Katie and I are making a girls only road trip to Nebraska. The origins of the trip were originally just to connect with some of my old college friends, but because I’ve got some extra vacation to burn, I thought, what the heck – we’ll take a whole week and head up there, visit with friends and family, check out the zoo, who knows what. (Plus, it’s one week less to pay for camps or childcare of any sort … although the hotel and gas expense will make camps look reasonable.)
So we load up our suitcases, a small cooler next to Katie with some drinks, a bag full o snacks (my mother taught me well), and a big cooler in the back (for bringing back frozen Valentino’s pizza!) We have lunch with Daddy and hit the road at about 12:30. Destination: Salina, KS.
And we CRUISE. Katie’s happy and content in the backseat with iPad, headphones, and snacks and nods off near Blackwell, OK. I’m staying awake and not having to stop to pee every five seconds in spite of the medium sized Whattaburger cup in the center console (note: everything is bigger in Texas … a WB medium is like a jumbo anywhere else). We don’t stop til we hit Wichita, about five hours up the road.
So stop in QuikTrip for gas, and I ask Katie if she wants a hot dog for dinner. (Don’t judge. It was that, OR a stop in McDonald’s in Salina where the food is equally gross, with the extra added bonus of Mommy having to kill time in the petri dish known as PlayLand.) We go in, make a pit stop, load up on food and drinks, and hit the road.
Katie opens her milk while we’re buzzing along at 75MPH and starts SCREAMING hysterically and crying … there is a GINORMOUS BEETLE IN HER CUPHOLDER.
Did you catch that I’m buzzing along at 75MPH?
So she’s totally freaking out, in hysterics, and I of course can do nothing. So I tell her to hang tight, I’ll pull off as soon as I can and we’ll take care of Mr. Beetle. (And I’m thinking, HOW in the HECK am I going to get a beetle out of the cupholder without losing my own s**t? Bug killing is in the Daddy Job Description. I know. I have checked.)
Next exit: We pull off; there’s nothing but a recycling plant on one side and an asphalt lot on the other with one dilapidated, possibly abandoned Ford Explorer and several potholes large enough to swallow a BMW Mini. But … what choice do I have, so I stop in the Lot of Death and hope there’s no meth-head hanging out in the Explorer. Katie’s hysteria is still there, although a bit tempered for the moment, because we’ve stopped and we’re going to take care of Mr. Beetle.
I get out, Katie gets out – and proceeds to tell me that the beetle was in the cupholder of her carseat. Which means two things:
One, in all likelihood, he snuck in there while I had her seat sitting on the garage floor. Not sure why that is relevant, but I was really wondering how he got in there.
Two, piece of CAKE for getting him out of there – remove the seat, turn upside down, open cupholders, he falls out, we squeal and possibly send him to his death underneath the soles of our shoes, and we hit the road.
Except … when I flip it upside down … no Mr. Beetle.