Weekly Dish Blog - A Follow-Up to The Great American Roadtrip...We Lived to Tell About It
Some of you may remember the Weekly Dish from a few weeks ago, The Great American Roadtrip? In a nutshell, my husband and I were preparing to take our daughter on a 12 hour road trip from TX to FL and I had a plan. I had divided my approach into three categories: sleeping, eating and entertaining. Now that we have returned (in one piece), I am writing this Dish as a follow-up to that plan. We had many successes, a couple of failures and learned a lot. Let me break it down for you . . .
I’ll begin with the sleeping. This area began with a fail, but ended surprisingly well. I had originally thought that the most crucial moment in our roadtrip was the one that would kick it off. The moment I speak of is the removal of the child from the crib at 3:00am and the careful placement into the car seat. I warned myself that if I was not successful here, the repercussions would be extraordinary. I was wrong. First, I failed at keeping the child asleep during this transition. But, my wonderful daughter surprised us by sitting quietly in her car seat, favorite stuffed animals and blankies in tow, for nearly an hour. Then she nodded back to sleep and slept until her normal hour. We repeated these steps on the return trip and had another successful kick-off.
The second category is eating; this was our biggest success (it’s kind of a family thing, being good at eating and planning the eating). I feel like I covered all of the bases in this category – nothing that melts, is sticky, can be mashed into a fine impossible-to-clean powder, can be matted in her hair requiring scissors for removal, or will smell like death if it falls between the seats and is left undiscovered for a month. All of these requirements proved to be important. Let me add that giving the child access to her own snacks in a basket beside her made for minimal parental intervention. And of course the basket’s contents were altered from time to time, depending on what I wanted her to eat (man, moms are sneaky).
The last category is entertainment. It was here that I learned one very important thing – neither my husband nor I can turn around in a moving car over two dozen times without feeling ill. I beg of you, buy toys that require no assistance and cannot be easily dropped. The only thing worse than road tripping with a toddler that is pissed because she keeps dropping Strawberry Shortcake’s purse is feeling like you’re going to vomit every time you have to turn around and pick it up off of the floor. I still can’t look at that stupid little purse without a wave of nausea cascading through my body. The best toy we brought with us was a large magnetic drawing board. It took up her whole lap (hard to drop), the “pen” was tethered to the board (again, no dropping it) and she could draw and erase over and over again. And the best toy we bought along the way was a package of window clings – they were a hit! They were colorful, fun shapes, gummy (no residue on windows/clothes/car though) and something we had never tried before. Those $3.99 truck stop window clings bought me an hour of peace.
There you have it. We made it from Texas to Florida and back…and we are all alive to talk about it, even the toddler. And yes, I would do it again. Probably. Maybe. Depends how cheap the airfare is that day.