Thursday, December 31, 2015

From Atlantic to Pacific, Gee the traffic is Terrific!

To me, nothing says happy holidays like an extended stay road trip. What could be more fun than cramming the whole family into the car while singing, "From Atlantic to Pacific, gee the traffic is terrific," packed tight like overstuffed olives, as we inhale stray strands of hair from the dogs balancing on the wrapped gifts in the back seat? Yep, there's no place like home for the holidays.

Before my parents moved South, we would make an annual Christmas road trip from Georgia to Massachusetts, stopping halfway in Delaware so we could spend time with both sides of the family. Sometimes, on the way back home, we would load up Aunt Katie and cousin Olivia to make the last thirteen hours of the trip a little more exciting and ring in the New Year with some real Chesapeake Bay pizzazz. The challenge was always how to add two more passengers to a vehicle that already resembled one of those tiny circus cars with the twenty something clowns in it. We rode with our load far beyond the top of Mount Crumpit!

On that particular trip, Senia Mae was probably a year and a half, no more than two, and was still at the age where she spoke only a few choice words. I called them "power words" because the phrases she spat our had to have the effect she wanted; sometimes she had to use a little more vocal force to drive the point home. After a exceedingly long standstill on 95, the bumper to bumper chaos was beginning to take its toll on our moods, so we pulled off somewhere in Virginia to get a little fresh air and stretch our legs.

After we had all used the restroom and refreshed our beverages at Dunkin' Donuts, the dogs had been walked and we were crossing the parking lot towards the car. When Senia Mae realized where we were headed, she immediately cemented her feet to the pavement like a stubborn old mule.

"Poopie diaper, poopie diaper, poopie diaper," she grumbled, resisting our attempts to move her forward.

I had just changed her diaper a few minutes before. When I slid my finger around her back side and propped it open, there was nothing in there, just like I thought. Senia Mae must have been testing out her dawdling tactics in hopes of going elsewhere, anywhere but back in the car. At eighteen months old she was already giving us the fake out!

As grownups, we don't always appreciate our ability to freely express our opinions. I guess shouting "poopie diaper" was the only way Senia Mae could delay the inevitable, her way of telling us she was NOT going to be shoved back into that micro machine... at least not without letting us know how she really felt about it!

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