The three of us, my husband, Jet and I, travelled over 550 miles in two days for a family reunion. Yet, by the Grace of Jet, we avoided every single one of the trials and tribulations we had mentally prepped to mange on our trip:
- No discouraging sounds, words, or fussing noises of any sort were heard — with the exception of a few bravely stifled tears following a bumped chin.
- No remarks about boredom or fretful inquiries about how much longer we must languish in the car were issued.
- The barf bowl remained in pristine condition. No cookies were tossed in or out of the car. The prescribed medicine for motion sickness performed admirably and no allergic reactions occurred.
- We heard no urgent requests for a bathroom break that could not be contained until an appropriate facility was reached.
- No special stuffed animals, meemies or blankets were left in inappropriate places.
- No articles of clothing were lacking, stained or lost.
- After a brief hesitation, taking a shower with grandma proved an acceptable alternative to bathing.
- Shampoo suds stung no little eyes and conditioner helped the tangles come out easily.
- The pullout couch in the hotel room was found adequate for sleeping and no one fell out of or wet a bed.
- Available food was politely accepted and eaten. Possible side effects such as a birthday cake sugar-high failed to materialize. Restrictions regarding foodstuffs were willingly accepted.
- Staying up late did not cause hypersensitivity or brittle emotions.
- No bugs engendered fear or caused discomfiting bites.
- Separation from mom and dad resulted in neither anxiety nor homesickness.
What a joy it is to have a three-year-old granddaughter who can behave in such a positive and pleasing manner under trying circumstances. Admittedly, we were also extremely lucky. I’m sure Jet had no intention of missing her barf bag when she travelled with her parents just two weeks earlier! Still, she earns full credit for managing her own reactions and behaviors.
Jet’s enthusiasm for the prospect of new people and places both impressed and amazed her much more introverted grandparents. She was truly excited by the opportunity to meet Papa’s cousins; especially the first cousins twice removed who were also exactly three years old! She was eager and willing to visit a new state, sleep in a hotel, and turn strangers into new friends.
Jet even seemed to enjoy her 10 hours strapped to a car seat. She soaked up words to
songs from her grandparent’s youth. We belted out “Build Me Up Buttercup,” “America the Beautiful,” “Amazing Grace” and “The Bear Song,” until our voices were tired. She saw a cloud that looked like her stuffed kitty and barns that looked like the one made by Fisher Price. She saw amber waves of grain, huge RVs and a flatbed truck like her great-uncle drives. When we stopped for lunch she was delighted by the faint lemony taste of her water and the corn stalks growing next to Subway.
My favorite part of the trip, however, occurred about an hour from home. Jet thought ahead to our next trip and talked about bringing her brothers too, but I explained that our car isn’t big enough for three car seats. That’s why her mommy had to buy a mini-van. Jet said she was aware that the babies had caused mommy to buy the van, but then she began to wax philosophically:
“When the babies came out of mommy’s belly, she had to get the van. BOTH babies came out of mommy. But that’s just silly! Mommy had both babies in there and daddy didn’t have any. That’s really silly. It’s SO silly. She should have shared one baby with daddy! That’s just silly!”
Maybe by the time she’s ready to start a family she will have figured out how fathers can take a turn with childbearing!