Monday, March 18, 2013

Toddlers and Teenagers: A road trip saga

Ever notice how toddlers and teenagers have so much in common?  The both know what they want and want it now.  They both will throw a tantrum if they don't get what they want, and they both talk in a language that is somewhat not understood by us adults.  They have a lot in common.  My niece just turned 16 so I am very familiar with the modern day teenagers, and since I currently have two toddlers I feel as though I am an expert there.  And when teenager and toddlers come together, grab your earplugs, bolt everything down, and hang on for the ride because a hurricane of trouble is coming your way!

As I have mentioned before, my aspie is only close to a few people in our world.  Even though he sees his grandparents, aunts, cousins, etc all the time, he will only go to and speak with a few of them.  One of these "chosen" people is his teenage age cousin, "Cher".  Cher has obviously always been in my aspie's life and therefore he was pretty comfortable with her being around him.  However, it wasn't until he started talking that the two of them formed a relationship, and a strange one at that.  My aspie went through a rough stage where every other phrase out of his mouth was, "Shut up!"  Cher, getting tired of hearing this phrase, stopped and screamed back to him one day in the very typical teenager way, "You shut up!"  My aspie stopped, looked at her in shock an amazement then screamed, "Shut up!"  Cher yelled back, then aspie, then Cher, then aspie until finally my aspie started to smile and giggle.  And there you have it, relationship was born.  From then, they run through the house and chase each other around, she can touch him and pick him up and wrestle with him, all of which is amazing.  He does not allow anyone to touch him now besides myself, his dad, and his paps, so to add a new person was amazing. 

 We had asked Cher to go to the beach with us last summer to help us out with the kiddos near the water and knowing that we would need three "adults" to juggle two toddlers.  The trip was amazing!  We all had such a great time. Getting to spend some much needed relaxation time and some amazing one on one time with Cher was perfect.  I would hear Cher and my hubs up giggling like two school girls late at night during one of their chats while I was laying down with the boys.  Her and I got to do some girl shopping while hubs was holding down the fort, and we all got lots of beach time.  However, the trip home was hell to say the least.  I don't know why, but it was the longest, most boring, most dreadful thing that I have ever done.  All of us felt it.  I think it was a combination of the let down that we had to come home, the fact that my car was way to small for the five of us to be smashed in, and the fact that I packed inappropriate snacks.  Snacks are a big deal in any long term journey.  You need your fruits, your chips, Twizzlers, non-spilling drinks and other items that pass the time. I know this.  I am an experienced traveler, but for some odd reason this logic went away with the ocean breeze when I packed to head home.  I packed things like applesauce, yogurt, lunch meat and juice boxes.  What?  You might asked yourself right now as you are reading this.  You packed what?  I know you are asking that because I still can't believe I did this as I am typing it out.  In my mind at the time, I was thinking well I don't want to throw away this food from our week; they can eat it on the way home.  Well, it was a much better idea in my head then how it played out. 

We weren't an hour into our trip before the first round of snacks got passed out.  Now, Cher sitting in the middle in the back seat was in charge of obtaining the snacks, opening, and passing them out to both toddlers.  I told her to give them the applesauce, which she would have to spoon feed to the baby since he was only 1 years old.  It honestly, did go that bad. Only a few spills happened which was easily cleaned up.  Next, lunch meat.  No problem.  And then in hour three, out came the yogurt, which was actually Go-gurt.  If you are not familiar, its yogurt in a tube that kids love.  I told Cher to give both kids there own Go-gurt and of course she got one as well.  Well, 1 year old got it everywhere.  As Cher put it, "It's Everywhere!  He's coated!" half laughing, half crying.  I turned around to find a very happy, very sticky baby that had yogurt in his hair, his hands, all over his onesy, on his feet, and ALL over his car seat.  There were not enough wipes in the car to handle his mess.  In attempts to get him clean, Cher got sticky, and of course, she had used up the wipes on the baby so there was none to clean up my aspie who only had a little mess.  And, we were in the middle of no where to stop and grab some more wipes.  It was something like another 150 miles to the next rest stop where we were able to semi clean up.  Think we are done.  Oh no, about two hours from home, everyone was thrust. The only thing I had was juice boxes.  I passed them back to Cher who gave one to my aspie and was trying to hold one for the baby.  Poor Cher.  The baby grabbed it which made it shoot all over baby, which made baby cry.  Making baby cry, made my aspie yell and throw his juice box, which hit my husband, which made him yell, which made Cher yell, which made me mad, and for a period of five minutes all hell broke out in the car of yelling, screaming, with "shut up" being angrily exchanged between aspie and Cher, and eventually crying.  After my husband finally announcing that he was about to drop all of us off on the side of the road and drive away, we got ourselves under control.  Cher put her earplugs in, aspie and baby started watching another animation movie, I took Advil for my now well established headache, and my husband went into his highway daze that he does so well.  And for the rest of the trip, that is how we rolled.  I never saw people jump out of a car as fast as we did when we got home.  My aspie ran into our home, and started hugging the wall, his toys, ran to his room and yelled, "My bed!!"  Cher walked into the door and immediately back out when my dad and step mom arrived, and my hubs went upstairs to be alone for a few minutes.  Only the baby and I were left in the kitchen to find the bottles and bath stuff  to get him ready for bed.

The next morning, when we were all well rested and stretched out from being cramped in the car, we started reminiscing about the trip and how amazing it went.  Cher must have been doing the same thing because she started posting pics on Facebook of the event.  My aspie saw the pics of our adventure when I was looking online and said, "Mommy, that's me and my-Cher!"  "Your-Cher?"  I ask.  "Yeah, my-Cher" matter of factly.  "She is my favorite."  And there you have it.  She is his favorite.  Who would have thunked it.  Less than 10 hours ago, they hated each other and wouldn't even look at each other before they got out of the car and now she is his favorite. 

This trip taught me a lot.  My bipolar husband can handle teenagers and crazy moments in the car with no blood shed.  My son had a "normal" fight with his cousin, which looking back is pretty impressive.  And I learned to never ever forget to pack the correct snacks.  But most importantly, I learned that the different between toddlers and teenagers was minimal, making the bond between them unbreakable.

1 comment:

@dkotucker said...

Oh we have travelled many, many miles in our car too. The one trip that we had a teen and two toddlers was probably the most painful for me. All the whining and complaining and yes...that was from the teen.

Sounds like you had a great time! :D