Wednesday, September 02, 2009
Home Again, Home Again. Jiggety Jig!
Road trips just suck donkey balls. There is no getting around it - 10 hours each way is ALWAYS going to suck. We decided several years ago that 10 hours in the car spread over two days was easier than 10 hours of airline transit. It takes about the same number of hours to get to my hometown if we drive or if we fly, but the wear and tear on all personnel involved is significantly easier if we drive. Never mind the exorbitant cost savings - if we fly, it's anywhere from $800 to $1200 on average, sometimes way more. Those cheap prices are for the flights that leave Boston or Providence at 6 am, mind you, which would mean leaving the house at 3ish. God, I love living in the middle of fucking nowhere sometimes. If we drive, it's not more than $400, including tolls, hotel, meals, and bribes for the children en route. As attractive as those savings are, however, it's not why we drive. For us, it comes down to playing the autism card. I don't play it a lot but it's out there, and although we try very hard not to live "by the schedule and only the schedule," Peanut's need for regimentation can mean chaos when it is breached too often. We've certainly had our share of awful travel experiences, and I like to keep such episodes to a minimum. I prefer not to scar my children with the typical 70's era "get in the back of the station wagon and drive forever" memories that I myself suffered through, and frankly that isn't even an option with our particular constellation of... ahem - "issues." The indescribable positive is the ability to pull the damn car over whenever we have a problem. Like when your son suddenly develops an OCD tick involving trying to touch his uvula. Or as he explains it: "I can't stop trying to itch my NEBULA!!!" After the 4th or 5th gagging episdode, it is crucial to your mental health to be able to pull over and brainstorm a solution. In our case, it involved (for the scratchy throat) a dosing of the only antihistamine we had - Benadryl - and then alternating many Tic Tacs with copious amounts of sugar free gum, but we eventually made it to our stopping point without any actual pukage. Score! My conversation with my mom later in the evening illuminated a key point that I should have factored in to avoid all the misery we dealt with on the trip: "... so all we had was some Benadryl to give him since we were out of Zyrtec. Now I remember why we avoid giving him Benadryl! He was a lunatic for hours afterwards, not listening, not focusing, crying, whining - just out of control." "Oh, sure. I remember you were exactly the same way! 41 years ago, everyone told us to dose you up with some Benadryl on the flight over to the states when you were 2 and you'd sleep right through it... but you didn't! You were awake the whole time! And craaaaaaaazy!" Good to know, Mom. Good to know.