School’s out and we all want to get away for some summer fun. Are you ready?
1. You Will Forget Something
Stop making lists. Just accept that I speak the truth. My husband turned around for his forgotten passport. He had driven two hours in the direction of Canada to meet his fishing buddies before he realized what he had forgotten. I spontaneously broke into expletives over my forgotten medications during our recent drive to Michigan. After the flurry of preparations, loading up the car and getting on the road, the car gets quiet and that one missing item will pop into your head. Or you’ll swear you left the coffee pot on.
2. Your Mood Won’t Match Your Game Plan
Road trip entertainment is important. I especially enjoy a good audiobook while driving. But once you’re all in the car, no one will be in the mood for whatever audiobook you chose or the mixed CD marked “road trip” that you burned specifically for the drive. Any group activities or games you hoped to play will dissolve into NPR for Mom and earbuds for the teen. The toddler will play games on your phone where the audiobook is stored.
3. Pit Stops
If you can hold it, the toddler will overflow his diaper, soaking his clothes and the car seat. When you stop to pee, the toddler will be dry and sleeping.
4. Your Plants Will Die
The housesitter is no gardener. She is there to feed the dogs and cats, not water your fence-post hanging baskets. Soak the plants before you leave and pray for rain. I’m not picking on anyone in particular. My potted herbs and hanging baskets have died in the presence of every housesitter I’ve ever had — my teenagers included.
5. The Bank Will Cut You Off
You’ll be standing in flip flops eating M&M’s at the checkout counter when the bank thinks you’re being robbed. They’re like a bad boyfriend who insists you call them every time you make plans without them. If someone ever does rob me, I hope they buy more than sunscreen and candy.
6. Text Reminders Will Hound You
Whatever’s on autofill at the pharmacy will be ready on day two of your two-week vacation. You’ll get daily texts. First reminding you that your prescription is ready and then threatening to reshelve your meds by the time you pick them up.
7. More Potty Problems
The toddler will pee on the guest bedroom mattress. Birds will poop on your head. At home, the dogs will bomb your backyard. No housesitter gets paid enough to pick up dog poop. When you get home and you’re standing in the backyard with the pooper-scooper in hand, that is when it will rain.
— Bonnie Jean Feldkamp
Bonnie Jean Feldkamp is a writer, wife and mom of three kids whose ages span two decades. Her work has appeared in The New York Times; Brain, Child Magazine; Scary Mommy and more. Her Cincinnati Family Magazine mom blog earned Best Overall Blog in the 2017 Ohio Society of Professional Journalists Awards. Bonnie is also the communications director of the National Society of Newspaper Columnists. Find her on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram @writerBonnie or on her website at WriterBonnie.com.