This weekend I spent a total of nine hours in a car with four boys and one husband. Any parent who has ever taken kids on a road trip knows the pain and agony that I just somehow survived.

I have to admit, we have a DVD player in our car, so the road trip isn’t as torturous as they were when we were kids, but they still are less than pleasant.

Of course, before we even leave the driveway the kids are fighting over who gets to sit where and one punches the other in the head and one is crying. So, those two get separated and then we’re off. Then no one can agree on which movie they want to watch, so that ends up in another fight. This isn’t even five miles down the road yet.

We get 30 miles down the road and somebody has to go to the bathroom and somebody else is hungry, even though we ate right before we left and everyone was supposed to go to the bathroom before we left. We stop, and that takes at least 15 minutes, before we are back on the road.

We seem to make it the next few hours with minor hiccups like somebody farting so we roll the windows down, people not keeping their hands to themselves, people putting their stinky feet on other people and more snacks and bathroom breaks.

Then comes the dreaded last hour of nonstop “are we there yets” and “when are we gonna be theres.” Finally, we reach our destination and the kids fight their way out of the car along with piles of garbage, which causes another fight over whose garbage is whose and who has to throw it away.

I have to say the best part of the whole trip is reaching your destination. That’s because you’re not in the car anymore.

Joy Larson is a mother of four boys, graduate of The University of Montana, animal lover and writer.