When my husband and I started talking about taking our kids down to Laguna Beach to visit his brother, I envisioned us happily embarking on a somewhat easy one-plus-hour flight into John Wayne Airport. Little did I know that my husband would drop the infamous words on me moments later: “Road Trip” he said.

That’s when I realized that I don’t think Brent has spent enough time in the car with these kids. Just this morning it was nearly impossible for Georgia to allow me to go from our house to downtown Petaluma without kicking the back of my seat the entire time, Harper dropped something she wanted and wailed about it, Rocky was crying about not getting to sit in the “front”, which is what she refers to as the seat behind the driver’s seat, and Olivia was asking me how to spell stuff while she scribed in her new notebook.

And this was just a 3-mile round trip.

I Googled it and our drive to Laguna will take us 6 hours 41 minutes, without traffic, so in Blaustein time that’s like 10 hours. I can’t begin to imagine the bathroom breaks that are going to be needed on this adventure not to mention the numerous cries of “I’m hungry”, “I’m thirsty”, “I hate this song”, etc., etc.

Brent also said that he’d like to try the drive without plugging in our junky DVD system or using iPads. “We can play games and sing songs,” he said. I think he’s not feeling well, must have hit his head or something. I think I’ll let him take the lead on this idea. I’ll be watching the World Cup from my iPhone with my headphones on.

My friend told me about a friend of hers who was one of five girls. Her father was militant on road trips. In fact he refused to stop for the bathroom. If anyone were thirsty he would hand her a wet washcloth to suck on. When I heard this, my first thought was “Who does that?” now I’m thinking this man was a genius. But I may just put everyone in a diaper.

I don’t want to sound like a Debby Downer; rather, I like to think of myself as a realist. After all, I am the one who spends the most time with the kids and I know what we are up against in planning a road trip with four. Our van is getting smaller by the minute, we aren’t even planning on bringing our double Bob Duallie stroller, to save room, and still it’s going to get really claustrophobic in there. We are now one of those families that have to tie the luggage on the top of the car because there is so much stuff.

But Brent has planned ahead and we are breaking up our road trip with several stops to keep it from feeling like a million hours with no end to the madness in sight. We plan to visit the Monterey Bay Aquarium, which we have never done before, and stop at Nana’s, which is always a special adventure.

I want this trip to work out I really do, so I’m going to do everything I can to keep it going smoothly and that will include keeping my mouth shut when Brent says “next time we should fly down”. Hmm…I wonder if they can just tie me to the top?