So I have done it!
And now I am in my family’s history books.
This past Spring Break I decided Ky and I were NOT going to spend it in NC. We needed a break.
So I packed our things and Belly (that’s what I’m calling her these days) in the car and off to FL we went.
Yup, I drove that route…lil ole, ridiculous me drove that route…this scaredy-cat-of-the-road drove that route…this absolutely stubborn, determine-minded, I’ve-got-to-do-this-for-all-the-single-mamas, you’re-not-going-to-tell-me-otherwise mama. drove. that. route. by. her. self.
And I regret the hell out of it!
Now the reason I made this trip was to prove one thing and one thing only: I CAN do this…by myself…even with a toddler. I was getting entirely too fed up with all the things I now “couldn’t” do because I’m a single mom, have a toddler, and everyone was just so “concerned”. And I get it, I promise I do. But I don’t think anyone understands how annoying it is to 1) feel like you can’t do anything anymore and 2) the concerns all stemming from this “single mama” stigma/title. I can’t take it! I’m going to kill every theory/thought/hypothesis folks have about single moms! Starting with this one.
So the 3 things I learned on this trip (and you can take these and learn from it…or just laugh because I have issues and apparently my daughter has inherited them from me) are:
1) Be realistic: So my thought process going to FL was that since my longest drive to date was only 2hrs (and I barely made it through that!), I’m going to break every 2hrs. 4-ish 30mins breaks = us getting there in 11hrs instead of 9. I mean the GPS says I’ll get there about 3pm. What traffic could I possibly get into on a Saturday anyway??
WHAT THE HELL KIND OF TRAFFIC YALL HAVE RIGHT THERE BETWEEN SC AND GA??? Just why?!
I left at 6am and was stuck right between SC and GA for almost two hours. I left fully clothed and stripped right in the middle of traffic (No the AC wasn’t helping either!).
I didn’t think to factor in traffic as apart of my time because I didn’t think I would have to! *insert a hard eye roll here*
2) Tame the Toddler: Again I wanted to take 4 breaks. I fueled up right before we left and I planned for our next stop to be for breakfast whenever Belly woke up. We’d eat for about 20mins and then be off again. Yea, that didn’t go as planned either.
Like most toddlers, Ky is just fascinated by EVERYTHING/ONE. And God forbid she misses anything when I put her in that damn car-seat! I thought walking for 5 mins around a store would save us, time-wise (since traffic took away most of our break time). Our legs are stretched out, we use the bathroom, get some snacks, entertain the “ooohs” and “aaahs” of the magnificent toddler Ky, and leave.
I forgot to add Ky wanting to explore what happens when mommy is using the bathroom and she unlocks the door with a bathroom full of strangers. *slaps forehead* And running around the store because Ky thought “Throw Shit On The Floor & Run” was a fun game. Oh and playing hide and seek with my phone and wallet in a car full of stuff.
After a while, I learned to really love that damn car-seat and thank God that the car was soothing enough to get Ky back to sleep, or at least calm.
3) Entertain is key…but: Nothing saved me as much as playing music and listening to podcasts (oh and Ms. Wendy Williams!). Whining in traffic, pretending to be in a Ja Rule/JLo video, and all the “oooh gurrrls yasss!” cosigns kept me going. And it must have kept Ky going as well; because while I’m bumping various genres – well not that various…mainly just Hip Hop, R&B, Soca/Calpyso, and Dancehall – and messing up all the lyrics in the process, I kept think I’m hearing certain words in the backseat; sort of whispered like. But by this time I’ve been driving for 8hrs, seeing/feeling cars zooming by, was dealing with a headache for the last 2hrs, fatiguing…I could just be delusional. But just to make sure I turned down the radio and yell, “Hey! Don’t Say That!”
This is one of my mommy tactics. See toddlers are defiant, for the most part. So one of two things could have happen: she could have just stop because I startled her or she just would repeat it again and giggle.
I know my kid.
What could I do while I’m driving and she was rear facing still? Nothing. I did nothing. I’m too tired to care and parent at the moment. Eh.
But we made it safely and fell asleep everywhere until it was time to drive back home. And well Ky was just the main event in everyone’s week.
Would I do this trip again?
Would I bring a friend along?
Does America care about teachers?
When is it wrong to chop your toddler in the throat?
I don’t know folks. I. Just. Don’t. Know.
But my bed looks absolutely comfortable in this delusional/tired state I’m in.
Til next time folks.