Flashback: Why We Will Never Go Back to Branson

Orginally published in July of 2006. Joseph was twenty seven months old and potty training. Camille was six months old. My brother was about to leave for basic training and my parents had the brilliant idea to have "one last family trip" together. It was a nice idea in theory but in reality... no.

After spending the morning with friend's while The Caminator and I went to a training session, Joseph helped me pack the van. When Adam came home, we threw the last minute items in the car and headed towards Branson, a 2-3 hour drive.

About 3/4ths of the way there, I smelled... something. Adam did too and we made plans to stop ASAP to change Joseph's pull-up. Then we heared, "Uh-oh. Blankey poopy."

Uh-oh indeed. Adam pulled over at the nearest town and we saw The Mess. It was the Worst Kind of Car Trip Mess. We drove... and drove... and drove all over town looking for a Wal-Mart parking lot. We had planned to stop and use one billion diaper wipes to get Joseph and his car seat presentable enough for the measly hour left in the car.

Then I had a light bulb moment. A friend had used one of those coin operated hand-held car washes to clean her son's exasaucer. I gave this idea to Adam, who thought I was brillant. We drove around looking for one of those before finding one at a Conaco.

I pulled Joseph out of the van and used a bunch of wipes and a trash bag at my feet to clean him off. I decided I didn't love his 50 cent garage sale find shorts enough to keep them, so they went in the bag with the pull-up. Adam clipped Blankey to the floor mat clips and hosed him off. Let me tell you, a power spray realllly gets poop off a blanket. Joseph stood there, howling, "Bllllaaannnkeeeey!"

Adam dragged the car seat to the hose and sprayed it off too. We got Joseph's legs, calling out, "It's not child abuse! It's poop!" to passerbys. (They were headed towards the condom machine. Ironic?) One man meantion he had three children... and he was chuckling at us.

Thankfully, I always carry trash bags with me, so we put one on the seat, one on the car seat, a thin blanket and set the slightly less stinky Joseph on it. We suddenly agreed that we needed a new car seat for Adam's car, so we headed to KMart for the cheapest seat we could find.

One new car seat, a pack age of pull-ups, laundry soap, Fabreeze and a MatchBox car later, we were out of KMart. As I waited in line with our purchases, I heard a mother trying to encourage her teenage daughter to get her tounge peirced. The cashier had a tounge peircing and they were telling the daughter how awesome it would be. I really, really wanted to say something but I had a feeling they would just dismiss me as a hot, tired, poop smelling mother with a baby who was diving-bombing for my boob. Not that that was happening, or anything.

While Adam installed the car seat, I climbed in the back to nurse the Very Hungry Camille. The breeze was blowing and the night was cool, so the hatch and both doors were open. A car pulled kitty-corner to us and a man and his young daughter (10-12) got out. The gentleman said, "Ma'am?" so I answered, "Yes?" rather coolly. Who was this guy and why was he talking to me?

"Oh, I'm sorry, I was talking to someone else," he said very politely. I smiled and nodded.

After he finished his conversation, he walked past my car, turned his head to look back at me and said, "I'm sorry. I didn't mean to yell earlier. I am very sorry."

I thought he thought he had disturbed Camille nursing, so I said, "Oh, you weren't yelling! Don't worry about it! I was just sitting back here, nursing my baby. You didn't bother us at all!"

The man turned beet red, I could see this even in the dusk, and started falling all over himself with apologizes. "I'm so embaressed. I didn't even realize you were doing that! I thought you were enjoying the cool breeze! I didn't see the baby! I'm so sorry!"

I was laughing and trying to reassure the poor guy. "No, I nurse anywhere! You have nothing to be sorry for!" and so but he just spun around and RAN into KMart! The poor guy; I think I must have scarred him for life!

We finally got into Branson late that night. I really, really wanted a shower but I laid down with Camille to nurse her to sleep. Joseph had ANOTHER blow out and we popped him in the shower. As Adam tucked him into bed, I climbed into the shower... and considered never coming out.

Surprisingly, we have traveled with the children since this trip. Not surprisingly, we have zero desire to ever go to Branson again.

What is your best or worst memory of a vacation?