My first road trip with King occurred when he was a toddler and we travelled from Virginia to Kentucky. This is a ten hour drive. With the short person it was fourteen. After one of the stops King refused to get back into the carseat. His back stiffened refusing to move. Then his entire body went limp. I couldn’t blame him, we were ill prepared.
My mother, King and I just got back from a road trip. Based on this experience, I have figured out that the trip should correspond to the child’s age. King is four so roads trips including him should be no longer than four hours. Now enter Big momma, yemoja energy into the room. Yeye bullied me into taking a 6 hour trip to Charolette, North Carolina to visit my great aunt. My great aunt is the oldest living relative out of the 9 children my great grandmother gave birth to. She is 89; she can out walk you, will fight you to wash the dishes and expects to be carried to the hairdresser every two weeks to cover her gray.
For this trip I tried to be a little more prepared. We still had to make more stops than usually making the trip 7 hours instead of 6. First tip, pack snacks! This seems obvious but being trapped in a car with a short person who is confined to a car seat will require food. Lots of food! If you think you have over packed, pack some more. I made turkey sandwiches, packed apple sauce, oranges, graham crackers, carrots, yogurt, granola, juice and water. That was for King alone. Then I packed snacks for Yeye and I. We had two bags full of snacks.
Invest in electronics. More than one option is preferable because kids like options. Again for emphasis, it is necessary since they are trapped in a carseat. King had his personal ipad kindle and we bought a portable dvd player. Also make a child friendly playlist so that you can sing songs together to past the time. King’s favorite song right now is “Larry Boy”. It’s very catchy and reminds me of a show tune but after hearing it for the 413th time, I’m good on family road trips for the rest of the summer.
I also recommend buying a backseat organizer so that your backseat won’t end up looking like the inside of a dump truck. I still haven’t figured out how to NOT have french fries buried in every crevice. Not eating in the car is not a reasonable option when you’re stuck in traffic with a hungry and tired child. To remedy this King vacuums my backseat every weekend. He thinks its fun and I revel in it. I know there will come a time where he will abhor doing any chore I request of him.
Also, make frequent bathroom stops. Even if the short person says they don’t have to go, insist that they try. I guarantee you that ten minutes after you leave the rest stop your child will start whining that they have to go pee. For my very trill parents bring along a portable toilet if you wish. That life is not for me. I have a boy so he can piss on the street if I’m under pressure………. judge yourself!
Thanksgiving will probably be the first time King travels on a plane. Moms (or Dads) out there do you have any tips? Leave them in the comments. And remember, I love you and want the best for you. Namaste!