becoming frannie

Road trips in the past haven’t necessarily been our forte.  But after a jaunt to the Smoky Mountains this weekend, it is fair to say, we are getting better.  In fact, it may be the first road trip we have taken that didn’t include barf.  And it was the one time I finally got smart enough to pack towels up front!  So, I figure we did pretty well.

There was however a moment where I thought I had turned a corner into adulthood. (I think I am still in denial that I am gracing my forties and have four children!)   Have you ever had one of those moments where you think you are turning into your parent? 

Well, I shot way passed that…I did something to my boys today that my GRANDMA FRANNIE made me do when I was a child on a road trip with her to the East Coast.  It horrified me.  I remember it vividly.  She made me pee in a McDonald’s cup.  She was a woman on a mission and my tiny bladder and frequent urination wasn’t going to stop her. 

I didn’t fall far from the tree.  I am the kind of road tripper (and there are plenty of us out there) that almost is dehyrated upon arrival to my destination.  When I get on the road, I stay on the road.  A lunch stop is within reason.  A refuel is necessary.  Anything beyond that is a waste of time. 

So, I put my well potty-trained girls in pull-ups.  Surely they cannot regress at this point?  And I told the boys to drink as little as possible.

Unfortunately, I didn’t quite monitor their fluid intake on our pit stop.  Gage had to pee within minutes.  Briggs followed.  My solution…a Gatorade bottle.  I said, “Listen boys…we aren’t stoppin’!  Slip out of your seat.  Pull your pants down and stick it in. Be quick.  And be careful.”

Well you can imagine there was a whole lot of giggling.  They weren’t horrified in the least, as I was when Frannie suggested the same thing 30+ years ago.  They collectively thought it was about the funniest thing to do while cruising down the interstate. 

Now…the only part that makes this story worse (or more comical depending on how you look at it) is subjecting my fifteen year old neice, Evane, to all of this nonsense.  She took it all in and more as a resident of the Stoner van on the return home. 

Poor girl said to me through tears of laughter, “Now I thought I had seen it all last summer when you told the boys to pee outside the van at the museum parking lot.  This brings it to a whole new level.” 

But after the bladders were relieved, the kids needed something else to do.  I threw back some markers and coloring books.  It got quiet so I figured they were busy coloring.  I probably was just in my highway-zone at that point though.  The next time I checked the status of things in the rearview mirror Evane had decided it was okay to be the subject of their art.  I think she had just given up by then. 

Thank goodness for simple pleasures in life…like having a fifteen year old along for a long ride.   And, of course wide mouthed Gatorade bottles!


2 Responses to “becoming frannie”

  1. Susan Says:

    you and stew should be travel companions! macie gets soooooo grossed out when the boys just pull it out in the van. just think of the memories the girls will have!

  2. Betsy Roeder Says:

    Glad the road trip was successful and the trip was fun! I hope Tim had a great 40th.

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