Sarah Avery (dr_pretentious) wrote,
Sarah Avery

On Road Trips With Small Children

A trip that will require six to eight hours in the car is not necessarily impossible to do in one day with a toddler, as long as you are free to make as many stops as you need to, for as long as you need to, playing it by ear based on how your kid is acting.

But if you have, say, a ferry to catch, and it must be the one that leaves the mainland at 6pm, such that you have to press on without stopping, even while your 18-month-old is screaming, begging to nurse, that's something else altogether.

Or if you have, say, a tutoring client scheduled for the evening you get back, it's far better to cancel right up front than to have to press on, even while your 18-month-old is screaming, begging to get a well-deserved break from his car seat.

We ended up missing the ferry we had tickets for and going stand-by later that night, no harm done, so we might as well have made the trip easier on little G in the first place. We ended up getting stuck behind an accident on the way home and having to cancel the student appointment anyway, get the picture.

Poor kid.

So now we know what was probably obvious to everyone else on earth: Don't set out on a long trip with a toddler and a same-day deadline, period. Ever. It turns out four hours is the absolute maximum driving time we can commit to getting through in a day with any prediction about when we'll arrive.

How people with more than one child ever get anywhere is a complete mystery to me.

We actually had a really good time, or rather, several bouts of really good time interspersed over our rainy weekend on Martha's Vineyard. When I've recovered from the ordeal of getting home, it may be possible to write a post about the fun parts.

I had one of the most productive writing sessions in recent months sitting in my car on a dark, cold night of heavy rain, after Dan and Gareth had gone to bed and the hotel lobby was locked up. Sitting in the driver's seat, running down the car battery to keep all the lights on, shivering in all my damp raingear and dripping on the legal pad propped on the steering wheel, I finally figured out how to fill the giant gaping plot hole in the Ria story. It wasn't fun, exactly, but it was a tremendous relief.
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