On the road again (AIEEE)
We've got a road trip planned for this weekend, a 7+ hour drive from Seattle to the southern Oregon coast to visit family. I've done this drive so many times I have the landmarks memorized: there's the right-wing billboard in rural Washington which typically marks the point when we've run through our repertoire of festive family sing-alongs, there's the rest stop where we had the World's Most Stressful Two-Kid Diaper Change, there's the quaint little coffee shop in the Willamette Valley where we can no longer stop and relax and have an adult conversation because we've got two children dear GOD TWO CHILDREN HOW DID THIS HAPPEN.
My husband likes to act like he doesn't understand why I dread these drives so much, until I cheerily announce that this time, I'd like to spend the majority of the trip in the relative comfort of the driver's chair while he sits in the cramped backseat, wedged between bags of food and diapers and toys, entertaining the baby with dangly plastic things while pointing out cows to the toddler. For SEVEN HOURS.
It seems like traveling with the kids will get easier when they're a little older, but maybe not. I cringe to think back on all the road trips my mother took me on when I was a school-age kid, where we would drive across the entire country from our home in Virginia in order to visit all sorts of amazing, beautiful places -- and how I would whine and complain and repeatedly get carsick and generally was probably such a pain in her ass I have no idea how she managed not to resist leaving me on the side of a road somewhere.
For this trip, I plan to bring our usual accoutrements: snacks, bag of distracting new toys from the dollar store, DVD player, drawing pad. You know what I'd really like, though? If I'm being totally honest? A soundproof glass divider between the front and back seat, like you see in limousines. Wouldn't that be great? When the kids start whining, you just push a button and bzzzzzzzt -- blissful silence.
Alternately, I'd like the option of FedExing my children to our destination ahead of time, so my husband and I could spend the drive BSing and taking turns napping. Oh, don't look at me like that: I'd put holes in the shipping container, I'm not a monster.
What do you guys think, is it easier to travel with older kids -- or does it just get HARDER?
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Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.