Christmas time in our household = travel. Every year. Unless I have just had a baby or am about to have a baby, which will never be the case again. So yep, travel. Every year. With 3 kids. Lots of Mommy-bloggers and Daddy-bloggers have written about this topic, so here is my latest tale to add to the pile.
We usually make our Kansas City - Chicago drive in one day, but with an impending KC ice storm, we needed to get on the road ASAP. This led to us splitting the drive and spending the night in St. Louis.
We arrived at the hotel at around 11 pm. All 3 kids were blessedly sound asleep, so my husband went in to check in and set up the room with bags, pack and play, etc. As it was late, dark, and a sketchy man was wandering the parking lot asking for change, I locked the doors while we waited in the car. About 3 minutes later, our 5-year old awoke screaming that he needed to go potty RIGHT NOW. Ummmm.... your sister and brother are still asleep and Daddy is somewhere in the hotel. It is almost the middle of the night, and freezing rain is pouring down. Options?? Not many. Not sure yet how I am going to manage this, I know that at least I need to get him out of the car. Maybe Daddy will come out to get him, maybe he will pee on the sidewalk, who knows. I hop out, run around to his side of the van, and.... oh crap, I had locked the doors. The keys are in the ignition because we are keeping the car running for the heat. So Mommy is standing outside in the rain yelling to my hysterical son through the window.
"Try to open the door! Can you open it? Try! Try again!"
Fail. Damn safety locks!
"Mommy!!! I reeeeeeeeeally need to go potty!"
Crap. I did happen to have my phone so I texted my husband: "Come outside. Now."
Next course of action -- I told him to climb over the seat (please don't pee on it!) into the driver seat to hit the unlock button.
"See the button with the lock on it? Hit the unlock button. No, not that one. That one. Not that one. That one. The one above it. The other one. No, the OTHER ONE."
Other people are entering the hotel watching this frantic mother standing outside her mini-van in the rain at 11 pm yelling "The UNLOCK button! UNLOCK!"
Finally, he gets it. Success!! No pee yet! As he emerges from the car, my terrified husband comes running out of the hotel thinking I am being car-jacked due to my frantic text. I push my son towards him and yell, "POTTY!!!"
15 minutes later, we are in the hotel room. Son has peed, other kids are wide awake. Over an hour later, however, everyone is settled and in bed. But baby is not happy. Baby wants Mommy, not this random pack and play in a strange hotel room. I warn everyone that he is going to cry for a bit, and we all need to deal and lay down quietly. The pack and play is RIGHT NEXT to our bed. I lay him down, climb into bed, and he screams. After a few minutes, he is quiet. But I have to pee. I slowly start to pull the covers back and WAAAA! again. SHIT. No pee for Mom. 5 minutes later, he is calm again. But now I have to cough (and still pee). I try like hell to hold it in (the cough, and well, also the pee). Tears are streaming down my face. After about 5 more minutes, I let out a quick cough as quietly as possible into a pillow.
This was night 1 of a 2-week trip.