My napping in the car has not always been kindly tolerated. But, as you typically say when something extra embarrassing or humiliating happens, “Oh, one day we’ll laugh about this.” This particular mishap was, as usual, at my expense. As we were preparing and talking about our upcoming trip to Colorado, my boys were reminiscing about one particularly embarrassing road nap that occurred had along the way. Honestly, I can’t bring myself to laugh about it just yet.
As we were heading to our destination two years ago, my boys were younger and a bit more mischievous. In New Mexico, a particularly bad case of the car sleepies happened which must have lasted longer than usual. Naturally, the boys were tired of riding and being cooped up in a car. Austin and Jamison had run the gamut of movies, games, books, and anything else that seems interesting to young boys. Finally, they must have decided that I was fair game. I am not completely convinced that John didn’t have something to do with suggesting this to them because he tends to get a little frustrated with my heavy eyelids. We pulled into a convenience store for fuel and a few unhealthy refreshments. I should have known something was amiss as the boys were shaking me saying, “Wake up Mom, this is the last bathroom break for a long time.” I thought they were being a little too considerate considering their boredom, but I thanked them while Austin quickly hurried Jamison away. They both had impish grins on their faces and they seemed to hardly contain their laughter as they ran inside the store. I made the assumption that they were just enjoying the freedom of being out in some fresh, brisk air with an opportunity to stretch their legs. Where boys are concerned, I will never again make assumptions.
John was filling up the car, and even my sweet husband, seemed a little too chipper considering the amount of driving he had been doing. About halfway into the convenience store I walked past an older couple who seemed to want to get as far away from me as possible. I even gave them my best smile and politely said “hello” as we passed.
Once inside the store I got the same reaction from several shoppers and an even more pronounced look of distain from a lady that was coming out of the ladies room. When I got inside the ladies room I went straight to the mirror as I had a sneaking suspicion that something wasn’t quite right. I looked in the mirror. What looked back was a cross between between a late night “B” horror movie horror and a Cirque du Soleil performer. My lipstick was completely askew, I had infectious looking dots all over my face, and a bright red lip gloss painted nose. Another ladies room occupant, a little older and certainly wiser woman, witnessed my reaction and nearly fell over laughing. After a good three minutes of her heaving stomach and tears streaming down her face, she was able to gasp out a few words, “You fell asleep with boys in the car, didn’t you? That is the best job of ‘Get Mom’ that I have ever seen.” For a split second, my heart filled with pride because my boys received a compliment, but then I caught a look in the mirror again, and that second was over.
Several minutes of scrubbing in the ladies room and I was finally presentable enough to walk back to the car. The clerk and a few shoppers that were still in the store when I went in, all had smiles on their faces and I heard my share of giggles. I made my way out of the store with as much grace as I could possibly muster. John and the boys were beside themselves waiting for the other shoe to drop. John placed himself behind the steering wheel trying to maintain some composure and the boys were in the backseat muffling their laughter while patting each other on the back. I gave them all my best “the world is round” look as I suppressed my desire to wring certain male necks.
I have to admit we all had more fun on the rest of the trip, as I learned the specifics of how they managed to get the makeup out of my purse and perform their dastardly deed without waking me up or disturbing my purse. I concluded that this must have been supported and perhaps even suggested by John, who had one too many miles under his belt and felt the need to lighten up the mood.
I still have my “out like a light whenever the car starts running” sleeping problem. However, I have learned the hard way, that when we head out for a long ride with everyone in tow, I always keep one eye open, and when we stop I never fail to pull down the visor mirror for a quick check. The boys laugh at my habit, but completely understand it. A mother of boys can never be too careful.