Jen: older sister, mother to Mac; trip planner extraodinaire; fearless, cool, calm and collected; most likely to capably keep the children in line while Val flips out. Expedition job: driver or navigator. Assigned seat: driver or shotgun.
Val: younger (but not youngest) sister, mother to Bella and Bubba, hater of left-turns and interstate driving, prone to child-like excitement, most likely to make inane and impossible threats to the children that they will disregard. Expedition job: driver or navigator. Assigned seat: driver or shotgun.
Mac: son of Jen, almost 11-year old, impending middle schooler; lover of toilet and body humor; only child and requirer of space; good-hearted, kind and helpful (if not ocassionally sullen); most likely to disgust and offend with bodily emissions. Assigned seat: The Poop Deck.
Bella: daughter of Val, 8-year old soon-to-be third grader; incessant talker, sporadic listener; brother torturer extraordinaire; sweet and kind; most likely to require the most restroom stops AND to wait too long to notify of her need for a restroom stop (thereby most likely to be using the restroom on the side of the interstate). Assigned seat: Notgun.
Bubba: son of Val, a 2-year old charming terror; cute yet demanding; opinionated to the max; lover of cartoons; hater of pants; most likely to cry until he throws up. Assigned seat: The Bubba Seat.
Glossary of Terms:
Bubba Seat, The: Seat with an occupant so notorious it has been named for him, this is where toddler Bubba will ride. All precautions have been taken in an attempt to keep Bubba comfortable and happy, lest he scream for the 20-something hours we will be on the road.
Driver's Seat: The throne, the helm of the swaggon. A mighty burden.
Notgun: the seat behind Shotgun. Notgun's occupant will also be called upon to assist with Bubba care and upkeep. Assigned to Bella.
Poop Deck, The: the very back seat of the swaggon, this seat is also named in honor of its' assigned occupant, the charming Mac. This seat was given to Mac in an attempt to 1.) keep his gaseous emissions far away from the rest of us, and 2.) to give him space (however limited) from the other children.
Shotgun: the seat next to the driver. the shotgun rider must help navigate, open sodas or bags of chips and arrange media for the driver, and run the charging station for the multiple devices in the Swaggon. Also within view and an arm's reach of the Bubba seat, therefore placing the Shotgun occupant in charge of Bubba. Also a mighty burden.
Swaggon: Our rented minivan. The name is blatantly stolen from the Toyota ad campaign ('swagger wagon') when we thought we were getting a Toyota. We have taken their name and made it our own. Even though we will be driving a KIA, our presence makes it a Swaggon.