1. It’s good to misplace your own antiperspirant among your bajillion pieces of luggage because then you get to use your husband’s Old Spice deodorant, which actually works.
2. Cracker Barrel is a great place to bring your three-month-old because the place is basically run entirely by grandmothers and aunts. Also, there will always be another child there who is louder and more poorly-behaved than yours. Fact.
3. Just when you’re ready to laud your Garmin as the miraculous culmination of all the technology that came before it, it will pronounce Whole Foods as “wa-hole foods.”
4. The relief you feel the moment you pull in to a Hampton Inn after an eleven hour car ride with an infant is comparable to the feeling Industrial Age children experienced when getting off of work from the coal mine.
5. Many alternate lyrics to “If You’re Happy and You Know It” can be concocted while in the car with an infant. For example:
“If you’re happy and you know it, clap your hands.
If you can’t do that, just sit right there.
If that is still too difficult for your cognitive level,
Just blow spit bubbles and blink your eyes.”
6. The moment I take over driving for my husband, a hurricane will make landfall. This is the Murphy’s Law of roadtrip driving.
7. When you are on a budget, trips to rural gas stations can be substituted for pricier tourist attractions. We stopped at one BP in the boondocks of Florida that was run by three men, the youngest of which was roughly 85. They were smoking pipes and selling shriveled sweet potatoes at the front counter. I don’t think British Petroleum authorized their inventory.
8. No matter how many exciting activities you planned for the week, you will still hear a child say, “I’m bored.” And responding to this comment with a suggestion to do chores around the family’s rented beach cottage is never a sufficient response to said child.
9. Make sure you accumulate as much garbage as possible in your car. All those empty water bottles can surely be used for a craft project when you return home. When your spouse asks you if you were going to throw away the spoils from the baby’s latest diaper change, tell him that you were planning to keep it as a souvenir.
10. Always prepare yourself for the worst the instant you open the door to your home after a two week absence. That way, when all your stuff is still there and the place isn’t burnt to the ground, it’s an added bonus.