Friday I took the kids on a little "Mystery Trip".
Trying to think if I should smash that into something....
Nahh. Nothing seems to work.
Anyway, Friday morning they plodded into the car for me to drive them in to school and they all sat slumped against the windows looking forlorn and depressed. But when I got to the school's driveway, instead of turning left into it, I drove straight on past it. They were all like,
"Mom! You missed the school!"
And I'm all like,
"Oh, did I?"
But then they saw my I'm-up-to-no-good grin in the rear-view mirror and knew I had something up my sleeve.
I told them they could play 20 questions to guess where I was taking them, thinking they would never get it, but Patrick guessed before we had gotten five minutes down the road. Spoil-sport.
Anyway, the big surprise was I was taking them to Luray Caverns in northern VA.
And we had a blast.
They were ANGELS the whole drive down.
We played license plate games. We played alphabet games. We played memory games. We picked a movie that everyone agreed on. It was like a 3D Norman Rockwell painting. I was kind of freaked out, truth be told.
We stopped for lunch at Golden Corral (a place I had been to before but they hadn't) and you'd think they died and went to heaven. Neither the kids nor I have very sophisticated palates and we were like pigs in mud for the pancakes and eggs and cinnamon rolls and bacon and all the other delectable brunch items and desserts. We ate till we were sick.
About an hour later my GPS was telling me,
"Arriving at your destination".
We got right in on a tour that was just starting and spent the next hour or so oohing and ahhhing over all the formations and pillars and drop-offs and of course the oh-so-famous Luray Caverns organ.
Then a little gift-shopping, then I sprung for a run through the hedge maze and then it was time to head home.
That's where the fun ended.
A dispute over a water bottle stopped just short of a full-on brawl in the parking lot. Voices were raised and heads were turned and it was UGLY.
Finally got into the car and got everyone settled enough to drive away but at least half of our caravan was in tears (myself included).
But we put a movie in.
Children began to breathe.
Tears began to dry.
People were both focused and dazed and things seemed OK.
Then we got stuck in traffic.
Lots of traffic.
What should have been a three hour return trip turned into a five hour torture tour.
Mellow dazed children turned into irritable antsy beasts. They had to pee. They picked on each other, sang loudly when others were begging them to stop, and fought over which game we should play, which movie we should watch, which direction eyes should be pointed, which direction air should be exhaled.
If I had access to a fork I would have stabbed myself in the eardrums.
All my tricks were depleted. Nice Mommy made an appearance till Mean Mommy threw her out an open window.
But even Mean Mommy couldn't quite get the beasts under control.
I have never been happier than when I backed my car into my garage at about 9:30 that night and within minutes crawled into my bed and passed out into a dark coma.
On the trip down to VA I began fantasizing about summer road trips, camping trips, maybe we should think about getting an RV.
But before I surrendered to my coma, I thought,
tomorrow I should Google where I can find dynamite or grenades so I can blow my car up.....