I don’t know if any of your parents did this with you as a kid, but I now understand why my parents would sometimes take us “out for a drive.” They would load us up in the car and we would drive from Lakewood into Tacoma, checking out all the great Tacoma “landmarks.” I actually did not remember my parents doing this until today….when I took my own children “out for a drive.”
The the last two weeks have been pretty miserable. Benjamin is teething, teething like it’s his job. A baby teething is much different from a toddler teething. Babies are sad and want to snuggle. Toddlers are cranky, naughty and miserable, which makes everyone else around them, meaning me, miserable. His naps have been next to non- existent, he is testing every possible boundary, and he has night terrors every night.
I was recently talking to a mom of 3, telling her about the last few days. She told me that that on occasion she would go through the drive-thru at Starbucks, get a latte and take the longest possible route home. The kids were all safe, still, and calm, and she got a break.
So today after Benjamin only took a 90 minute nap, and Gilbert fell asleep on me while nursing, I couldn’t take another day of not having a kid-free break. An hour before my husband came I home, I put the kids in the car and went “out for a drive.”
It didn’t occur to me that I would be joining all the commuters headed home from a day’s work. I thought it was really ironic that most people on the road were in their car trying to get home, exhausted from their day and I was in my car just trying to get out of the house, exhausted from my day.
I first stopped at Starbucks, got my pumpkin spice soy chai and a cookie for Benjamin. Little did he know I slipped a cookie out of our freezer on our way out, trying to save $1.50. Then, we made our way to 5 mile drive around Point Defiance. It’s a great drive, there are beautiful fall leaves, a view of the water and very little traffic. I kept praying the car wouldn’t break down as I occasionally drove by creepy men hanging out by their cars. I even saw walking a man with a hook for a hand walking the opposite direction. In case I got a flat tire, I was hoping he would be more like Captain Hook than the guy from I Know What You Did Last Summer. It’s funny what your imagination can do when you’ve been “alone” all day. On our way home I tried to win a trip to Hawaii a local radio station was giving away. I didn’t win, shocker! Choosing the 10th caller is a very unreasonable number, it only gives 9 other people the hope of winning. I made it home, where Kollin was just pulling up. It was great, I got an hour break and when I got home I was no longer out numbered. Whew!
The point of this post is that if you are a mom or dad of small, wiggly, fussy, children and you need a break there is nothing wrong with going for a long drive to catch your breath and reenergize with a cup of $4.00 coffee. It was a great piece of advice that I received and I would like to pass on to any tired, worn down parents out there.