get everything ready for the family and the kids ready and you just have to get yourself and some snacks ready and you’re always late! It makes me angry. Why can’t you be on time.”
Brian: “It doesn’t matter. We’re not on a schedule and I’ll pack for the family, it’s not like it’s hard or takes that much time. You get all crazy when we travel. You’re nuts! Who cares what the snacks are packed in or that I put my bag in the seat where the baby #3 is going because we don’t even have the baby yet! You proved your point – our stuff fits. Why can’t I put my bag there.”
Me: “You aren’t hearing me. It’s not about the little stuff. It’s about that you never are ready and I have to remind you and nag you and then I’m pissy and crazy and our trips don’t start out well.”
Finn (from the back seat): “Mom, are you happy?” Me: “Yes, I’m very happy. Super happy.” Finn: “That’s good mom!”
Brian: “Oh, I’m hearing you but you’re nuts!”
This goes on for a few minutes more until I just can’t take it anymore and just read my book in silence for the next hour and cool off. By the time we got to Madison we were all exhausted and so glad to be out of the car. But, the rest of our trip was great! We loved visiting our good friends and family and it was worth all the craziness before the trip. How’s this go at your house?