Friday, July 21, 2006

The Days of Poop and Noses

My family and I just got back from a vacation in Florida. Our five member family drove 14 hours in a Toyota Highlander each way. That’s right. Two adults spent 28 hours cramped into a small and eventually stinky place with three children under the age of seven – and actually preferred it to flying.

I learned a few things.

For instance, did you know it takes three kids only three hours to completely cover the tan fabric of a back seat with stains? As a manager in the corporate world, I know that I could have given three adults three days to complete the same job and they would have finished maybe half of the seat. And would it ever occur to adults to smear orange Cheetos’ crap onto the seat belts? I think not.

Another interesting fact is that your wife can flip through radio stations and listen to Shakira’s “Hips Don’t Lie” song once every 26 miles (on average) during your 1,000 mile trip. That’s almost 38.5 Shakira experiences – well above the level recommended by the FDA.

Finally, I learned that much entertainment can be gained by depriving your kids of anything to do on a long trip and then just listening to them amuse themselves. Six year-old Gabriel fills his time by playing a ruthless but strategic version of “I’ve Got Your Nose” with his three year-old brother Julian. First, he pinches Julian’s nose between his thumb and forefinger, quickly mimes eating the nose and then announces:

Gabriel: I’ve got your nose, Julian.

Julian: Give me back my nose!

And then comes the genius part:

Gabriel: I can’t give your nose back. I’ve eaten it, I’ve digested it and now it’s poop. Do you want me to poop it and give it back to you?