Safety First! Road Trips With Toddlers

Like all travel with a toddler, road trips with a toddler have their own set of challenges. Rather, the toddlers themselves aren’t the challenge (apart from needing to take more time) but the other cats you run into.

I drove from Columbus to St. Louis for my mother’s birthday party, and I took Wee One with me.  I left at 4 to miss rush hour around Indianapolis and to mostly drive after her bedtime.

My plan was to stop at Indianapolis, but she started screaming just before we crossed into Indiana and I pushed up our plan. We stopped at McDonald’s, ate and played, then I changed her and got her milk to send her off to sleep. But right after I climbed into my seat, a man knocked on my window.

I was startled and, as is my custom, cracked it only slightly to talk to him. He started into a schpiel about his wife’s mother and driving and, while I am not against helping, I appreciate it when someone gets to the point. I interrupted him twice to ask, “What do you need?” He wanted money to help with surgery, gas, and maybe to get some food for his kids. I offered to get some food.

“Happy Meals?” He was backing up away from my car to his.


“Chicken nuggets or hamburger.” He looked at me distractedly.

“Uhhh, chicken nuggets.” I pulled forward to get into the drive through, but stopped near him first.

“What kind of soda do you want?”

“Uh, just Coke.” I headed to the drive through and saw him climb into his driver’s side and screech the tires as he backed up and sped out of the parking lot.

Yeah. That’s what I thought.

Later that night, getting close to my folks, I glanced at the fuel gauge and realized I *had* to get gas. I also had to use the restroom and, realizing WO was awake, took her inside through the restaurant to go over to the gas station side. A creepy ass man was walking right towards us as we walked in, and then walked behind to the other side. Somehow he positioned himself in front of me again, so I had to pass him again. He was smiling and seemed like he was about to say something to WO or somehow start conversation, and I was like, hell no. Leave my fucking child out of it.

I didn’t even wash my hands. I did my business and beat it the fuck out of there.

And, you know, I might be wrong. He may have been fine. But my neck hairs were up so high and WO is too precious to get messed up in all that.

So let that be a warning to parents on the interstate with toddlers!  I revised my returning home plans after all this and left earlier in the day. She screamed more and it took longer, but I didn’t have any scary interactions. (I had a 40 minute scare that I lost the diaper bag, but barring that…)

We have another one coming up in April, if not sooner, and I think Cohiba will be with us. Have you had any scares on the road with toddlers?

Okay, your turn.

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