Wednesday, August 17, 2011

THE ride home...(Uncle Sean's graduation continued)

Yikes. Time is certainly fleeting. There are so very many daily moments that I would love to many things I want to hold onto. Instead, I find myself focusing on the moment, wrapping myself in it briefly, then letting it pass as moments do - holding that mental snap shot and tucking it safely into the folds of time...

David has begun to use the potty - don't get too excited - it's only on occasion - but it's a start...and his proud face? yeah - it's so worth the wait for him to ask for his "poy-yee" like a big boy. (umm and that would be a dishwasher in the back - because when David asks, David gets his "poy-yee" - seriously.)

(and by the way, there is a distinct possibility that the above picture will surface should a mouthy grump of a teen David rear his ugly head around here. That's right, I'm collecting ammo..."What's that teen David? Shut up you say? Everything is stupid (read as B.S.) you say? hmm - when's that slide show at school again? Yeah - I'll show you stupid."-sometimes even I am amazed at my level of maturity.)

About that maturity...

We left Baton Rouge around 2:30. As the babies had napped for about an hour in the car between graduation and the celebratory lunch, I wasn't very hopeful for a quiet ride home.

They didn't disappoint.

We were stuck for a little over an hour in traffic just before the Atchafalaya Basin bridge when I spoke with Brent. We agreed on an alternate route to start on the exit I was inching towards the next exit and Brent told me how "simple" it would be to just pop off of the interstate and use "the old roads" to get home. It would take about 45 minutes on top of my 2 plus hour ride I had left - BUT traffic was at a standstill and that "Road Work: next 18 miles" sign didn't look too promising so I took the plunge...

Enter Heather's AWESOME (read as totally shitty - really - there is no other way to describe my) sense of direction...

I should say now that "back woods" Louisiana is absolutely stunning. I mean story book fabulous. There are Acadian style homes nestled among Spanish moss filled trees. There are gorgeous sugar cane fields. The farm equipment rests majestically under 100 year live oaks. Cypress knees peak out of milk chocolate bayou banks. The bayous hold the secrets of years and years of Cajun tradition and folklore.

In short, I heart Louisiana and really believe that it should be on the world's list of must see and have to explore places. Seriously - don't knock it 'til you try it. It's all kinds of fantastic and you're selling yourself short if you don't spend some time here.


I (and certainly the babies) were ill-prepared for the scenic route on that particular day. Tantrums were a plenty. Kicking Momma's seat was the game of the day. I was actually sweating with stress as I drove E.M. (see the last blog entry about our sweet chariot) into crops and Cajun country fearing we might not find our way home.

30 minutes into unmarked road later, I phoned Brent...

Now would be the appropriate time to let you know that my total and utter lack of a sense of direction and the fact that I am void of any understanding of a map or verbal instruction having to do with travel is possibly one of our highest points of frustration. (I know, we're lucky like that. He's amazing.)

Me, "Brent, how long do I have to drive down this road before I get to (Hwy.) 190??"
Brent, "A while."
Me, "Great Brent. Great description. How long is awhile?? I've been driving for 20 minutes!!" (knowing I had been driving for 30 minutes but didn't want Brent to yell at me...)
Brent, "Sounds like you're ok. Keep going. It's a big road Heather. You can't miss it." (dun dun dunnnnn)

I missed it. In my defense though, 2 of the 4 lanes were dirt as they had been dug up to be worked on and ALL of the street signs were lying on the side of the road. Yep - awesome. It was unmarked due to construction.

I turned around eventually. 1 more hour down the tubes.

I passed over Morganza (see: the news lately). I saw the most amazing rest stop. Ever. I wish I'd stopped to take a photo but I was so irritated at the time that I couldn't imagine turning around and stopping - that would take more time!!! So, I'll paint you a picture with words...

Off to my right, the most beautiful bayou scene. Really - majestic oaks, trickling bayou, stunning scenery...tiny "state official blue" Rest Area sign...Along said bayou, there was (I kid you not) a Port-o-Potty (judging by the fungus growing down the door, and the faded blue color, I'd say it was about 10 years old - delish), and a rickety picnic table. Thanks for the welcome backwoods Louisiana.

I FINALLY made it to Oplelouses. Only an hour and a half to go!!!!

I miss the interstate turn (of course I do - see above for description of my sense of direction). Then I hear wind. I wish it was a baby toot - but alas, Mary Louise had OPENED THE BACK DOOR!!!!


I'm pretty sure I was the one that needed the diaper at that point.

Mary Louise had apparently squirmed out of her car seat harness and opened the car door. She shrank back into her seat and sat quietly as I stormed around, engaged the car child lock (A+ Mom right here! - oh and thankfully it was the door that DID open from the outside), and strapped her TIGHTLY into her seat.

She got out...twice more. I was at wits end. I called Brent (because misery loves company and I just HAD to tell him what his spawn had done!). I made a U-turn to get onto the proper interstate...I saw blue lights.

Enter state trooper.

I pulled over just before the on-ramp to my golden brick road home. The P.O. (because that's what we traffic felons call the po-po's - you know Police Officer is just too much to type sometimes), got on the bull-horn...

Again, I kid you not:
P.O., "Step out of the car and proceed to me with your hands visible."
Me - leaned out of a cracked car door and yelling frantically at the top of my lungs, "I have 2 babies!!! I'm not leaving my car!!!"
P.O., "What?"
Me, "I. have. 2. toddlers. in. my. back. seat. I am NOT leaving my car!!"
P.O., "Ok. Open your window and show your hands. I'll come to you."
(really dude. paranoid of the random traffic violating mom-much?)

I go through the routine...which is when I figured out I didn't have a current insurance card. I looked for our agent's phone number...couldn't find it. Mary Louise started crying. I swear, I had a panic attack.

I burst into absolute hysterics.

The state trooper gave me a ticket for an improper U-turn...and a warning for the insurance.

After a moment - or 5, I got back onto the road home in the right direction and found my way there after a total of 5 hours (the ride should have been 2).

That glittery u-turn ticket?? $177.50. That's one expensive U-turn.


P.S. little door-opening booger...


  1. Thanks Heather for another "Only you Heather" story. YOu have such a way with your words. I love to see the updates on the babies. So glad you guys made it home safely even if you lost a part of your sanity on the way.

  2. Oh my god... that trip sounds like just about the worst trip I've ever heard of in the world. And those darn uturns- I got a u-turn ticket when I was 18 and on the way to see my mom who just had surgery in the hospital- it was also complete with please get out of your car with your hands where I can see them. A little over the top, I think.

    I'm glad you survived to tell the tale. Also, really impressed Mary Louise can get out of the carseat! woah!

  3. oh wow, what an adventure!

    Don't do a school slideshow, that's not forever... You know how you can buy a page in the yearbook to celebrate your senior... :)

  4. Bless your heart!!! I gasped out loud when I read what Mary Louise did! I can't believe your heart didn't completely stop right then and there! Hope y'all are planning on staying close to home for awhile! :-)

  5. OMG Heather! I have been reading since the babies were in the hospital.. this is my first comment. You crack me up...
    P.S. holding a fund raiser to buy Heather a GSP, ASAP!

  6. oops! can't even spell