"If we ever forget that we're one nation under God, then we will be a nation gone under." - Ronald Reagan

Monday, June 2, 2008

FHE: The Joys of Travel

Alternate titles - FHE: Stock Up on the Valium, FHE: "We'll Get There When We Get There!"

At the end of the week, we are leaving on a long car trip. It's a joint vacation with our family, my husband's family and a famous American landmark. I am very much looking forward to the trip! Vacations are fun! What isn't fun are the long drives required to reach our destinations.

Da Boo is great on car trips. She looks through books, colors, watches movies, naps, plays for hours with just a couple Littlest Pet Shops. All in all, she's not an issue.

The Boy, however, is. He whips through books once and is done, doesn't like to color very much, might watch one movie, refuses to nap (tries to wake up his sister) and whines constantly to get out of his carseat. In short, he makes us all miserable. We even resorted to Benedryll last trip...yeah, that didn't work.

To keep the whining to a minimum, we decided to better prepare the kids for the trip.

Opening Song: Twinkle Little Star - but you already knew that.

Opening Prayer: The kids were starting to argue about how it wasn't their turn, so I said it.

Lesson: I started by asking both of the kids about some the things they liked to do at home. The answers were play with LPS, watch shows on tv, color pictures, play with cars. (I was crossing my fingers that "throwing balls" and "wrestling" would not be mentioned...I lucked out.) Then I told the kids about the trip. I said we were going on a special vacation but it would mean being in the car for a looooong time. But HEY! Once we were done driving, we got to see Grandma and Grandpa Cow! Yipppeeee! Aren't we so very excited to see them? Yes! So we just had to stay in the car long enough to drive to where they were, okay?

After getting them excited about the trip, I told them they could do all those things they liked while in the car. I had special coloring books and NEW crayons (because nothing is better than NEW crayons) for them to use. They picked treats they wanted and movies to bring.

Then the hard part...I explained that they would not be able to get out of their seats very much. We would stop to eat where they could run and play but we couldn't stop driving very much if they wanted to see the Cow grandparents. The kids were still excited about the prospect of New! Stuff! so they didn't seem to care all that much about not stopping. Let's hope this doesn't become a harsh reality for them later...

Closing Song: Rock a Bye Baby (the Boy's current favorite at bedtime)

Closing Prayer: Daddy.

Treats: Costco Churros. Those things are cinnamon-coated bribery whenever I have to make a trip to Costco so getting them outside the store was a big deal.

Okay, help me, ladies (and men...if there are any who read this blog)! What are your road trip secrets? Here's what we have: DVD player with dual screens so they don't have to share, Boo has a Leapster (sometimes the Boy steals it and plays it), new coloring books with spiffy crayons, special treats (sugar-laden, of course), plenty of non-sugary snacks and drinks, mini pillows and soft blankets, each will have a backpack to bring their favorite toys from home (and keep the new stuff within reach), and surprise toys to give at the point where I am at the end of my rope (mini etch-a-sketch for the Boy and new I-spy book for da Boo). They are only five and three so the endless hilarity of Mad Libs is somewhat lost on them... we will be in the car for TEN HOURS and I'd like to arrive without having to face murder charges.

What else can I do?
Anyone have any of those noise-canceling headphones I can borrow?

12 comments:

Mrs. Romero said...

I came to say thanks for putting up the SITS button!

And, sadly, my long trip secret is Benadryl..knocks 'um right out. Just kidding (well kind of kidding), my boy is 7 and we use the PSP and dvd player.

He also LOVES the alphabet game (you know where you have to find a sign or license plate with each letter of the alphabet), but by "L" I am totally irritated.

Again, thanks for posting the button! And be sure to email links to your 3 best post if you would like to be featured!

Jan said...

My kids like the abc game too. But they really liked the numbers. We would have to try and find like 521together somewhere. Once they couldn't find 521. So we stopped and ate at a cafe, and I begged the waitress to write it on the chalkboard that was standing up with the daily specials. Not only did they want to do that, they went the extra mile and got a brand new sign, wrote it huge, put it outside and as we walked out, I pointed at the sign sitting on the sidewalk, and they about fell over. It was so funny. Sorry not a bigger help, but good luck with the road trip..

Amanda said...

My suggestion -Split up the drive into 2 days 5 hours each day sounds way better than 10 hours in one day! I couldn't even take 10 hours in one day myself--but I am not a good traveler! I suggest more new little cheap toys--like one an hour (think dollar section at Target.....) how about some NEW movies for the DVD player too?? What do I know???? Trips sound like torture to me hence why we never go one ----so why am I giving advice????

Emma said...

Two words - Duct Tape! We put it on our kids mouth. Just Kidding. We move on Wednesday and have a 9 hour drive to do. Sounds like you have lots of distractions for your kids. A just sits and watches movies but G sits and screams or sleeps. I am hoping it is just an age thing, but you never know. Ear plugs for you or an Ipod to cancel out the whining.
Hey I think our new house will be 4 hours north of Grandma and Grandpa Cow. Feel free to stop by! (Because 4 hours is REALLY close! lol)

Jessica G. said...

Amanda - we are breaking up the trip! Ten hours the first day and five the next. Soooooo not fun. We're going to have to trick them to get into the car the next day...they won't want to do it.

Nat said...

We took our kids to Minnesota two summers ago. That was 24 hours in the car one way. I bought cheap dollar store toys and snacks, and wrapped them in wrapping paper and hid them throughout the van. When we needed a new distraction, we'd pull over for a potty break and find a present. They loved it! We did the backpacks filled with the stuff they wanted to bring and the DVD players. Have you thought about driving through the night? My bro-in-law does that every time he comes here. He says it is worth the tiredness to not have to put up with the kid's boredom. Good luck. I don't envy you! We had a hard enough time driving three hours home from the zoo!

Kristie said...

Sounds like you are well prepared to me. We have taken quite a few long trips in the car with little ones and we don't have a DVD player at all. :) I think that they will do better than you think. I don't know about your kids, but mine also like to check out the scenery and we talk about how different it is from where we live, or things like that. Good luck and we will be praying for you to have a safe and fun journey!!!!

Diane said...

Two years ago we got a book on tape for our 9 year old and I was amazed at how we all were sucked into it (even the 13, 11 and 4 year old). So for last year's vacation we got another book on tape and again, everyone was enthralled. So, much so that we all had to gather around the tape player after our trip to finish it. Most of the other stuff we brought for entertainment stayed in the bags. I think it was refreshing for the kids to hear another voice in the car that didn't belong to mom or dad. I bet you could download a classic for kids, like "Peter Rabbit" or "Mrs Piggle Wiggle" or somthing else onto your ipod or check something out of the library (that is where we got the one for last year). GOOD LUCK!!

Amanda said...

Jessie---to answer your swim vest question...P just loves to be safe so he will always wear his vest or floaties:) He is just learning to kick on a kick board w/o any floaties or use a pool noodle w/o any floaties but I have to be right there. it helps that we have been going to our pool like every day now:)

Amber said...

We've done the book on tape thing too and my kids also love it to break up the movie monotony. The DVD player is a must. We do a lot of driving at night and our biggest help on our 3 day drive last summer was bringing fun aunts for them to be entertained by.

Heather said...

What about a timer? When the timer goes off you can do another activity type of thing?

We also love the books on tape thing.

Jo said...

My boys love things that they can put together and take apart. So the Lego Duplos might be a good buy. They seem to have busy hands.

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