I let the girls sleep-in as long as possible to make up for their really late night the night before.
I should not have promised to take them swimming one more time before we left. It was a promise made in order to get them out of the pool... but I should have known better.
Around 10 AM they woke up and I whispered to Kid that I was going to have to break the promise. That I was sorry but wouldn't she rather get to her cousins as fast as possible. She agreed and I asked her to not mention it to Baby. Amazingly she she kept her word.
By the time we were all ready to check out breakfast was over. So we started the morning with McDonald's hamburgers all around eaten in our car seats while finishing The Little Mermaid from yesterday. Yummy. (and no I'm not being serious... but it was fast and had some protein so we were good to go... plus I made up for it by ordering french toast at Denny's for lunch)
We got going. Goodbye Virgina. Hello West Virginia, Maryland, and Pennsylvania. That was just in the first hour of our journey.
We stopped at a rest stop.
We saw a broken down Army convoy.
We had the pleasure of following two "Wide Loads":
An actual FEMA trailer being trucked somewhere.
And what I thought was the world's largest boomerang but turned out to be airplane wings (maybe?!). That was actually a bit scary as they appeared to be somewhat precariously attached to a flat bed.
We actually had a little less than 200 miles to drive today... but... it was not all highway driving and had been somewhat slower than I expected.
Today was also the day when I came closest to spanking Baby.
I'm not a spanker. In general I'm not even a yeller.
But today, while driving down a divided highway, about halfway into our trip, Baby started grumbling about something or other. She wanted to "get out!!!". I explained that we were on the highway and there was nowhere for me to pull over and that I'd be stopping for lunch just as soon as I could.
A couple of minutes later I noticed Baby was not in her seat where she should be. She was leaning forward in away that should be impossible in her 5 point harness. I realized then that she had unbuckled herself.
We were not near an exit, we had, of course, just past one. With no exit in sight and no other options I pulled off as far as I could onto the shoulder of the road. Keep in mind that we had just passed signs reading "Aggressive Drivers High Crash Area" and "High DUI Crash Area" (I kid you not). Because of a guard rail all along this section of highway I could only get one wheel off the shoulder onto a grassy area. When I got out of the car I wasn't 10 feet from the passing traffic. I opened Baby's door and hopped in trying to clear myself of traffic as much as possible (I have read of one too many people killed while out of their cars on the highway). I climbed in the car and forcefully put her back in her carseat.
She forcefully kicked and clawed at me while screaming with fury.
I screamed back with terror every time I felt the wind rushing by me from a passing semi.
I got her buckled and quickly got out of her door and back into mine.
I turned around to look right at Baby and screamed....
"YOU DON'T UNBUCKLE!!!! EVER!!!!! THAT'S DANGEROUS!!!"
Baby started screaming and wailing in return.
Kid sat there dumbfounded then whispered "Are you talking to me?"
"No, I'm talking to your sister."
Then I started crying.
From the exhaustion...
and the adrenaline.
I put on a movie and merged into traffic.