So we made it back to Chicago in one piece. Well, I'm saying that but the Ball & Chain (who chooses to drive all the luggage and presents to Colorado) is bedded down somewhere in the wilds of Nebraska and isn't due back till tomorrow afternoon. Knowing our luck all the presents and expensive things will be being stolen from the car as I write.
I may have mentioned that I really don't like flying, so I tend to be a tad anxious on flying days. And of course, after three days of no snow (and therefore very icey skiing conditions) we woke up this morning to a blizzard. Having estimated that it would take two hours to drive down the mountain and over to Denver airport, we quickly revised that to two and a half, yelled at the kids to get their shoes on and finish their breakfasts (in that order), and set off.
First little challenge was an "Out of Order" sign (with profuse apologies, in true American style) on the lift/elevator door. Fab. We were on the third floor with three large boxes of presents, four suitcases and various plastic bags full of food to take home and dirty laundry. It took us about ten minutes to locate the stairs, and a large measure of patience not to throttle each child as he or she dropped something essential and walked blithely on. (I-pod head phones yet again.)
The drive down the mountain was a teeny bit hairy as we had about fifteen feet visibility, driving snow and ice on the road. Of course, if the Ball & Chain had used the 4-wheel drive option, as I suggested, we may not have had to creep along at 40mph. But what do I know? It's only my car.
The true test however, came about half a mile from the airport when I noticed the car swerving somewhat. I looked over and saw an agonized look on the B&C's face. Mild panic set in. Visions of me having to lean over, take over the driving....you know what I mean. Turns out he needed a wee-wee. Really, really badly. Even though we could see the airport, there was no way he was going to make it and we pulled over onto the hard shoulder. The 5 year old (who had said he needed the loo about ten miles before this and was told to wait!) said:
"Daddy if your willy's sticking straight out it probably means you need to go NOW", which did nothing to help, frankly.
We were in the middle of a wide open field with cars and big rigs whizzing by (excuse the pun). Fortunately there was a bank leading down to a little stream where he ducked, while the Queenager moaned and groaned about having to witness this terrible episode. You could actually only see the top of his head, and he could have been doing anything really. But most bets would have been on having a wee.
As I said, the true test was in not throwing around comments like "And weren't we all told to have a tinkle BEFORE we got into the car?". Wouldn't have gone down well at all. Still, I think he'll be a little more forgiving to those of us with thimble-bladders in the future. Or at least he should be.