When it was just you, your wife, and the open road, you just worried about packing a few essentials. You could drive for hours without stopping, making record time to your destination.
That changes, though, the moment you see that little strip turn pink.
I’m the type that just wants to make it to my destination, no side trips, few-as-possible bathroom breaks. Let’s. Just. Get. There. Once my wife got pregnant, however, what was normally a 4-hour car ride turned into 5. It was no fault of her own, of course, but it was a true test of my patience.
Patience, by the way, is something I am still working on.
When my son came along, he needed a diaper change every 30 minutes, or so it seemed. Top that off with stops for feedings every hour, and the former 4-hour, now 5-hour car trip turned into 6. At that point came the fear that I would never be able to determine ever again how long it would take us to get somewhere. I could build in time for these new stops, but I would never really know how long those stops would be.
And of course, the stops don’t stop when your baby is a baby. As he grows into a toddler and potty training begins, the calls of “I need to go potty!” come from the back seat, and the simple, almost-patient reminderthat he just went 15 minutes ago doesn’t help. You begin to wonder why you let him drink all that water before you left. You frantically begin looking forthe next rest stop, hoping that you’ll make it. Potty training, after all, is a good thing, you tell yourself.
Patience is something that I am still working on. However, prolonged trips with my family are the new normal for me now. And I know that one day there will come a time when I’ll miss sitting on the hood of my car at a rest stop, waiting for my son to finish his fourth bathroom break in two hours.