Tuesday, January 12, 2010

A Journey of Fluids

Our journey from Milwaukee to Portland was 44 cold hours in a small semi-functional car crowded with snacks, survival supplies, presents, and various documents. As awful as that description may sound, it wasn't as bad as I thought it would be...except when it was.

I gave a dual-screen DVD player to the boys for Christmas. I admit that my motives were selfish - I was trying to buy some peace and quiet during the long drive. It was a nice idea, but I accidentally packed (on the moving truck) the cable that joins the two players together. Thus, only one screen worked and the two boys were fighting over it. So I bought another dual-screen player in Iowa. Only problem was that it was obviously used and was missing necessary components (stupid liberal Wal-mart return policy). Long story short, in the end, we had both screens working for 20 of the 44 hours and two non-functional DVD players to return to Wal-Mart.

However, the biggest hassle on our trip did not involve technology; it involved pipes. Carter completely forgot how to control any bodily fluids during our drive. Open the above map, if you would...I'll give you a minute....ok...let's proceed. Each 'splat' represents a different accident that Carter had. Hopefully most of the colors are self-explanatory (blue is spit...lots of spit...and green is reminiscent of The Exorcist). We brought a 2-week supply of pull-ups for Carter. He went through 2/3 of that supply in one day. ONE DAY!

My complete breaking point happened in Denver. We specifically warned him when we hit Colorado that he needed to tell us if he needed to relieve himself because we were completely out of pull-ups and pants. We reiterated this every five-or-so minutes. Denver rolls around and the car smells like an outhouse. Thanks a lot, Carter. So I spend 20 minutes cleaning him and his clothes off in a convenience store bathroom. I had to wrap a blanket around him because we didn't have any more pairs of clean pants.

Then, not 15 minutes later, he asks us to stop the car so he can evac his bowels again. No problem, at least he told us. I dress him in a pair of semi-clean pants and take him into the bathroom, place him in the stall, and wait outside. I get impatient after 7 minutes, so I check on him. He's sitting on the floor, 6 inches from the toilet...with poop in his pants. This was the second time that day this happened.

At this point in our story, Peter blew a gasket. If a top-ten list of adult meltdowns/tantrums is ever recorded, I can guarantee a top-five finish after this episode.

Perhaps it was my elevated blood pressure or the horrendous snow and fog - which seemed to last from Denver to Eastern Oregon over several days - but I didn't sleep at all that night. We drove for 24 straight hours.


  1. WOW, what a journey! I certainly don't envy you! And then having to camp out on your floor for a week or so after all that!! I'm so glad it's over, but I'm sure nowhere near as glad as you are!

  2. I needed a good laugh today!! Stories that'll go down in the annals of Hedgecock history. Hope you're settling in well...and that the pipes are back in working order.

  3. you poor things! I would have lost it too, if it makes you feel any better. Our move to and from Wisconsin seemed like it took forever, but I will now be grateful for our long but basically uneventful trip!

  4. Sounds terrible. I hope there's a happy post soon about how wonderful Oregon is.

  5. Thank you so much for that comment on my fiasco with the crockpot, Peter. It just made my day at the office. We sure miss you guys. I'm glad the move went well and good luck in Oregon. Call us when you're settled so we can play some games again.

  6. what an eventful trip. I am glad you are there safely. IT was great to see you for a bit at the beginning of your long adventure. I hope all is going well and it looks like you are enjoying your new job. I am jealous of your view.

  7. I'll give you a pass this time, but next time there is no peeing allowed in my state!

  8. I laughed and laughed and laughed at your misfortunes. Sorry. It might be because it all sounded so familiar. Though I've never experienced it road-trip style, I have several times found a poopy Katie just standing at the toilet. Just standing there (sometimes with a focused look on her face that means she's not done) with one hand on the seat.