Monday, April 27, 2009

On The Road Again...

Pretty soon we are going on a road trip for that wedding I mentioned a few posts ago. I am really excited because I haven't been on a road trip in years. Should I quash that optimism now?

David and I drove up and down the California coast when we were first dating (and we almost weren't dating after I freaked out one evening that I had to stop and pee and then eat Thai food NOW) but this will be our first big drive with Jarrah. We've flown with her a few times--longish flights--but I have blocked those journeys and a good thing, too.

I know driving is a whole other animal with a 4-year-old, so I thought I'd ask you good folks for your tips. Today I got the oil changed and the tires checked and a Trip-Tik from Triple A. I figure I will pack a cooler with drinks and snacks. But I assume the most important detail will be a delicate balance between when and where to stop, and what Jarrah will do while we're going.

Here are thing things I'm considering packing for her. Your comments, additions and, yes, even veteran derision will be appreciated.

1. Soft, collapsible lap desk, with edges, for keeping snacks and toys on her lap
2. Color Wonder books and markers
3. Preschool activity book
4. Crayons
5. Scotch tape (the kid is addicted to tape) and junk mail
6. Stickers
7. Etch-a-Sketch
8. Aquadoodle
9. Leap Frog book with interactive wand (it makes a lot of annoying noise, though)
10. Magnetic puzzle
11. Finger puppets
12. Plastic figurines (she's all about "imaginative play" these days)
13. Bubbles and beach ball (for rest stops?)
14. Kids books that she hasn't seen much yet
15. David's iTouch stocked with games and maybe audio books (plus head phones)

Am I kidding myself? Will any of this even make a difference? Any strategies you've perfected would be deeply appreciated.

And a shout-out to everyone who has participated in my meaning-of-marriage challenge--it's heartwarming to see so much positive feedback on a much-maligned institution in one place.


LunaMoonbeam said...

For our road rips -

Snacks (make sure you ration them - only let her know there is chocolate in the bag after at LEAST 3 hours, and after you've exhausted every other possibility!)
A portable DVD player
New toys, from the dollar store, wrapped up like presents. Ration these, too, so you still have unopened gifts for the ride back. One an hour? (felt boards with dolls, matching games, cards, playdough, handheld games...)

Good luck!

Myrnie said...

I have a VERY different child than Aunt Lolo, but for us less is more. Our last couple trips I've packed movies, but we didn't watch them- movies seem to just wind Ernie up.

Color Wonder is GREAT. REALLY great.

Grapes are a good snack.

Remember those toys you put picture disks in, and click the lever to move them? Those are great, too.

A new coloring book.

Water for you, when your throat is dry from singing nursery songs for an hour.

Coins for Jarrah- she can get snacks, but only with her own money :) (This has solved a lot of grocery store dilemmas- Ernie gets fifty cents a week to spend however she wants (and other 10 cents for tithing, and 40 cents for savings.)

Have fun! We love driving :)

Mary said...

Your ideas sound great! I hope you have a fantastic trip!



Jen said...

Portable DVD player.

I laughed about the tape and junk mail. Sage LOVES those two things and always wants to open envelopes when I'm opening my mail.

It sounds like you've got it all covered, Sam!

I forget where you're driving to but if you've got some cool choices for stops (like Cabazon or Solvang), that'll make it more fun, too.

Miss J

DrSpouse said...


I was the ace traveller as a child and could read, play games, eat, and was only banned from playing the recorder allegedly because I might bang my teeth (it now occurs to me that it may have had something to do with the noise winding my parents up!).

My brother had to sit with his nose glued to the car window if we went further than about 10 miles, or risk puking.

erin said...

Ugh. Some of my kids don't get car sick, so I always have markers and notebooks strewn all over the back of the minivan...but the ones that do get car sick can pretty much do nothing except drink too much water and have to pee too much.
My just turned four today year old Maxine likes to cut apart fashion and parenting magazines. My dad is a pharmacist and he brings her the leftover magazines they're going to throw out all the time. She LOVES it...she LOVES garbage...Who would have thought?

Unknown said...

My mom, who is always on the road, would find parks along the way and plan "run that energy out" stops when my nieces were JDust's age (and still does, but less frequently). So, is there a map that will find those?

I get carsick, so I couldn't do the books, etc. I just had to sit and look forward, so there was lots of music (my mom loves to sing) and thing-spotting. Those require parent participation, though.

Lisa Gillespie said...

I'm with Aunt LoLo and Miss J:

A portable DVD player. Get one or borrow one NOW. It was the only thing Anton was happy doing on our 14-plus hour trip to Sedona. Lots of DVDs---get a carrying case so you can bring 10 to 12 DVDs. These DVDs will also come in very handy when you are in the hotel room (hopefully you can hook the DVD player up to the TV). A good movie can give you 2 hours of driving time :-)

Have a good time!!

Love, Lisa