Thursday, June 3, 2010

Holding Pattern

First of all...that giveaway I posted about at Homestead Revival...the one for the reusable canning lids...I WON IT!! Excited as I am about that, my post is a sober one...

I'm sorry I haven't been on this space for almost a week now. Internet coverage has been slim to none, because we've been beelining it South as fast as we could go. I wish I could tell you it's because we've been having so much fun, that I didn't have time to log on...but, I would be lying. It's not that we haven't appreciated this trip, and all that the country has to offer by way of scenery and interest. It's just that the realities of living with a 3 year old, in a car, tent, and occasional motel for this long has been...well...crappy.

I'm just going to get painfully honest, here....I'm failing my son. I've had moments of failing him before...but, they were always recovered pretty quickly, and I was back on my way. This trip, though fine for the first little while, has me shaking my head in disbelief at how far it's all gotten away from me. He's a great road trip kid...still is...but, behavior and emotions have become unbearable. My failings are almost like a bad habit, at this point...and the harmony in our parent/child dynamic is crumbling. There are several reasons...

The actuality of putting up a campsite day in and day out, and driving for hours on end, state after state, with him strapped in a carseat...then occasionally staying put, only to hole up in a motel room, because the Pacific Northwest can't stop raining on your parade...well, it adds up to a whole lot of rejection and boredom, and "stop that!", "hold on a minute!", "if you unbuckle your seatbelt, it's curtains!", "if you don't put that down, you're in trouble!", and "come here!, sit down!", "sit right there and fold your hands till I'm done, here!", "don't mess with that!", the worst one..."leave me alone for a minute!!!". Then as if telling a 3 year old boy to stay beside you, sit still, and leave you alone isn't perfect storm enough...he's created a mental cocoon to cope with the boredom, and I can't get him to respond to me, unless I go touch him, or I raise my voice. You can speculate as to which one wins out, when your hands are full of camping stuff, or you are driving down the highway. To make it all worse, he has taken to running off...and when you're on a ferry in the middle of the Puget Sound, a place you've always wanted to go...that running off can morph into the kind of terror only a parent understands. But, he was sick and tired of standing in one place...and he was going to find adventure if it meant disobeying and doing something he shouldn't, knowing it would most likely get him in trouble. So much for soaking in God's beauty, and marinating in the culture of a wonderful that in for a hyperventilating panic attack, after you finally find your wayward son, hiding under some chairs 2 decks above you, mix in some unbelievable rage, and some scary blood pressure levels...and you have my very "unsound" experience in the Sound.

Note to self...if you're going to try to see things that mean alot to you to see...or fulfill lifelong dreams..."with a 3 year old" is not one of the criteria to materialize that experience.

It's not his's mine. To put it plainly...we are miserable. He has no structure, no consistency...and the way this trip was done...there's really no way to make that happen. Had the original RV plan taken place, this wouldn't have been as much of an issue...we would have had a mini home, that we didn't have to build every day. This may have been very enjoyable had it lasted 2-3 weeks...but, week 4 started to turn this thing sour, and it's only gotten worse and worse. I'm sick about it. Everyone keeps telling me that when we remember it, we'll realize how much fun we had. That may be true...but, for right now, the spirit of this entire endeavor has been squashed. Our "Whole Family Project" isn't encouraging wholeness right's creating havoc in my little boy, and blue-in-the-face aggravation in us. Add to that a myriad of other issues that come along with living in a tent...we are past the end of our rope.

One more casualty of this trip?...camping. I don't think I'll ever want to camp again, as long as I live. Maybe it would be different with some friends, or more people...but, in our little family of 3, this will most likely be a father/son endeavor from here on out.


  1. I love you kiddo. You're probably not failing jaxen as much as you think, although I'm not a parent, so what do I know? Glad you're making your way home (wherever that may be), and I pray that the whole endeavor isn't wasted in your mind.

  2. Hi there, I came upon your blog and really felt I could empathize with what you are going through. We have a three year old too! And an rv! Let me tell you, it isn't any easier. I just don't think this is a good road trip age. Period. Granted we have more luxury than you but she hates being strapped in, no matter how large her surroundings may be. She fights with her 8 yo brother. They scream and yell at each other while we are driving. Somebody ALWAYS needs to go potty. I have also noticed that although my son finds plenty of kids his age to play with we never run into any kids her age.

    Sometimes I second guess this trip just because of her, even with the rv!

    I don't know how many hours you are traveling on the road but we can't do anymore than 3-4 at a time or everybody falls apart. We just won't push it, even if it means taking longer to get places.

    As for the crunchy stuff I feel you there. I was miserable in Austin when I thought I would love it...haven't got to Oregon but have a feeling the same thing will happen. I'm from the south (Florida) and a lot of crunchy people have come off snobby to me, even though we have so many things in common.

    Good luck on your journey!

  3. Aleisha,
    I had a friend who had 3 kiddos. The youngest was 20 months or so. the last 5 hours of their trip back from west Texas to Houston, the baby said " home, home home home home.etc etc. " the whole five hours they were on the road and my friend (the Mom) said she almost went completely insane. Her husband chain-smoked all the way back to cope with it! I just picture you saying , "home, home, home too" But YOU WILL GET HOME! LUV Kay



Related Posts with Thumbnails