Musings about life in the Pigeon household

Driving Miss. Pigeon


We were driving to our campsite this past weekend where it was actually gorgeous weather despite the mounds of snow piled everywhere. Believe it or not – I got a sunburn! And the kids had a great time building snow forts and having snowball fights.

So glad we went.

On the way to the site I started thanking my lucky stars that we don’t have to go any further than an hour and a half out of the city to get to our spot.

That’s my kind of trip.

I’m not a fan of driving all day long to get to a destination. I’ll do it, but there is a lot of planning when kids are involved. Heck, even when it’s just adults!

When the boys were younger, it was nightmarish trying to travel with them. Diapers, extra outfits, toys, bottles, soothers, snacks, wipes and more wipes. And don’t get me started on what to pack for an overnight trip!

I remember driving to a family reunion for hubby’s stepmother’s family in Saskatchewan. It was such a blur, I think I’ve actually blocked out most of the trip. I seriously don’t recall driving with the three boys anywhere at that time, but I do remember having a fun time with family. And I remember the five of us having to share one room together for the entire weekend. What a frigging nightmare. The youngest was probably only one year old and cried non-stop. No one slept well, cramped like that. I think we had a playpen set up for the youngest to sleep in. I think we had one boy on the floor and one in bed with us. Was it a double bed? A queen? Not that I was in there enough to notice. Needless to say I can’t recall the trip home either.

I remember another time heading out to Kootenay Lake for a long weekend at hubby’s family’s cabin. I think we had been on the road for about fifteen minutes before someone had to pee. I think the youngest was about two by then. So we had quite a few stops on that trip. A six hour ride ended up taking about eight to nine hours. But we had a fantastic time with family. The memories are a bit blurry on that trip too – but that might have been the wine rather than lack of sleep…

Actually, I remember taking that same trip while I was pregnant with the youngest. Again, I can’t recall the actual trip, but I remember the morning sickness and feeling like complete crap the entire trip – and camping with a toddler and preschooler at the same time. Ugh.

Maybe I have that affinity for travel that some moms have for pregnancy. I can’t really remember the torture of the labour of getting to the ‘final destination’. So future prospects of travel, while cringe-worthy, might not be too bad if I can block them from my mind…

My kids are getting better and better at driving long distances. Throw a DS at my boys and they’re occupied for hours. The oldest one will play all day if allowed! The younger two need a bit more than just a video game for 8 hours. They’re into their IPods and we have a travel DVD player which is one of my favourite pieces of technology. And I pack snacks and colouring books and travel games and little kitschy things from the dollar store. Keeps them busy and like I said, they’re way better than they used to be when they were younger.

But of course look at all the stuff they have to entertain them! Back in my day, I had a book.

And a greater chance of car-sickness, let me tell you!

I didn’t get my own music back then. If we drove through the mountains we were listening to Elvis Presley “Inspirations” – swear to God.

And my brother and I suffered through cigarette-smoke-filled-cars. The worst was when it was a rainy day and my folks would get upset if we cracked the window to get air – because the rain would get in!

Back then, it was soooo different. 

Family friends tell a story of one time we all drove together to Revelstoke, BC in a huge van. I don’t really remember the trip much (wow, even back then I blocked the actual trip from my mind), but I do remember the destination and the fun we had at the hotel. But getting there was quite the adventure for the adults. The moms were up front driving because the dads were drinking in the very back of the van. They were SLOSHED! Back then kids didn’t need seatbelts while driving so we were all piled in the middle of the vehicle, playing, jumping around, crawling on the floor…

It’s a wonder we survived!

The van was a great idea too. More room for the cigarette smoke to dissipate. Thank God.

Yep, things are definitely better now. In so many ways! 

But don’t expect me to travel across country with my family anytime soon!

Two years ago, my cousin drove from Howick, Quebec to Calgary, Alberta with her mother-in-law and three daughters.

There ain’t enough room in my vehicle to pack that kind of wine. That’s a special kind of crazy.

I love that she did that for her kids to experience that sort of trip and I can’t believe she gave all our families that opportunity to see each other. It was a fantastic time for all of us.

Hubby would looooove to do that. He plans to retire, buy a great big RV and travel throughout Canada and the U.S.

Not sure who he plans to do this with, but I’ll be meeting him at his final destination via plane.

Seriously though, I like the idea of travelling. I just don’t relish the idea of driving.

Maybe it would be different without kids.

Then again, we drove all throughout British Columbia for our honeymoon. And while we ended up seeing some fantastic sites and visiting with people and staying places we would have completely missed if we had just flown to the coast, I’m still not a big fan of the idea. You drive all day and yes you take breaks, but by the end of the day you’re beat. Or I am anyway. I’m tired and cranky and sore from sitting all day.

Kinda like jet-lag, but different. Know what I mean?

I think I prefer keeping my car trips closer to home.

Except in and around the city. Ugh.

I think there is some cosmic decree deciding which day is your day to have to look out for the idiots on the road.

I think I get a lot of those days.

Then again, when I’m busy yelling at the kids to stop throwing things in my van and fighting with each other, it is definitely someone else’s turn to watch out for me.

One time I actually got into an accident because I was so preoccupied with my little hellions. They were being so incredibly mouthy and rude and I got upset and mad and took it out on the road – and the van in front of me.

Even though, in my defense, to this day I still totally believe the nimrod in front of me planned to turn left and then at the last minute decided to turn right – just as I went around him on the right side. In a rental van.

The cosmic forces of driving-yin-and-yang weren’t in my favour that day I guess!

The boys were really really really good in the van after that. For a few days, anyway.

And really, hubby wants me to drive across country with him? Seriously?

Maybe we should try a grown-up-only trip again.

I don’t care where we go or how we get there. Let’s just do a grown-up-only trip.

Very soon.

Very very soon.


2 thoughts on “Driving Miss. Pigeon

  1. LOL!! That was awesome! I so remember the smoke filled trips! Seatbelts?? What were those about? We didn’t know!! 🙂 BTW, road trips are fantastic if it’s in a nice sports car…. like a corvette! 🙂

    • Hey, Shawn – I’d never know about corvette road trips seeing as Dad only trusts you with his baby!
      Seriously – run into the garage door once and it is never forgotten! Sheesh!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s