Sharing how we’re loving life and living it to the fullest!
Three boys, one dog, one chinchilla…Sometimes, you just have to STOP…and Count To Ten.
- Decide before you let the kids in your car…do you want PEACE or do you want a CLEAN car. It’s that simple. To ensure quiet times, it is necessary to carry a variety of snacks in the car. These snacks will need to be accessible to all children to ensure that they consume of them and keep their mouths full at all times. Salt, sugar, and chocolate are the most consumed snacks. Fruits of any variety will most likely be banned by all backseat participants.
- Music and the kids. Don’t even think about it! You will get a migraine in 7.4 minutes if you start to play the Yo Gabba Gabba CD and they will undoubtedly talk louder if you play music that you actually prefer. Therefore, the only solution is to hum quietly to yourself. This will keep the kids snacking (and their mouths full) and you will only hear yourself. (years ago, it was safe to drive with headphones on your head to tune out the lovely sounds of the backseat…but, those times have since past and new measures have to be taken. Learn more by visiting this page)
- Baby wipes. Seriously….do you really think a little baby wipe is going to absorb a leaking juice box, melted chocolate chip cookies, and crusty baby food that’s been wiped on your window. You will need to carry a bucket, gallons of water, and cleaner that can be used to wipe your vehicle and children down (in that order). (no need to wipe the kids off first, thus spreading their gunk even more on your vehicle)
- Empty water bottles. Sure, you can carry bottles with water in them for you and the kids to drink…BUT, you will also need empty ones. This will ensure that you have an “emergency” bathroom on board at all times. Be sure to reduce speed when using the emergency bathroom and do not make any sudden turns, as this will cause the water bottle contents to spill and invariably be sprayed throughout your vehicle. AND…if you didn’t follow Tip 3, you will not have the necessary materials to clean up the emerging mess.
- Pets. Why do you torture yourself? Drop that sweet puppy off with your sister or friend, unless you have a trip to Wales with the dog, where they are beloved and always welcomed. Carry your pet on your road trip at your own risk.
- Games. Do you remember playing the license plate game when you were kids (Dad…there’s Florida, there’s a car from New York)?? Forget about it. The kids have caught on and are smarter. My son knocks out most states at the truck stops and those big rigs carrying cars on the back. (total cheaters!) Why do you want to MAKE yourself entertain the kids?? Let them pick their scabs, their boogers, draw on the windows with their spit, and all the fun things we did as kids. (although, you can’t throw things out the windows anymore, it’s illegal and considered littering in most states). Books are a nice quiet activity for the car as is coloring (just be sure you didn’t include sharpies in your crayon box, or glue, or glitter)
- Bathroom Breaks. Did you follow Tip 4? Bathroom breaks can be the straw that breaks the proverbial camel’s back. But, on YOUR road trip…it doesn’t have to be. First, make sure you carry a cooler full of the most healthy drinks. Soy milk, vegetable juice, and prune juice. Carrying such varieties will ensure that your riders do not partake in drinking, thus limiting the amount of stops for bathroom breaks. Be sure to only stop at loud truck stops or designated rest areas when stopping for bathroom breaks. Both options will be full of irritated travelers and other screaming kids to make sure that YOU and your crew don’t stand out and just blend in.
Above all…just have fun! You’ll get there. It doesn’t matter what the kids look like when they arrive (or what you look like for that matter). The idea of a road trip to make new discoveries, new friends, and new memories….not to fit everything in the perfect box. It’s OK if things don’t go as planned…they rarely ever do. Embrace it…and your kids!