Traveling with small kids is….

Random tidbit: the west side of Michigan really is more beautiful than the east side. I’m sorry to my home town, but you’re have come up wanting.

This past weekend our little family took a drive up the west side of Michigan to attend a wedding. It was a beautiful wedding. There was lots of tulle and fairy lights. The bride and groom were totally in love and happy. The in-laws all got along. It was really a remarkable celebration for these two youngins as they joined together in holy matrimony.

Going up to this wedding meant we would be in a car. For five hours. That number is without stops, so really it was more like seven hours. Normally this wouldn’t be so bad. But when you travel with a toddler, it can be a special kind of horrible.

Let me set the scene: it’s Sunday morning. We had eaten a light breakfast and the car is loaded up.. After a final check of our hotel rooms we pile into the car and start towards home. Now reader, let me tell you that we do not have a large car. There is no distance between the front seats and the back seat. There is no dvd player, but we do have iPhones that are used in extreme emergencies. We have traveled maybe twenty minutes when the screaming starts. It is not one loud continual scream, but intermittent bursts of high pitched sound that rattle thru your brain and down your spinal column. My husband and I jump with fright with each burst of sound from our daughters mouth, as we think a pterodactyl has somehow come back from extinction and appeared in our car. I curl up into a small ball on the passengers seat and my husband hisses at me to “Do something”. I pulled out the few books I had packed for our journey and threw them in the backseat for her older brothers to read to her. The child was having none of it. The screaming persisted. We pulled out the iPhone so she could watch a show. We gave it to the child in the middle seat so all of them could see it. This turned the screaming from intermittent to constant rage as she was upset she didn’t get to hold the phone. So the show went away cause we can’t reward negative behavior. That was the first ninety minutes of our trip. We stopped for lunch and immediately the demon spawn that had been my child melted away into our sweet angelic creature once again.

We ate lunch and then carefully headed back to the car. We achieved some blessed silence during the two hour nap time. Then we just let her have the phone to watch her show and then gave her the toddler game device while her brothers took a turn watching their show. That got us to the border of our home town where once again the screaming began again. I could see my husbands knuckles on the steering wheel getting whiter and whiter. Thankfully we pulled into our driveway just before we all burst into flames.

How do you handle long car rides with kids?


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