On the Way to Cape May...
It smells like muck.
My children are soundly sleeping, wafting in the salty air.
There is sand already in between my toes.
There is an outside shower.
I do love me the beach.
Sounds so magical, right?
Oh but you know it's coming. A nostalgic post, seriously? From this neurotic clown?
I am presently scratching 3 mosquito bites on my ankles with my toenails after only being outside for 3 total minutes. Get over yourself, like you've never done that.
I have never in my entire life, in my entire 32.5 years of living taken so long to get to the beach. Who is to blame? Those rotten scoundrels that I just carried around in my uterus for 9+ months, their bladders, the stupid turnpike, the dumb Phillies, and speed limits on the Jersey Turnpike. I mean you get pulled over by a Jersey State Trooper, you might as well start selling Lemonade on the Atlantic City Expressway, because there is no way you have ever seen or paid a ticket that high unless of course you frequently cruise towards the beach, and you are going to surely be left broke. Sneaky little fools hiding in the trees.
It was just me. Me and the 3 little darlings. I mean how hard can it be? We have made it to the beach before with 2 children, what's one more? And they both were small during some of these road trips to sandy highways, even younger then Jake is now. You never truly anticipate the craziness that might ensue. That would truly be ridiculous and you would never want to leave your house. I mean childbirth. You swear as that child is ripping apart all your lady parts that you would much rather be struck in the head with a boulder 10 times, and then it is over, and you do it again. And for some of us, and again, and again...
Oh but it was just me. That's the key. You might as well have thrown me into the wilderness with hungry savage beasts and I would have fared better. We are not 5 minutes down the road, 'Mommy, I have to go pee, and can you get us some gum?' Now here's the rules, you go once, you are breaking the seal. It's inevitable that you are going to have to go again, and soon. Does that work the same with 5 year olds, you ask? Let me assure you that it most certainly does. So it's me, 3 children, over luggage in and out of seats and buckles, somehow in 5 minutes we have lost a flip flop, trudging into Wawa. Normally, with a road trip companion you would just take said peer into the restroom alone with one adult, the rest would wait in the vehicle. So you can imagine. I love me a worker that says, 'oh you have your hands full!' Why do people say that? Why state the obvious? I am a mother with 3 small children, all attempting to make decisions on a snack as if their lives just might depend on it. Of course I have my hands full. Next time someone asks me, I am going to either say, 'Oh no, why do you ask,' as Kendall contorts her body and face into all positions while shrieking about not being able to get a lollipop and a piece of gum. Or like break down and pretend like I am sobbing uncontrollably. Either way, the person asking will never say it again. It's seriously said to me at least once or twice a week. It's on now.
So we start going, again. I have on some tunes. I pretend that I can't hear them as they ask me, shouting, 'Mommy, how much longer,' 10 minutes after the pee stop. Thank goodness for Keisha, her techno beats override the high pitch voice of a child under 10. I have found that if you crank it loud enough, and put the windows all the way down you can only hear muffled screams, they barely even register on the rank of sound.
Here's the skinny on the highlights:
-Car fire on PA Turnpike shutting it down, leaving me to get off of it during rush hour, traveling on a two lane road that moved as slow as molasses. 'Mom, is this the beach, you said once the highway ends we are at the beach, where is it?'
- Finally moving, moving, Jacob screaming, screaming. Kendall shouting, 'I have to pee, you need to pull this thing over, its urgency!'
- I tell them I am not stopping until I cross a bridge. It is 3 hours in and I am still in the same state we live in. If they need to pee they are going in the sand buckets, I totally became that parent.
-We begin to drive over overpasses, 'oh there's a bridge, we just went over another one, there's another one, this is terrible, we passed over, 1, 2, 13, 27 bridges and you still haven't stopped, you are so mean, I am going to die!!!!!!!!'
-I assure her that no child has died on a road trip from an exploded bladder, and that if she needs to, I will pass her a bucket. Followed by silence.
-We sit and sit going into Philadelphia. Because its that stupid. I tell ask my friend Sue if she knows where all of this people are going, with the unemployment rate so high, this many people should not be on the road.She offers nothing in return, just a sorry. I tell her I would have rather been punched in the face 7 times right now.
- Ethan crying because his wenus hurts he has to pee so bad and does not want to pee in his sandbucket because it has Toy Story guys on it. I mean I suppose if I had a simple green bucket, he might have whipped it out.
- Pulling over to the side of the road, putting down window, having E stand on seat and pee out the window.
- Hunger screaming, not even Keisha can drown this out as I get smacked in the head by a wiffle ball that Jake has managed to get.
- Rest Stop with 3 small children. Enough Said.
And then we hit it. Exit 7S.
Love Exit 7S.
It's like you're home free as far as beach traveling goes for us. How many times have I driven to the Jersey Shore hit exit 7S and put down the windows because I am almost there? And it's in that moment that a calmness comes over the van. Bellies full, Daddy on the phone, the salty humid air hitting the hair making it instantly curl.
I love you 7S.
We cross over the bay.
'You smell that, you smell the beach,' I ask them.
E: 'Um, I smell poop. It smells like a fart. Who farted?'
Me: 'Knock the potty talk off.'
E: 'But it smells. Kendall did you fart?'
Me: 'Its the Bay, E. That's what I asked you to smell.'
E: 'It still smells like a fart back here, Kendall did you fart?'
Kendall: 'I. DID. NOT. FART. Mommy, Ethan is saying I farted and I didn't fart.'
Me: 'I said stop it. One more potty word and you are walking the rest of the way.'
E: 'But she really farted Mommy.'
K: 'DID NOT!!!!!!!!!'
Me: 'IT'S THE BAY!!!!!!!!!!!' (why am I indulging in this, oh perhaps heading onto hour 6 might have triggered that.)
E: 'Well who farted in the bay?
K: 'Mommy, E said a potty word.'
And volume back up...
Next time 7S...no kids allowed.
at 11:41 PM