Trip Planning

December 28, 2017

Trip Planning

We have to be at a distant location at a specific window of time on a specific day.  Easy enough, right?  Wrong!  Everything in our house is a sporadic adventure! 

Mom: It’s only an hour and two minute drive.

Christina: Then we leave at 8am.

(We are not supposed to arrive at said location until after 11am.)

Mom: Oh, no.  If we leave by 10, we go right by Grandma’s, pick her up, get lost, make 5 potty stops, and still have enough time to get you there.

Christina: Ahhhh! *facepalm*

(I think my teenager loves me.)

Seriously, I have learned a few things about planning trips with toddlers, teenagers, and husbands:

  • Plan to leave at least a half hour before you need to go (this allows for shoes tossed into the pond, a preteen sleepwalking back to bed four times, finishing any last-minute chore like making the list, and misplacing your keys which are already in the running vehicle)
  • Always pack like you will be gone for a week (diapers, wipes, four spare shirts, at least as many pants as diapers, spare shirts for anyone who may be carrying said baby, carrots and apples so you don’t get trapped by fast-food hunger, and 2 or 3 cases of bottled water should do it)
  • Whatever you do, plan 10 minutes extra to turn around (you forgot something you can’t leave home without – like baby’s special blanket, your toddler’s choice toy, your preteen’s library card, your sanity, or your husband’s totally non-standard phone charger)
  • Remember your wallet! (and make sure some toddler didn’t remove your license because he loves to play with mommy’s picture – that will be the day you will be pulled over for a faulty brake light or an oddly rocking vehicle)
  • Count heads (the children, toddler in carseat, hubby, take the dogs back inside, catch toddler who turned into carseat Houdini, now missing two! Oh yeah, hubby is unlocking the door for one who forgot to go potty)
  • Enjoy your 5 minute shopping trip! (or your entire day of travel)

Bonus fact: Music calms savage beasts and makes your vehicle a noisy dance-while-in-seatbelts rocking machine. Maybe DC Talk, Skillet, and Capital Kings are a bit rocky, but everyone dances to Deadmau5 and Disney.  As long as you have your license, roll down the windows, crank up the music, put on shades, and enjoy the ride!

Thanks for reading!

Type at you next time…

~Nancy Tart

The Chicken Castle

May 25, 2017

The Chicken Castle

   It was one of those days when I felt productive.  I’d managed to get the house cleaned, was hanging my third load of laundry, had finished catching up financial reports after our move, and everyone was still breathing.

Then there was a squeal that makes any mother immediately drop anything.  It was followed by “stay in that castle!”  (Okay, no one is hurt, probably.)  With my adrenaline pumping like a bass drum in my ears, I try to breathe and respond without screaming “WHAT HAPPENED?”

Jaquline and Jillian had built a castle with the outside blocks and had corralled the 23 one-week-old chicks into it.  Platinum, Chicka, and Sherlock (yes, they named the chicks!) decided the grass outside of the castle was better than the feed inside.  While the girls squealed and attempted to catch the chicks (Mix prong-horn antelope speed with mongoose evasion & you have a young chicken) 19 of the remaining biddie flock fled the castle.

“Mom!” Jillian wailed, (I was back hanging clothes) “Only Kerjack obeyed.”

“How can we keep hawks away from you if you don’t listen?” Jaquline said to the chicks as they gathered in one spot under a billowing sheet.  (Hawks only have a chance because they have super stealth.)

I spied a teaching moment! Perfect!  So I left the clothes and helped them gather the chicks to the safe spot where hawks usually don’t spot them and the girls could attempt to watch them again.  I told the girls: that is what we (parents) feel like when we give warnings (like the latest for Lucas, “don’t try to grab the goose at the park!”) but children choose not to listen.  We know what the danger is; like they know the danger for the chicks.

Jillian looked at her shorts.  “Like when you say wear pants but I have shorts and mosquitoes can bite me easier.”  Jaquline pulled up her pants and checked her legs for bites, then announced, “but I have long pants so I listened and I have no mosquito bites!”

Bingo!  This day now feels super productive!

Thanks for reading!

Type at you later,

~Nancy Tart