This past weekend we took a long overdue trip to Indiana to visit some friends. We had a great time, us adults had lots of time for visiting and catching up, the girls all played well together and their daughter even gave us a tour of the Notre Dame campus.
Thinking of the great time we had I was trying to mentally calculate when we’d next be able to get together when I remembered an itsy bitsy detail of the trip that was a bit of a problem – the drive. Not that it was too far – no, it’s just that there is this place in between us, you may have heard of it, it’s called Chicago…
Ever since driving through the Windy City with Ivy screaming in the back (because that’s what she always did in the car as baby) and Henry the cat meowing incessantly (because that’s what he always did in the car) while I attempted to stay calm as I crept along in traffic next to a semi whose trailer was burned out and swaying frighteningly in the breezes I’ve been a little twitchy about the whole driving Chicago with children thing.
I’m sad to report that the way over did nothing to calm my fears.
Construction appeared, traffic slowed down, kids started yelling.
It was like magic.
Dark, bad, black magic.
Fortunately, I was not the only adult in the car, the bad magic was short lived and we made it to our friends house…eventually.
Unfortunately, before I knew it our weekend together was over and it was time for the drive home.
The trip home started out great, we timed our leaving perfectly for Jane’s morning nap, part way through the drive we stopped for a break/lunch/shopping trip/shooting/African safari/run/fish watching/turtle finding/tent testing at Cabela’s (Best store to take a driving break in with little kids!) and got back in the car for the last half (HA!) of the trip.
Apparently we forgot that this was the half with Chicago in it.
John and I had just congratulating ourselves on our timing, the fact that our two youngest were sleeping, decided on our route through the dreaded city and just about when we had finished patting ourselves on the back (Foolish, very foolish, never tempt fate, traffic or small children.) we looked up to this:
Which is precisely when Jane woke up and filled the truck with an unmistakable sound and aroma, and then proceeded to tell us just exactly how she felt about that. Did you know that when you combine crying babies, poopy diapers, traffic jams, questioning 5 year olds and sketchy neighborhoods time slows down? I was paying close attention to the passage of time and I feel I can accurately report that John found a very nice apartment complex with a few empty parking spots, (which we used to do the fastest diaper change ever) a mere 7 million hours and 57 minutes after Jane’s initial blast. If that’s not some sort of evil magic at work I don’t know what is!
No matter the cause we aren’t about to let it stop us from visiting friends and family on the other side. We’ll be ready to drive back around Chicago just as soon as our blood pressure comes down, our knuckles regain their normal coloring, and our kids have all reached the age of 18!