When I was a kid my mother and I lived in Virginia while my grandparents lived in Michigan, and every holiday we either visited them or they came to us. My grandmother used to say, “If Mohammed cannot come to the mountain, the mountain will come to Mohammed”. Then she would bow deeply, a gong would sound, and she would disappear in a cloud of smoke.
Not really, but that particular phrase makes it sound like she was all mystical and stuff, doesn’t it? She also had a saying about sitting in the corner and sucking on a mop, so obviously she was a woman of many fine colloquialisms.
Anyway, if you have small children I hope that the mountain is coming to your Mohammed during this week’s holiday, unless of course you enjoy traveling with small children, in which case may I suggest having an arterial blood gas test? YOU MAY BE DANGEROUSLY LOW ON OXYGEN.
Unfortunately, we have a road trip on the agenda, although on the plus side our destination is one of my favorite places ever. As I’ve been thinking ahead to what we need to pack and how many cups of juice one small boy can be expected to consume during a 6 hour drive (answer: as many as you will foolishly give him, until his diaper explodes with an heart-sinking kaplooey noise), I thought this might be a good time to review a few products that help make car travel with kids just a tiny bit more tolerable.
(Not reviewed: Benadryl, as I cannot with good conscience recommend this course of action, but I certainly know many parents who swear by the Dope ‘N Drive method.)
Travel-Sized Magna Doodle. I know, this is probably a giant NO DUH for everyone, but just in case you haven’t stumbled onto the Child Distraction MAGIC that is the magna-doodle, I can’t recommend them enough.
Car Organizer. I don’t have one of these yet, and I really should, just for our daily travels. I mean, there’s like five Tonka trucks rolling around the back of my car and at least twelve crayons and I don’t know, thirty billion packages of crackers? This type of thing seems like it would be especially useful during a long drive, so you can more easily crane around backwards to hand His Majesty yet another toy.
Tote N’ Go Laptop. Okay, I don’t know anything about this particular toy, but it seems to be getting decent reviews on Amazon. I think a long car drive is a good time to abandon the whole ‘no annoying plastic beepy toys’ rule, you know? This thing looks like it could potentially provide entire minutes of entertainment at a time.
Kid’s Neck Pillow. Would this really help your child sleep better and hence give you a break from all the scream, scream, screaming? Well, I don’t know, but it’s pretty darn cute—if your kid doesn’t like it maybe you could steal it for yourself.
Mini Photo Album. I read about this tip somewhere and if I have time to make a few prints I’m going to give it a shot on this trip. Riley loves looking at family pictures, so I can imagine that a little photo album might keep him busier than one of his regular books will.
Portable DVD Player. I saved this one for last because this? This is what it’s all about. The difference between a long drive with a DVD player and one without is like the difference between making out with Clive Owen or making out with Steve Buscemi. I’m just saying. This week I’ll have a pile of Blue’s Clues and Maisy DVDs at the ready, and if rotting your child’s brain with videos is wrong, then I never want to be right.
Have you got any surefire travel-time kid distractions? Let me know right away if you do, okay? Because duuuuude. Six hours.