Shannon Philpott-Sanders

Writing, Reflecting, Teaching, Parenting

Stinky Feet, Whining Kids and the Awkward Silence

roadThe exciting portrayal of road trips is often misleading. In the movies, we see friends bond on that big open highway. We see families laughing, enthusiastic about spending 32 hours in the car together.

 This portrayal leads us to think that a road trip is a fun journey where everyone sings along to the radio, shares snacks, and engages in deep conversations until they reach their final destination. The Griswalds made it to Wally World in one piece, why can’t we?

 It’s unrealistic. At this point in my life, road trips involve stinky feet, whining kids, and awkward moments of silence.

 But, the smell, the sound, and the awkwardness have not stopped us from attempting these trips. Whether it is a 5 hour drive to Chicago or a 45 minute ride to a small city in Southern Illinois, we have taken on the open road. Each trip brings about a new adventure, but not the most appealing type of adventure.

 The adventures involve fights between my son and daughter – ranging from the song on the radio and who has more room in the backseat to the annoying sound of my daughter popping her gum to the volume of my son’s Nintendo DS.

 The adventures involve French fries strewn across the floor of the car, smelly feet that prefer to rest between the driver and passenger seats, and crayons melting into the seats.

 The adventures involve constant whining beginning with “I don’t like this song” and “Why does he get to pick where we eat?” and continuing with an overdramatic “Why does everyone in this car hate me?” and “I never get to do anything I want to do.”

 Once the stinky feet are safely put back into the shoes and the whining sessions have simmered down, there is that wonderful awkward moment of silence when everyone is at his or her threshold and prefers to just stare down the other car mates, visualizing an escape plan.

 While I love my family and I love my kids more than anything, I don’t think that being trapped in a vehicle for more than 30 minutes is healthy. No one sings together, no one bonds in a positive way, and no one wants to really share the snacks.

 That is why we prefer to fly.


– Shannon Philpott
Blog Entry: Sept. 6, 2009

 © Shannon Philpott, 2009. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Shannon Philpott and with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.


September 6, 2009 - Posted by | Blog, Parenting, Reflecting | , , , , , ,

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