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Brotherhood in the Back Seat July 4, 2006

Posted by TimTheFoolMan in Family, Fun, Humor, Love, Parenting/Children, Vacation.

One of the difficult things about going on a “family vacation” is just that–you have to put up with your family for the entire time. When you have multiple children, this can be especially taxing. Depending on the ages and personalities of the children, it can be extended playtime, or World War III.

That’s Entertainment
In my case, it was an open question whether my sons would behave amicably on an extended car ride. In anticipation of pre-Independence Day fireworks, we brought along my laptop (for DVD viewing) and the Playstaion 2 (for games or DVDs). Worst case, they might both want to watch a movie or TV episode at the same time, so I covered that with DVDs and the aformentioned players.

As it turned out, the first half of the trip was completely uneventful. My oldest (about to head off to college) worked crossword puzzles up in the front seat with me, and the youngest played video games in the back.

The trip back had a different flavor, primarily because I demanded that my naps take place in the front passenger seat (as opposed to the driver’s seat, where my naps had taken place on the trip out). This configuration meant that both of the boys were stuck in the back seat, which meant several hours of continuous interaction.

One thing led to another, and soon enough, the laughter in the back seat was making it hard for me to nap. It didn’t matter that it was late in the evening. In fact, that probably made it worse as they were both slap-happy.

The Power of Laughter
By the time we rolled into a hotel in the middle of the night, the continuous laughter was worse than any teen-girl slumber party. The evening had seen spewing chocolate ice cream at dinner, friendly arguments over which upgrades to purchase in Grand Turismo 3 (the normally frugal older son was ready to spend the cash that the younger had been saving for a better car), and laughter at anything and everything that seemed the slightest bit odd.

By 1:00 AM, when we were trying to get to sleep, I finally pronounced “That’s ENOUGH. We have to get up in another 4 hours, so go to sleep!” I felt slightly guilty when the room fell suddenly silent. They were having so much fun, and here I was, spoiling the good time.

Thirty seconds later, they couldn’t hold it back anymore, and the silence of the night was broken by laughs that simply couldn’t be contained. I considered getting angry and upset again.

Instead, I just smiled.


1. ME - July 5, 2006

It sounds like you had a great time, I am thinking the “apples” dont fall to far from the tree though…LOL

You smile in your sleep?

2. Mia - July 6, 2006

What!?! No pillow fight…. hahah… how unlike you Timothy…

Still gotta love it that this is one more memory for the whole family to one day look back upon.

Wishing for stardust myself….

3. litlove - July 11, 2006

My husband is one of four, and when he went on holiday with his family, his mother used to position them all on the back seat/in the boot area, with the luggage packed all around them, so they were each individually walled in. In our family now, given that we only have one son, but boredom can be an issue, we listen to books on tape.

4. Tiffany - July 11, 2006

Yet another benefit of being an only child — I always had the back seat all to myself! 😀

Driving south last week, I ended up with two incredibly goofy kids having a full-out shrieking, laughing pillow fight in a Georgia Hampton Inn. I didn’t tell them to be quiet (it wasn’t late enough for anyone around us to be asleep); I just let them go, suggesting occasionally that they watch out for furniture and mirrors, until they wore themselves down and were ready to relax. It was a perfect release for them after a long day in the car.

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