If I were prone to panic attacks I would currently be having one over the fact that in less than a week we’ll be traveling seven hours to Oregon with both kids: one whose nutritional, entertainment, and hygienic needs require intervention on an unpredictable and often-frequent basis, and one who’s taken to moaning “I want to go hooooooooome” five seconds into a drive.

I am also finding myself greatly entertained by some recent commentary over at ParentDish about how people just can’t understand why Kids These Days are allowed to watch DVDs during road trips because back in their day they didn’t even have radio, by gum, they sang songs and played with rocks in the car and they were JUST FINE, except for the fact that they grew up to be, you know, kind of a sanctimonious dicktowel. I sure wish I could hire some of these bucolic song-singing folk to drive my toddler in a separate car, I bet they break down and whip out the Blue’s Clues videos in freaking Olympia.

I don’t know how we’re going to fit all of our stuff in the truck, except we HAVE to, because if you think I am bringing Dylan on a weeks-long visit anywhere without his swing you must be out of your damn mind. Oh, did I mention the “weeks-long” part? Yeah, this would be the trip where JB flies off to Asia for 10+ days and I stay back in Coos Bay with his parents. I like his parents, don’t get me wrong, but man oh man, this will be a long trip. The alternative, however, was staying at home and flying solo parenting-wise for the entirety of JB’s absence and STILL having to do the Oregon drive soon for visitation purposes, so I figured this would be, if not exactly an ideal situation, the least painful option.

We had planned to board Dog because 1) she’s old and long drives are hard on her, and 2) it’s kind of rude to bring your smelly Lab to someone else’s house for 10 days but all the local kennels are FULL next week. WTF. One lady told us it was because of spring break, which made me scratch my head because spring break? Isn’t that this week? Is spring break more than a week long now? Has MTV taught me NOTHING?

Anyway, I don’t know why I’m jumping the gun on stressing about this trip, except what the hell, maybe power-worrying burns calories. Hopefully I’ll work off enough so I can enjoy a decadent bowl of yogurt and cottage cheese later.

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Jean
Jean
15 years ago

Dicktowel? HA HA HA HA

Mary O
Mary O
15 years ago

There go those crazy commenters again.
I don’t know why some people get all preachy over not watching movies in the car. Sure, we didn’t get to watch movies on roadtrips when we were kids, but we were also not required to be strapped into 5-point harnessed carseats either. You’ve gotta do something to make those hours in the car more bearable.

eileen
eileen
15 years ago

You might want to try a boarding facility a bit south of where you are. I take my very old dog to the Sylvan Pet Lodge in Shelton: http://www.sylvanpetlodge.com/. He loves it there – and they love him.

Karen
Karen
15 years ago

OMG – even the thought of cottage cheese makes my throat waver – let alone making such a decadent brew of it with yogurt!
Surely – the two would separate or something really gross? *Ralph*

Sarah
15 years ago

Good luck. I just recently did the drive from Auburn, Washington to Bend, Oregon with a 3.5 year old and a 10 month old. I so know your pain. I like to use the Baby Einstein movies because they have the repeat play function. This last trip was easier than the previous one where the baby was only 3 months old. I had to pull over on the road in the middle of nowhere and nurse her every hour and a half. That sucked donkey balls.

renee from GA
renee from GA
15 years ago

Thank you for alerting us to the exceptionally entertaining hootenanny over at PD! You gotta love any commenter that addresses another thusly: “[Name], please try to grasp the notion of…” HA. All the flame war fundamentals are present. Eye rolling? check. Head shaking? check. Deep sighs of disbelief? IN ABUNDANCE

Wishing for you some measure of peace as you plan for the trip. Can’t wait to hear about it!

Swistle
15 years ago

This made me WHEEZE with laughter: “…and they were JUST FINE, except for the fact that they grew up to be, you know, kind of a sanctimonious dicktowel.”

Listen. This is what you can do. Have Amazon Prime ship a swing to your in-laws. It’s well worth, what, $80-100 to not have to SCREW AROUND. Or get one of those folding portable swings, maybe? We had one when we had the twins, and it was pretty good. It folds fairly small. OR, if you have a Graco infant seat, get that $50 thing that turns a car seat into a swing. I forget what it’s called, but something like a snug-glider.

Linda
Linda
15 years ago

When my daughter was 2 1/2 and my son was 2 months old we drove 8 hours for a family reunion. We also take a long tript to my parents a couple of times a year, so we’ve gone through this many times. Here are some tips (hope they help).

For the toddler: Definitely use the DVD, but try to use it sparingly. In other words since food is entertainment don’t have a DVD playing at the same time they are eating. Take some food treats that he doesn’t normally get to eat, one day of junk won’t hurt them (I got this advice from a nutritionist friend). It works for us to have her watch a show then have a break before putting in another show because I used the DVD as the ultimate entertainment option and I didn’t want her to get bored with watching shows before the drive was over. In the same spirit, I try to wait 30-60 minutes into the drive before starting the first show, sometimes that time flies, others it drags. Some non-DVD entertainment options: Stickers, a long scarf (believe it or not, this can be entertaining and easy to pack), small toys that are new or they haven’t seen in awhile. Also try wrapping up some toys (they don’t have to be new) the actual act of opening something is entertainment.

For the baby: Try to have everything you’ll need accessible (diapers, wipes, bottles, change of clothes, etc). Use the feeding/changing stops as running around time for your toddler (obviously one parent with each child). Pray that he sleeps through a good portion of the drive!!

Good luck!

Emily
Emily
15 years ago

Sanctimonious dicktowel is easily the best thing I’ve heard all week. Probably all year. :)

GoingLoopy
15 years ago

I remember, as a kid, we would DRIVE from Houston to my grandparents’ house IN FLINT MICHIGAN. That was 87 flavors of suck, even with toys and books. It’s a wonder my brother and I are still alive (meaning my parents didn’t kill us both). There was no singing of silly songs – we listened to what my dad wanted to listen to. On the 8-track.

Seriously, if there’s a time that’s appropriate for electronic valium, long road trips would be that time. It’s boring enough being the driver who KNOWS where you’re going and how far away you are.

What kills me is that these people are probably the same age I am – or YOUNGER.

Someone Being Me
15 years ago

I am already stressing over an upcoming 11 hour car ride to Florida with my husband and my 14 month old. I seriously think the 14 month old will be the more mature one. My husband has been complaining for months that we should fly. I told him he could fly and me and Bear would ride with my parents to Florida but NOOOOOO he would prefer to make me miserable for 11 hours instead. Ah, the joys of matrimony.

Melanie
15 years ago

Eileen, I read that quickly and thought I saw…Sylvia Plath Pet Lodge.

All I could thing was “Dog’s not THAT old! Get her head out of that oven!”

Sadie
Sadie
15 years ago

What kills me about people that bemoan things like DVD players in the car, or the fact that kids have to be in carseats til they’re in 6th grade, is this: THEY’RE COMPLAINING ABOUT PROGRESS. Hell-O, if inventors had come up with Garmin nav and drop-down DVD players in 1954, well shit, these peoples’ parents woulda had them in their Edsels. It’s like complaining that nobody listens to cassettes anymore.

May the force be with you on your journey. This is one of those rare times I think it’s a shame you don’t drink anymore.

d.
d.
15 years ago

I sometimes feel that way, but then I remember that I don’t have kids, so it’s a lot easier for me to feel like that. If it was my kid throwing a hissy in the back seat, I’d probably throw in the Finding Nemo DVD tout suite for a few minute’s peace. But I still feel sort of sad that now we’re at a point where it technically possible to never really talk to your kids at all, if you want to. Because sometimes it seems like there’s a fairly large number of people who want to…8 years olds with TVs in their rooms, DVD in the backseat for the car, nintendo DS or a phone or an ipod for those moments when you might be stuck in a waiting room, or whatnot. There’s always a screen to turn to now, if there’s people you feel like turning away from.

Amblus
15 years ago

Worst road trip memory ever:

I was twelve and traveling in the back of a mini van with no air conditioning. Next to me was my 2 year old carsick sister. Ahead of me was two days of endless driving from the Florida Keys to Virginia. On the tape deck was “Frog and Toad are Friends” the only thing in the world that would keep that brat quiet. That f’ing tape played endlessly for two days. TWO DAYS. I would have killed for an in-car DVD player, is all I’m saying.

Lawyerish
15 years ago

I am definitely using “sanctimonious dicktowel” in daily conversation from here forward. Oh, how I love your way with words, dude.

Also, I saw the yogurt and cottage cheese thing on Flickr and about passed out — and then wanted to go punch that woman in the face. A splurge food? COME ON. Life is too short, lady.

But you know, it put things in perspective, because I would much rather be reasonably fit but sans six-pack abs while enjoying whatever the hell food I want (within reason/in moderation, but still) than have an exercise DVD of my own and have to consider something that wretch-worthy and pathetic as a treat.

Amy
Amy
15 years ago

Our DVD player was stolen from the car last fall. In less than a month we are departing Sacramento and heading to Disneyland. You can bet I’ll be heading to Target sometime between now and then to purchase a new one. We don’t play it non-stop, but it’s a great way to avoid some of the, “he’s touching me. His toe is on my side. Ahhhh…he’s pinching me.” arguments. Tell those holier-than-thous to get the hell off the computer since that wasn’t around back then either!

kalisah
15 years ago

can’t your inlaws buy their own damn swing? When my kid was a baby I was all about having a second set of STUFF at the g-parents. I figure it’s the least they can do since you’re comign all this way.

AndreAnna
15 years ago

“Dicktowel” is classic and will be added to my vocabulary as of rightnow.

I love reading your writing over at ParentDish, but I have to tell you, I have stopped reading the comments mostly because I get so riled up, the vein in my head comes close to one heartbeat away from rupturing.

It’s along the same lines as my MIL crowing, “Why do you need all these fancy gadgets? A video monitor? Harumph! We just LISTENED for our kids!” Yes, oh wise one, and wasn’t it YOUR son, my husband, who was brought home by the neighbor in his diaper in the middle of the afternoon when he was 22 months old because he figured out how to open the front door when he was supposed to be napping? Were you listening then? How about when he opened the window and climbed onto the roof and you didn’t notice until you saw him on the skylight from the kitchen? Couldn’t have been listening very good then, huh?

Technology is good. It saves lives and almost as important, it saves SANITY.

Dora can shut my kid’s cheerio-hole for a good two hours, but after that, I’m at a loss. Good luck!!

Jill
15 years ago

Linda, honestly, I don’t have kids and thus have no business reading ParentDish, but I go there to read your posts in large part *because* of the crazy comments they draw. It’s a fun little game to guess what will freak people out before scrolling through comments to see if I’m right. I had to laugh at that comment this morning because seriously, we drove everywhere and my parents would have killed for a dvd player. Remember the small tvs that had a built in vcr? My dad figured out how to rig it up to work with the cigarette lighter/power outlet and they would haul that thing into the minivan on top of the cooler in between the two front seats just to get a few hours of peace.

nonsoccermom
nonsoccermom
15 years ago

If you can figure out the logistics of traveling with an infant, another child, a dog, a husband, and all of the assorted baby paraphernalia IN ADDITION TO all of the clothes and other necessities, without benefit of a minivan (or U-Haul), please let me know. Because we always have to board our dog when we visit family, and they are only 2 hours away! I don’t know what else to do with her!

All Adither
15 years ago

I’d have the DVDs out before Federal Way.

Sundry
Sundry
15 years ago

Jill: I think the thing that amazes me about that website is that there is always, always something that gets someone in a mood to dole out lectures, no matter how uncontroverisial I think the post is. It’s actually sort of impressive, in its own way.

I wish I’d had the presence of mind to write some fake entries for April Fool’s Day just to see how crazy I could make people get.

Lauren
Lauren
15 years ago

Dicktowel?? I LOVE IT! This must rotate in my repitoire immediately!

Yeah, the PD people are complete fucks. I loved the one lady commenting on your cussing!

Clueless But Hopeful Mama

“Sanctimonious dicktowel”. PERFECT and HILARIOUS.

Although, my brain immediately rendered a fine image of a “dicktowel” that is still disgusting me minutes later.

erin
15 years ago

Oh, we don’t care about being rude. Our families know wherever we go, our stinky choc. Lab and Great Dane come with us. And sometimes even our CATS! They totally love us when we come visit.

telegirl
telegirl
15 years ago

I think you should just post shit up on PD and let the fur fly. How fun would it be to tell people that you traveled from Seattle to Oregon w/ a gun in the back seat between the kids because it wouldn’t fit in the bed of the truck!

We have to travel 8 hours to the Bay Area next week with our 14 month old. So not looking forward to it.

BTW, next time you visit Bend, there is a second-hand store here that actually rents equipment (high chairs, swings, etc.) for a reasonable rate. That way, you don’t have to pack all the stuff you can’t live without! Maybe there’s something similar in Coos Bay?

Operation Pink Herring
15 years ago

Back in my day, we didn’t need no DVD players. We just pushed each other and yelled MOOOM! HE’S DONE GONE AND GOT ON MYYYY SIDE! AGAIN!!!!!! for seventeen hours straight.

Becky
Becky
15 years ago

Sundry…check out Babiesaway.com….my sister uses it for work related purposes (she works for a non-profit that grants kids with life threatening illnesses wishes)..anyway…they rent such baby items as swings etc….generally you can have it dropped off before you arrive…and then have JB’s mom de-germ it before you arrive….

ikate
15 years ago

I love reading your PD posts just so I can sit back and watch the crazy-ass comments roll in. For some reason you attract all the psychos. It’s quite entertaining, actually. Please don’t ever stop posting there!

Alie
15 years ago

I have to admit, I don’t have children, but I love checking your posts at PD just to bust out a few belly laughs at the people who comment over there.

Lots of them make great sense and are actually pretty witty. But the NUTBARS! Oh, MY! Those are the ones that make my day. (Is that wrong?)

Thank you, yet again, Linda for helping me laugh at my fellow man, The Dicktowel.

angie
15 years ago

hilarious that they are talking about the glory days of no tv in the car. I do think it is a bit ridiculous when you have tv in the car for a 5 minute drive, just because it seems like too much trouble. But a roadtrip? DVD players are awesome! I don’t think back to the wonderful days before this. We argued in the back seat and got my dad’s arm grabbing our knees to make us stop fighting.

Gertie
15 years ago

another boarding referral:

http://www.allmypetfriends.com/

It’s a long drive north for you, but my sister likes them so much (as does the dog) that she’s willing to drive there from Kirkland at least once a month.

Ellen
Ellen
15 years ago

Those commenters are crazy… although I did have fun playing “Find The Profanity I Missed The First Time I Read The Post, ‘Cause I’m A Grown-up And I Can Use These Words.”

If only sanctimonious dicktowelry were a recognized mental disorder.

Pete
Pete
15 years ago

I remember when I told my dad I bought a van with a DVD Player. He said “We didn’t have that when you kids went on a trip and everything was Ok”. I told him that what I remember from the long trips in the car was the back of his head and my mother with a stick to keep us from killing each other. My life is great when the kids are watching a DVD with their headphones, the wife is listening to books on tape, with her headphones and I can drive in silence. (It’s a guy thing). As a test to you women out there, what is the longest you can travel without having to say something? As an experiment once I timed how long my wife could go, it was three minutes. ;-)

clarabella
clarabella
15 years ago

Linda:
http://www.rightstart.com/global/store/product~item~5154.html
or
http://www.target.com/Fisher-Price-Rainforest-Take-Along-Swing/dp/B000S6O6R4/sr=1-19/qid=1207086583/ref=sr_1_19/602-2770064-7337408?ie=UTF8&index=target&rh=k%3Ababy%20swing&page=1
The first won’t work well if he doesn’t like his car seat, but they’re both affordable options. AND, if there are actual stores in the Bay, you could wait until you got there to buy it, thus eliminating the need to find room.
Also, you better damn-well believe if they’d had portable DVD players when my siblings and I were kids, my mom would’ve bought one for each of us rather than listen to “he’s touching me,” “he’s looking at me AGAIN,” “his leg’s touching my seat,” etc. etc etc.
If those PD-commenters think a DVD is crazy, you could always try what that crazy lady with 8 kids on TV does: Earplugs.

Kari
Kari
15 years ago

I have heard great things about this place for boarding dogs – it just isn’t convenient for me.

Have a great trip!

monkey
15 years ago

Man, they really have a hardon for you there, huh? It’s almost like Dutch is posting again. Good times, good times.

Melissa
Melissa
15 years ago

Our car rides as kids sucked and if we could have we would have watched DVDs…my mother would have loved it.

Good luck with the trip & prep – just try to think of it as a change of scenery with babysitters. I can relate to your anxiety though – I’ve been on a similiar trip w/ a 5 mo old and in-laws…no toddler though. That trip is this summer w/ a 2yr old and 3 mo old, in-laws & co.

Laura
15 years ago

May I please use, “kind of a sanctimonious dicktowel” as the tagline for my website next week? Credited where due, of course… I just can’t pass that phrase up!!!

MelissaS
MelissaS
15 years ago

We don’t use dvds in the car, it’s so bad for kids you know? We siphon malt liquor into their little mouths and it’s a much quieter ride….I mean after the buzz wears off.

Lulu
15 years ago

Dicktowel. It is my new favorite word.

Anne Glamore
15 years ago

I guess I’m a dicktowel, but in a selfish way. I didn’t want to HEAR those damn DVD’s, so I made the kids listen to MY music. My kids are older now (9,9 and 12) and during the Beatles week on American Idol one of the twins wanted to know why none of the contestants sang that famous hit “Mean Mr. Mustard.”

Which is to say my method apparently did nothing to instill good taste in music in the boys; it only made me happy in the short term.

BTW – get a swing there. We had about 9 months where we wouldn’t go 2 blocks without 2 exersaucers. We looked like the friggin daycare was moving in.

Kendra
Kendra
15 years ago

Having just encountered the same problem when recently trying to board my dogs, I can tell you that “spring break” is apparently a month-long phenomenon now. I can’t understand why, because although college students are on break at wildly different times, I’m presuming that most of them don’t have dogs to board. Whatever. I had to beg someone to come and house- and dog-sit.

Jennifer
Jennifer
15 years ago

So when I was a kid my dad was really into “See the USA from the road” and we did the Seattle to FLORIDA car-trip at least 4X. We would take different routes and see sights, but essentially we’d spend about 3-4 weeks in the car. My memories are of nothing but a nonstop litany of “you kids quit fighting or I am going to stop this car.” Then there was one time when my dad bought an expandable shower-curtain-rod, put it up behind the front seat, and hung a folded wool blanket over it, essentially creating a sound barrier between the parents (front of car) and the kids (fighting in the back).

My parents would have paid any amount of money for an in-car DVD player for those trips.

Pam
Pam
15 years ago

Dicktowel? Do they sell those at Bed Bath and Beyond?
Both of our vehicles are equipped with DVD players and the truck also has gaming capabilities. We never even make a trip to the grocery store without some kind of movie happening. They also bring along the gameboy, PSP and iPops. And THEY will turn out just fine also.
I know it’s a long trip but just think: Maybe you can convince grandma and grandpa to do the 3:00 a.m. feeding at least once while you’re there… imagine it: sleeping through the night!! It would make the whole trip worth it.

Josh
Josh
15 years ago

You know Sundry, now I’m not sure if dick towel is synonymous with cum rag, or if you just make shit up off the top of your head. And I’m pretty familiar with foul language.

Sorry your life sucks so incredibly bad right now. Between snow, spring break, (which was weeks ago here, although maybe that’s because our spring starts sooner than yours) and having to swap your husband/home for inlaws/not home, I feel your pain. Fuck that cottage cheese bull shit. Go eat a cheese cake or something, it’s still got cheese in the name. What the hell kind of sick bitch splurges on cottage cheese and yogurt. God, what a weirdo. Frankly, that is pissing me off way more than it should, it just seems wrong.

Side note: in that picture where you’re holding the tricorder up to the mirror, and you asked what you should do with your bangs, well I think you should install go go gadget arms. It sounds like you need them. Then you could eat your cheese cake while you cleaned up shit from a safe distance. Tell JB to get on that.

Joanne
15 years ago

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, there are some crazy bitches over at PD. I remember when you wrote about the temptation to leave Dylan in the car when you run in somewhere thinking holy crap! these people are going to go nuts, and it wasn’t that bad. But the fact that you might use a DVD on a long ass drive? Scandal! CRAZY.

I love when people talk about the brilliant, loving and beautiful conversations they had with their parents when they were children on cross-country drives. Um. Were you 2.5? Really? Because I don’t buy it. We always use our DVD player on planes and on long drives with our boy, and that’s the only time. It’s a big deal to him and it really makes the trip so much more pleasant. I think it’s a good idea to get a new DVD, new foods, etc., that can go a long way. We are contemplating a TWELVE hour trip this summer (in two days) with our then 3 year old and 6 month old and … man…I just don’t know. I’m scared! I’m eager to hear how your trip goes, not to mention your week!

Victoria
15 years ago

Oh good lord.

Good luck!

H
H
15 years ago

God, I love Jennifer’s dad’s idea of the shower rod and the wool blanket.