This weekend, after dealing with a leaking diapered baby boy while packing up the car for a long ride to visit my awesome big fat Greek family, a 3 hour car ride instantly turned to 6 hours when a distracted Mommy and Daddy realized after an hour and a half that we were headed the wrong direction! That is a painful mistake that you hopefully only make once in your life. The good news is that there’s nobody else I’d rather be next to than my baby-daddy-Greek-husband, even if after 3 hours we were only finally back at our initial starting point. BTW, if you’re wondering how many times a toddler can declare, “I’m thirsty” or ask “Where we going?” in the span of 6 hours: the answer is 12,752.
So what are the essentials to pack for your long car ride with the kids? As well as what you need to be forewarned and banish from the car?
1.) Music: But, please do NOT make the mistake of brining the nursery rhymes CD that your 2YO wants to hear on repeat for 2 hours. There are only so many times you can hear the hip hop version of “B-I-N-G-Oooooo!” before you begin to lose your mind. We learned from that great error and left it at home this time so that we could honestly say, we don’t have that CD with us.
2.) EAR PLUGS! Really, because the folded up McDonalds napkins just don’t work, I promise.
3.) Imagination: Now, of course, we never have ear plugs when you need them, so we entertain 2YO with the various made up games: daddy’s favorite is the “car game” where he asks her to tell him the color of the car driving next to us. Then of course, there’s the “Greek Word Game,” where we point to objects and learn the Greek word for it. And finally, the “Song Game,” where hubby and I sing a nursery rhyme to as many different styles of music we can think (opera, rap, rock, metal); obnoxious, but very entertaining, to say the least. Mommy’s favorite is the “Let’s pretend to take a nap” game, followed second by, “Who can be quiet the longest?”
4.) Snacks: just remember as we learned from yesterday, no cheese for 2YO. Read yesterday’s post if you’re wondering why.
5.) Extra diapers and wipes: because you really don’t want to walk into that gas-station in the middle of nowhere and ask for diapers only to discover that their only selection is a dusty box of single unwrapped diapers that YES have a huge tick in one, and when you complain asking if they have wrapped ones, the guy flicks off the tick and asks, "what tick?" Yes, that happened last year, and I ran out of that store vowing NEVER to let that happen again. Thus, the huge bag of diapers in my trunk.
6.) Toys: but be very selective. Don’t bring markers in the car, because never underestimate the power of boredom to persuade a 2YO to color her entire face a hue that makes you scream when you look back and see a Green and Orange Umpa loompa staring back at you.
Do you have any other essentials to add to the list? Or any games you play with your child in a long car ride?
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