Today, we are heading to Kansas for Thanksgiving. We'll be in the car for approximately 8 hours with our bickering children who, just yesterday, asked how much "gas station food" they'll get to have. They have come to equate road trips with bad food. I know that we should pack healthy snacks and make sandwiches and all that but we don't. We eat fast food. We get Doritos when we stop for gas. I dole out Jelly Bellies as a leisure activity. We do this all in moderation, of course, but the kids get a literal taste of how a big chunk of America lives. Then, we live with the consequences. The kids lose their minds and, before you know it, they are wrestling for that last Skittle that fell down in the seat to keep the old Cheddar Bunnies company. When that's settled, they both start singing loudly and then take breaks to scream at each other that it's too loud. Luisa keeps her eyes on the road and I turn around frequently to give the steely-eyed parental stare that has absolutely no impact on their behavior. I then turn to my Skittles and the sorting. Sort, munch, read bumper stickers, judge other drivers by their bumper stickers, turn and give the look, read billboards, turn up radio, smile at Luisa, sort, munch and so on - for 8 hours. In all seriousness, our kids are fabulous travelers and can entertain themselves. It's just the last hour of the trip that seems to get a little dicey. That's when we play the "Who Can Be the Quietest Longest" game. Miguel is so competitive that he falls for it every time. Zeca is finally starting to participate. This only works for a couple of minutes at a time but if you play it 30 times in a row, that gives you an hour which feels like an eternity when you are trapped in a car with two young kids.
Our bags are packed (more or less). I'm going to have some coffee and hope the children sleep a bit longer so that I can enjoy the last bit of silence I'll have today.