Tuesday, June 21, 2011

When are we going to get to the forest? And other squabbles from the backseat {New Braunfels photographer}

Petrified Forest National Park, Arizona, New Braunfels PhotographyMost of you who happen to be parents have had moments like these. Your children are squabbling and picking on each other very loudly in a public place and you wish you could disappear and be anyone but who you are. You think "maybe if I look at them as if I don't know them" nobody will know they're mine. "Maybe if I just walk away and pretend I'm with those other children over there who are holding hands and being little darlings, people will assume those are mine instead."

"Mom," my child screams, "I was here first! She pushed me!" Yes, she was looking right at me, I'm afraid. My failed attempts at looking behind me to see who she might really be referring to as "Mom" weren't fooling anyone.

My children were having a meltdown in the middle of the Petrified Forest and there was nothing I could do about it.

The squabbling started shortly after we left Meteor Crater. The large crater in the earth seemed to me to be an exciting look at the reality of the universe that put into perspective just how tiny we all are. My children, however, only found joy in playing with the video meteor simulator that gave the impact of various space objects at various sizes. My daughters, being the disaster fans that they are, enjoyed upping the numbers to the point that they were able to virtually blow up the earth with comets time and time again. See photo below.

Meteor Crater Arizona, impact simulation display, New Braunfels photographerOnce on the road again, however, it seemed the minivan simply was not big enough to contain the tempers and the egos of two adolescent girls and one pre-school boy. Nothing is fair and everybody hates everybody else. Welcome to Day 7 of the Great American Family Road Trip.

We had made several stops before we reached the Petrified Forest that I thought were amusing enough for the children along Route 66. We stopped for snow cones and ice cream in the little town of Seligman -- inspiration for the little town in the movie Cars. We stood on a corner in Winslow, Arizona. (Of course the children stared blankly at my references to the Eagles song and despite repeatedly forcing them to listen to the song on the CD player, they were still lost on the quaint significance of it and failed to see the humor in our experience). We took a tour through the Wigwam Motel and posed for photos with big flaking, plaster dinosaurs. I thought there was enough weirdness and old Route 66 campiness to entertain the herd that morning. But they were nonetheless, sick of being in the car and sick of each other. So when we got out to look at the petroglyphs during a tour of the Petrified Forest and found only one viewing scope, of course there would be a throw-down. Of course the unfairness of the fact that "she always gets to go first" or "I didn't get to look through it long enough" was going to ruin our tour. Curses to the federal government for installing only one stupid viewing scope at a national park roadside stop that clearly required two or three!

So, needless to say, our ride through the Petrified Forest National Park was not what we'd hoped it would be. My rants of "get in that seat and shut your mouth" are sure to blow any chance of me winning Mother of the Year honors and my refusal to purchase the overpriced Gatorade at the gift shop for the squabbling children will no doubt land me in trouble with the law. But I stand by my decision to be ruthless and callous and not allow any DVDs or MPs players for the rest of the day and force an absolute ban on any sound from the backseat until Roswell. Because I'm the mom and I said so.

Petrified Forest National Park, Arizona, New Braunfels Photography, Lisa Blaschke CPP

Lisa On Location Photography

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