A wedding in the family inspired the Joneses to pile into the trusty Honda and drive through the night to Ohio where a good portion of our family is stashed. The Wee Jonesies were very excited to visit their great grandparents and assorted cousins, aunts and uncles. This trip would be the first time Baby Dorothy met the Ohio crew which includes Maw Maw Grace, the inspiration for Dorothy's middle name. Ariel drove the first shift. I had a couple of Red Bulls in a cooler and knew I could drive at any time thanks to those babies so I let him go first.
At 1.7 miles Aston asks, "Are we there yet?"
At 44.6 miles a suspicious smell tells us Dorothy's whining is not for nothing so we pull off the highway to a Dunkin' Donuts where we see a beautiful blonde woman in cat ears, a sequin shorts and bra set and black hooker boots making her way across the parking lot presumably to pay for gas. I decide traveling is fun.
At 51 miles a milk truck honked for the kids. That was a pleasant distraction form the baby's five minute crying jag.
At 53 miles our fearless leader Ariel announces, "There is nothing like a doughnut to be completely enticing then not taste all that good and leave you feeling sick by the time you are done". He then launched his first F- bomb of the trip at a truck in front of us.
At 62.6 miles after seven rounds of The Alphabet Song performed by Clara and me, Dorothy falls asleep. Enzo decides this is the perfect time for an air guitar solo with his amp cranked to eleven. He stopped when I shot him a look that said, "If you wake that baby I will kill you with my eyeballs alone".
At 69.9 miles Aston says, "I want to go home", for the first time.
At 90.5 miles we've pulled out the T.V. to distract poor Aston but the boys are sitting in the third row and can't hear Bugs and Daffy who are in the second row. We have a two screen set up so I attach one screen to the headrest of Clara's second row seat with the intention of attaching the other screen to my headrest but the cord won't reach so Clara has to hold her screen. There is a power outlet in the trunk that would solve all of our problems but I don't dare ask Clark Griswald to pull over.
At 95.4 miles Ariel asks, "Do I keep passing this same suburban over and over? It is like Brer Rabbit." I didn't give him the response he was looking for so he continued with, "You know, and the tortoise". I smiled and nodded while scanning the children's literature and fables section of my memory trying to answer the nagging questions in my mind, Who the heck is Brer Rabbit? and Isn't it the tortoise and the hare?.
At 108.3 miles Dorothy is awake and crying again. Clara doesn't want to watch T.V. anymore so she hands me her screen which knocks the power out of both screens. I ask Ariel what he did to fix the screens before the trip and he tells me he didn't have to do anything. They were fine when he plugged them in. I explained to him that they always worked when first turned on. The power turns off mid movie and I could swear I explained that to him before we left. Whatever, we have no T.V. and a crying baby. Fantastic.
At 124.2 miles I attempt to breastfeed standing over a car seat. I'd pulled this stunt years before with Clara and figured I could pull it off again.
At 136 miles after dozing off for a second Dorothy is very upset and breaking my heart.
At 174.5 miles Dorothy is asleep, phew. The first thing I forgot at home makes it's self known at this point. Aston wants a blanket, There are no blankets. I offer him a dress out of my suitcase but he is very uncomfortable with the idea. It sounds a little too much like wearing a dress for him. He decides instead to use a pillow on his legs. Ariel cheerfully says that we are making good time like I might care. Sad uncomfortable children are making me sad and uncomfortable.
At 222 miles Aston falls asleep after saying, "Mommy it is night time. Daddy needs to turn the car around and go home. I need my bed". The second thing I forgot becomes known at this point. There is no garbage bag for the orange peels left over from Aston's bedtime snack.
At 241.9 miles I realize I forgot my pillows.
At 287.1 miles I push one of my Red Bulls on Ariel with the warning that it is the worst tasting drink on the planet. Think liquid wet wipes.
At 309 miles I hear a strange sound in the van. Enzo is crying. He has to pee. I timidly tell Clark Griswald he has to pull over and he tries to scold me for not telling him four seconds before because he JUST drove by a rest stop but I hiss something into his ear about him pulling out his headphones and me not being psychic and he leaves me alone. When we finally do pull over the timing is perfect. The baby is ready to eat so two birds are killed with one stone. Ariel informs me we are getting f-ing great mileage at twenty five miles to the gallon considering how much weight we are moving with so many people and so much stuff crammed in the van.
At 422 miles Ariel pulls off so we can switch drivers. I slam my Red Bull in two sips and hop behind the wheel.
At 432 miles I think back to Ariel's comment on how heavy our family is and try to figure out how much The Joneses weigh as a unit. I have to laugh because even seated among my sleeping family crunching numbers in the privacy of my mind I have managed to lie about my weight.
At 644.9 miles Ariel has crawled back behind the wheel for I don't know what reason because I'm still flying on caffeine and could easily get out and push the van the rest of the way if necessary. Ariel pulls into a McDonald's to get an Egg McMuffin and a coffee. The kids are up even though it is only 4:30am. I tell them we will get them each a milkshake. This turns out to be a bold faced lie because the nearly asleep voice in the drive thru box says, "We take our milkshake machine apart at 2:30 every morning for cleaning". I growl something about there is no way in Hell it takes two hours to clean the stupid machine but Ariel shouts his order over me. At the first window Ariel manages to overpay by a dollar. At the second window he is handed a nearly empty cup of coffee but doesn't complain because he is so shocked to see that Mr. T is now a woman and works the drive thru window of a midwestern Mickey D's.
At 660.1 miles a delighted Aston says, "Ooh YAY! Red STARS!!!!" but his bored older brother squashes his enthusiasm with a cool, "Those aren't stars. They're towers".
At 673.2 miles Aston tries again with, "ALIEN SPACESHIPS!!!!!"
We made it in one piece. We enjoyed our visit with our family tremendously. We even survived the ride home. Yet I am petrified because another of Ariel's cousins is getting married next year and we plan to be there and I don't think there is a teleporter in our budget this year.