Life Lessons and Zip Locks

I remember when I was pregnant with all three of my kids, I received so much advice on the things I would experience or things to prepare for. As luck would have it – I’m pretty positive the things I’ve learned to be the major valuable lessons – NOBODY told me.

Let me take you to this scenario today.

Today, our little family of five drove several hours from PA to NJ. We decided it would be fun in the late afternoon to take a detour to downtown Pilly, to see the Liberty Bell. We literally had just stopped at a Starbucks for cake pops and coffee – but like really genius parents – forgot to take the kids potty. (Remember those cake pops)

Now, side note, we’ve been out of town since Friday night. I have quite literally packed every single item in my house prepared for ANYTHING. ….or so I thought. Lucky for me, I come from a crazy anal mom and she too prepared snacks and car ride things for my kids. This included a GIANT 2gallon sized ziplock bag full of mini ziplock bags full of cheese balls.

Okay, back to the car ride to Philly.

We are stuck in a crap ton of traffic. (Pun intended) and Jackson who is normally my very “regular” child has had quite a bit of tummy issues this week with all of the eating out and jacked up schedules. He decided to tell us he had to go to the bathroom, bad. Andrew and I looked at each other in terror as we stared into the front window of break lights and hundreds of cars in a grid locked city. In case you’ve never been, The heart of Philly is much like NYC. Tall buildings, lots of cars, nowhere to pull off, crazy traffic and not so friendly people.

I quickly googled a Wendy’s or McDonald’s. 1.1 miles away! GO! As we start to drive that 1.1 miles, it estimated nearly 30 minutes to get there. Into the city we go. Further. Jackson is breathing heavy. I’m yelling at Andrew what a dumb idea it was to drive three kids into the city where there is nowhere to pee, he’s yelling at me to just throw a diaper in Jackson – finally, I just begin to search the car for anything.

Then, I have an idea. I quickly grab a 6 ounce hotel paper cup that I happened to steal from the hotel to give the kids popcorn in, and out of luck, spot the giant bag of cheese balls. I dump the cheese balls out on the floor of the front seat, climb behind the passenger seat and unstrap Jackson.

We are in between the front and second seats of the van. BARELY, any room. I get on my knees and brace Jackson in between my legs. Right around this time, Andrew illegally parks the car, God only knows where. Just to help soften what was to come.

First he pees in the cup. This is okay, not our first rodeo with that one. I hand the cup to Andrew and he dumps the pee out the door, while illegally parked under some sky rise building. Then, comes the big task. I work quickly and with very little room, manage to slide the ziplock bag between jacksons legs and cover the important parts in the back.

Next, I actually say “okay Jackson, poop”. He’s trying, I’m barely able to breath crammed up and so focused on that bag not slipping, Abigail is screaming “something smells in here” and laughing. Andrew and I yelling at Abigail “it’s your brother crapping, stoppppp!”Jackson screaming at Abigail to shut up. Ben is freaking out screaming about God only knows what. Pure chaos.

Business gets done. All was successful. No messes, I think. Then, I felt something under my knees. Crap. What is that.

……okay. Good news. I found the cake pop Jackson dropped the hour earlier. Crisis averted.

I Strap Jackson back in, and realized, I had to pee. Bad. That adrenaline rush did it for me. I’ve had three kids. No way in heck I’m gonna make it out of the city. I look at Andrew, And without saying much of anything, he simply hands me the cup that my son had just peed in, and I somehow managed to make the task happen. Husband of the year goes to him, who proceeded to also take that cup and dump it outside too.

I now have a ziplock bag full of shit, under my seat, to travel another hour to our hotel where we can properly discard it.

Once we get out of Philly, I immediately text my mom thanking her for the giant zip lock bag of cheese balls she sent for the kids.

I must say. Life lessons learned. Travel tip learned. Sexy meter off the charts for me I’m sure. Family bonding moment. And one memory of The Donahoe Circus Vacation 2018 in the books.

New life lesson with kids: always carry 2gallon zip lock bags (yes, apparently they make those) in your car during all road trips.

Kristen and her family driving on vacation

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