How Lake Erie and a Moment of Responsible Parenting Caused an Experiment in Non-Traditional Gender Roles and Partially Contributed to Getting a Room.

As I have already blogged, we took the mackerdoodle to Long Point on Lake Erie while we were in Canada. You may not realize this, but I have an infant. This had two direct impacts on our trip. The first being that I wasn’t going to be bringing a 3.5 month old baby into the chop of one of the Great Lakes. The second being that I have a 3.5 month old, and the body to prove it. Even if I wanted to go out into the water, I didn’t have a bathing suit in which to do so.

So that put Jonathan on full time daddy water duty.

Now Jonathan isn’t a sit around on the beach sort of guy, but he’s all about some water, and the chance to be with his kids on their first exploration of little surf on a big lake was too good to not do. Here is where the responsible parenting tripped him up. He would normally have tucked his glasses into his shoes and gone out into the water mostly blind; but he was going in with a two year old and a four year old, both of which he is extremely attached to. His life guarding past met his fatherhood present and he entered the water wearing his glasses in order to keep a close eye on these priceless treasures the Lord has entrusted to us.

I could go into a long description, but you know where this is going.

Lake Erie ate Jonathan’s glasses.

Jonathan squinting into the distance without glasses (And Brian.)

Now in the scheme of things, this was a minor set back. Thanks to Zenni Optical we could order a replacement set for less than $30 once we got home and fetched his prescription. He also had his old set of glasses (replaced because they have a startling habit of falling apart at the nose piece, but otherwise still functioning for vision correction) sitting in the bathroom laundry closet.

We just had to get home.

Before we had kids I used to do at least 70% of the family driving, but with the kids – especially while I’m breastfeeding an infant – it just makes more sense for Jonathan to drive. We have, in the last four years, worked out a pretty good system of handling travel that involves Jonathan driving and finding radio stations and me handing out snacks/activities and reading books. It works for us – providing Jonathan can see. We prefer to arrive at our destinations alive and Jonathan’s vision is a big part of that goal.

I had to drive.

I also had to handle all of the potty breaks, because Jonathan was seeing impressionism where realism was required. He couldn’t identify the chocolate bars at the cashier, let alone find and read a restroom sign. I had to order our meals when we stopped because he couldn’t read the menu boards. He could pump gas -and he did, because it was pretty much the only thing he could do – and he handled the kids while I drove.

We weren’t making such good time getting home because our stops were taking twice as long on account of me not being able to be in several places at once. The snickerdoodle doesn’t sleep in her car seat. Coming home from her first road trip she was already tired, and not sleeping was making things worse (obviously) and like all children, sitting still in a car that isn’t moving is somehow worse for her than sitting still in a car that is moving.  Imagine our delight when we got to the tip of Lake Michigan and hit road construction on I-80. It took us 75 minutes to move 10 miles. This isn’t ideal in the first place, but add in role reversals, tired baby and a four year old bladder?

We finally got out of the mess and stopped for dinner hoping food and a break would make everyone able to last the final three hours home, but it wasn’t to be. In Somewhere Podunk IL – only 2 hr, 54 minutes from home according to the Garmin, we stopped for the night. I put the snickerdoodle down on one of the beds, she rolled onto her side (she’s doing that now) and fell fast asleep. That, alone,was worth every penny of the hotel room.

We were home by 10 AM the next morning and after a little recovery concluded that we’ll do our next trip when the snickerdoodle is forward facing and can be bribed with snacks.

And when we do get back to Lake Erie we’ll leave our glasses in our shoes.

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About Coralie

After 11 years of infertility, I am now a mother to three, a wife of a Presbyterian (ARP) preacher and a struggling homemaker. Welcome to my little corner of the net. Kick off your shoes, put your feet up and join the conversation. View all posts by Coralie

2 responses to “How Lake Erie and a Moment of Responsible Parenting Caused an Experiment in Non-Traditional Gender Roles and Partially Contributed to Getting a Room.

  • Lollie

    Oh wow, that was quite the trip! So glad you got home safe and sound. I do not enjoy road trips with infants, especially the ones that hate their carseats. I use to do the trek (only 3hrs mind you) to Houston all the time, no problem, till I had a car seat hatin’ babe. Then our trips got fewer, till she got older:)

  • Becky

    I love this story.

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