Ross Good (aka The Stented Papa) is a stay at home dad since needing four stents at the age of 37 and is sharing snippets of parenting wisdom
I can’t sleep. It’s 2.35am, Monday, August 26. The jet-lag has well and truly grabbed me by the goolies and is messing with my sleep patterns, big time.
I’m not the only one. I can hear Nip 1 moving around upstairs. I’m watching The Stented Missus and Nip 2 trying to sleep via the camera in her room. To be fair, I went to bed at 9.30pm, so I’ve had five hours of sleep which is pretty decent. In fact, it’s more than my wife gets in any one night. I’m the very heavy sleeper versus her waking up at anything that goes bump at night. So Jet-Lag and me don’t gel together very well.
Based in San Francisco for 80% of our trip, we also went on a whopper ‘road trip’ as they say there taking in much of California into Portland, Oregan and finally Seattle, Washington.
So when you’ve young nippers in the back of a car for the guts of a 16 hours drive (one way) it’s not gonna be all sunshine & happiness! Jesus no, at times far from it If I’m brutally honest but that said it was a deadly trip over all with just some hairy moments.
So with that in mind, here’s a few tips for you when travelling with your nips on a long journey (as I’ve recently learned)!
1. Despite your best intentions of not giving your phone - you will give them your phone just to shut them up for a bit - screw the parenting guilt, give the phone. You’re welcome.
2. Prior to the trip, whisper the meaning of ‘who needs to go to the toilet now’ into their tiny ears while asleep so when the time comes they actually understand what it means, ‘cause no matter how many times we asked, the result was always the same. ‘I don’t have to go’ only to be on the road again five minutes and BOOM ‘I need to go wee-wee’.
3. In fact, pack a small backpack with headphones, favourite books, stickers, colouring options, travel games, packed lunch, small treats, etc. By the way, have fun picking up all the tiny travel game pieces along with pieces of cheese, ham and whatever else they decide to shove into the tiniest places ever.
4. ‘Guys, guys - look at that view, holy moly that’s phenomenal girls, ha? Girls?! Hey, look out your window how before you…..miss it.’ Cop on man - they don’t give a flying fiddler about the view! You, me and everybody in their ‘middle-aged years’ only do because we’ve now officially become our parents. Soak the view up yourself because you’re the only one in the car who cares!
5. Buy your beer and/or wine before you get to your last stop for the night. Trust me, having a few cold ones ready to rock versus having to get them chilled will be a lifesaver after a five-hour trip actually ends up taking 10 to 11 hours, this will be the best idea you’ve had all day!
I’ll leave you with this…
So I was bringing Nip 1 up to bed. As we stood up from the kitchen table, only five or six steps away from me, standing up on their back legs - eyeballing, hissing and spitting at me like something from The Exorcist was… Mr Raccoon, well and truly scorped, eyeballing me, more or less saying, ‘Go on - make your move’.
I did manage to get the door shut before he decided to open up a can of whoop-ass on me. Based on his body position, I seriously thought he was going to headbutt the glass, which now (thankfully) separated us but that didn’t happen.
Turns out there were five of them in total. Mum, Dad and their three nippers. Can’t blame a parent for trying to ensure their children are alright when getting from A to B right, but having a good old-fashioned face off with a fairly angry Raccoon was defo a first for me! Wine was had thereafter!
Chat next week folks.
Ross (The Stented Papa)