So we're taking the kiddos to Disneyland. To be honest, the man and I have been far more excited about our "surprise" trip than I could have imagined. Who knew rodents dressed up in polyester had so much appeal?
Being the creative geniuses that we are, we decided to copy the commercials and surprise the children. Thanks to a call from "Mickey," AKA my part ventriloquist brother-in-law, the kids believe we've been personally invited. They also think the mouse is paying.
Stupid, rich, little rat.
We packed up the car and kids yesterday, determined to make this The Best Road Trip Ever. Taking a cue from my mother, I brought along coloring pages, cheese sticks, a communal water jug, a grab bag filled with good behavior toys and doo-dads, and 17 pounds of candy.
What could go wrong?
Ten minutes down the road my kids were singing Kumbaya and sharing Skittles. Forty minutes down the road they were singing Ninety Nine Bottles of Beer and hoarding their Skittles. An hour into the trip, no one was singing and they were trying to shove Skittles up each other's noses. Oh yeah, Mickey would totally love that.
By the time we hit Nephi we had stopped at two Walmarts, three times at public restrooms (two were dry wolf cries), and once at the orphanage in case anyone wanted to get out (okay, the orphanage bit was just in my mind, but it was a serious consideration).
And then we hit the snowstorm.
Here's the thing about snow. When you're in love and tucked away in a cabin in the woods, it's romantic and inspiring. When you're trapped in the car, 22 miles from the nearest exit, with two kids who have to pee, it's, well, it's kind of like Hell frozen over.
We stopped at St. George to hole up for the night and stretch our legs, then packed the kids back into the car bright and early the next morning.
Cue sick child.
Our 3-year-old had spent the previous afternoon coughing and sniffing and complaining of an ear ache. I gave her the suggested doses of the appropriate drugs, and we all prayed her ear would get well in time to see Cinderella.
I don't know if she stuck a Skittle in there or what, but by the time we were three hours into day two of The Best Road Trip Ever, she was hurting something fierce.
Cue the Mojave Desert.
When a woman brings a child into this world, the doctor secretly plants a Freak Out chip in her brain that can be triggered by things like short sleeves in winter, toilet lids left upright, and a lack of pediatricians in the desert.
By the time the afternoon hit, my panic level was through the roof. We were hours from our destination and neither of us have a smart phone (aka a cell phone with magical powers that can call down the host of Heaven while ordering pizza). HOW CAN I SAVE MY CHILD AND FIND A DOCTOR WITHOUT A SMART PHONE?
We secured an address, made like the wind, and tried to get to the doctor before closing. As luck would have it, we missed the clinic by two minutes. That's right, no matter how cute my snot crusted little dumpling was, they weren't about to bust open those doors on a Sunday evening. I'd like to blame them, but really I can't.
By the time we rolled into Carlsbad our children were passed out in the backseat, the baby was tired of her plastic prison, and I needed a vacation to get myself revved up for the vacation.
That was four hours ago.
But, tucking those little darlings into their beds, with whispers of tomorrow floating through the air, I can't help feeling like maybe, just maybe, there's going to be a little magic left for us tomorrow. Well, first a doctor's appointment, but after that, definitely magic.
Annie Valentine is a Layton wife, mother and columnist. Readers can contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit her blog at regardingannie.wordpress.com.