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Rest Stops

It started with a canker sore. We were driving back to Seattle from Salt Lake City where we had been visiting family. I started passing around the peanut butter sandwiches and soon Magoo started bawling, “My tongue! It hurts! This peanut butter hurts my tongue!”

I love that both of my kids can at this stage and actually do on occasion use actual words from the English language to communicate the reasons behind their emotional outbursts. I also love that they can dress themselves, feed themselves when I’m feeling tired or lazy, and “go get in the car and bring me a chilled beverage” when asked. Can you tell I’m having some anxiety about going back to ground zero with little baby Wanda when she makes her first appearance in a couple of months?

So Magoo’s tongue. It hurt. We decided that Grandma’s fresh strawberry jam must be to blame and so we stopped to pick up some more bread and honey to make him another sandwich. I used my skirt as a cutting board/ counter top. Very versatile, maternity clothes these days.

The second sandwich brought more screaming so we told him to drink water. Water heals all. Then a banana was administered. More screaming. We eventually diagnosed him with a canker sore on his frontal tongular region. We told him to drink more water and swish it around whenever his tongue was bothering him.

Within the first two hours of driving he had downed 20 oz. of water and we’d made 3 emergency potty stops. The first was off the side of a ranch road in Southern Idaho, where he and his dad stood side by side releasing their golden fountains into the tall waving grass. It took all the restraint in my camera-loving body not to snap a shot of them in their moment of male bonding. The next rest stop was not nearly so cute, a state-run facility decorated in 70s orange tile, smelling strongly of fruit-flavored chemicals I’m sure were attempting to mask the aroma indicative of a roadside bathroom and its many uses.

After our next rest stop -- although it was the loveliest in all of Idaho, complete with air conditioning and vending machines locked up in a cage -- Dan talked with Magoo about slowing down his fluid intake. I have to admit I was a little saddened by this. You see, my pregnant bladder, like my lungs, does not have the capacity it once enjoyed. It was convenient to use Canker Boy as a scapegoat. I didn’t NEED to go every hour but I sure enjoyed the chance to do it without being responsible for our slow progress back to the Northwest.

We use a GPS when we take road trips and when driving around town. What I like best about it, besides that it keeps me from ending up in Hong Kong when I was just hoping to make it to the Woodland Park Zoo by lunch time, is the nifty little “expected arrival time” readout that’s constantly updated as you slow down or speed up or stop every 30 seconds to take a leak. I use it to play a little game called, “Can I speed up enough after each rest stop or bout of roadwork to make up for the lost time?”

Because my car is not equipped with a warp coil or even a jet engine, this became impossible as each hour we added another 15 minutes to our total car time. I watched the time get later and later and later and listened to Magoo whine about how hungry he was but then cry whenever he put food in his mouth. It’s pathetic when your kid is sad and also strapped down in a vehicle moving at 70 miles per hour and there’s nothing you can do about it but stop for potty breaks when he asks you to and periodically throw candy at him, which fills him at first with joy and then makes him cry out in pain.

It’s sure good to be home.