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8 Things That Will Inevitably Happen When You Road Trip With Your Kids

Julie Sprankles is a freelance writer living in the storied city of Charleston, SC. When she isn't slinging sass for SheKnows, she enjoys watching campy SyFy creature features (Pirahnaconda, anyone?), trolling the internet for dance work...

Hitting the road with little ones? You're in for one wild ride, Mama

Your bags are packed, work can wait and you're all set to head off for a treasured American pastime — the family road trip. How does that saying go? Oh yes, life is about the journey, not the destination. You're gonna want to put that into your mental piggy bank to pull out during your voyage.

More: What Is "Restorative Parenting" and Is It Right for You?

It's not that family road trips aren't fun. In fact, when you look back on them, you'll likely only remember the priceless memories you made together. When you're in the thick of it, though, you're much more likely to focus on these things that inevitably happen when you road trip with kids.

1. Packing the car is like playing Tetris

You once thought you had a lot of stuff. Then you had kids and realized that the sheer amount of stuff kids require for travel puts your stuff to shame. Fitting all of this into your loaded-down vehicle — while still leaving room for actual humans — is legit like playing the hardest game of Tetris you've ever played. When all's said and done, you will have shaved an inch off your favorite suitcase and, you know, years off your life.

2. You try to distract them with road games

You figure that if you get the kids to focus on finding letters on billboards or counting cows your car passes in pastures, they might stop incessantly questioning you. Unfortunately, it's only a matter of time before the Alphabet Game turns into The Hunger Games. And while we're on the subject of hunger...

3. Hunger pangs strike frequently

It doesn't matter that you just ate lunch or that it's nowhere near mealtime; your kids will ask for snacks and drinks like they're going out of style. And while you make them swear on all their TV time that they won't spill any, your floorboards will look like a snack factory exploded before all is said and done. Just try to arm yourself with liquids that come in packages that don't explode with the tiniest squeeze and foods that vacuum easily out of carpet.

4. Nature calls, but it never calls anyone at the same time

Despite your near-constant pleading for everyone to go potty before you hit the road, it will take mere minutes for someone to claim they are dangerously close to peeing their pants. Faced with the alternative, you cut your losses and find a gas station or rest stop. You then repeat this pretty much every 15 minutes, because when nature calls, it apparently calls everyone separately.

More: 8 Things That Will Save Your Sanity on a Road Trip With Kids

5. You'll fall into a time warp that prevents you from being punctual

Sure, you'll set travel goals for yourself. You just won't ever meet them. When you take a road trip with kids, you somehow warp the time-space continuum in a way that ensures you will never make it anywhere by the time you intended. You'll always be at least five minutes behind schedule, and that's a conservative estimate. Just roll with it, Mama.

6. Choosing a radio station will devolve into chaos

One would think a bit of music might buffer the tension now building in the car, but no. Just, no. Because getting everyone in your car to agree to one radio station without someone simultaneously inventing a rock-country-Disney-pop channel just ain't gonna happen. So what started as a simple quest to serenade the people in the car will turn into a shouting match that is definitely not music to your ears.

7. A favorite toy will be irretrievably lost

There's a terrible place inside every car I like to call the Bermuda Triangle — no matter how much you try to reach that spot from your seat (without causing the entire car to careen off the road), you cannot seem to make contact. This is the spot that your children will undoubtedly drop their favorite toy during your road trip, making it impossible for you to retrieve it and quell the savage cries now coming from your kid.

More: 7 Things Your Kids Will Learn on a Family Road Trip

8. You'll magically transform into your mother

Just when you start to think things can't get any worse, someone does something that elicits a primal response that bubbles up from your soul and spills out of your mouth, "SO HELP ME, I WILL TURN THIS CAR RIGHT AROUND!" And there you have it. You have magically transformed into your mother and now realize she was right — One day, you'll have kids of your own, and you'll understand.

This post was sponsored by Fruit Shoot®.

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