Thursday, October 22, 2009
We have arrived, bags and baggage, which are all piled about at random right now. Instead of dealing with them, however, I shall sit and reflect upon the journey. The contemplative life and all that.
The best advice about traveling with a lot of small children is probably: don't. Nonetheless, I'm glad we had a good excuse to do so, because I adore road trips, even though with four small children it takes an hour-long stop just to cycle everyone through the bathroom.
Plus we were at the point where we had the maximum amount of gear per person and the minimum amount of hefting power. The ducklings tried, but they were not always clear on the concept, D4 insisting on hauling the diaper bag back out to the car no matter how many times we tried to point him to the hotel room door. When we could get a place with luggage carts, however, all was well--indeed, riding on the luggage cart was the highlight for everyone. We probably should have gone by luggage cart instead of by van.
D1 and D2 were well stocked with ideas and maps and presents to open and generally enjoyed it all fairly well. D1 was convinced that all the most scenic items were on D2's side of the car, though I tried to convince her that the American West was not carefully arranged to disadvantage her. She worked it out by always announcing she had seen whatever sight there was to see, whether or not she had, and definitely if D2, whose brain seldom switches gears fast enough at 80 mph, had missed it.
D3 was our easiest traveler, as her ideal of life is to sit, hold Doll-doll, suck her fingers, and stare out the window. This she did with great contentment for hours on end, sometimes with her eyes shut, sometimes with them open. She was not without adventures, however, as a tumble off a wall in Wyoming left her with a nice patch of bandaids on her forehead for strangers to remark upon.
D4 was the one we were most concerned about. Sitting still is not on his List of Things To Do any day of the week. Seeing new places and things compensated him greatly, though. The first few days were a bit uneven, and once he started shouting, "Done!" from the back seat we knew we had better be done fast, but once he got used to the routine of travel he was contented and even eager to ever be moving onward. I was then worried he would not be content to remain, but he seemed to know that this was the place to stay as soon as we arrived; perhaps it was finding his bikes all waiting for him to arrive, or his new freedom to wander outside as much as he pleases.