Wednesday, March 13, 2013

road trippin'.

If one desires a thorough illustration of the term lunacy,
I would point them directly to my vehicle, filled with all four children.

Really, I can't even imagine what we must look like from the outside. I don't even want to know, actually. The only feedback I've ever received was from a random phone call from my mother one day, who passed us on the street and called me in a complete panic.

Is everything okay?!!!!!! I just drove past you and you were waving your hands and it looked like you were shouting at the kids.....

hUH? oHHHHHhhh, yes! We were just dancing. Miley Cyrus up in here, you know.

But that got me thinking about all the other times, the times when I am waving my arms and shouting at my kids. The times my Mom hasn't caught me...
There is no complete way to describe the competing interests, the melt-downs, the "she-touched-me" and the"she-pulled-my-seat-belt" and the "i'm-hungry!" and the "i-hate-red-lights-why-do-we-keep-stopping-mom?-quit-stopping!" and the "ellie-just-threw-her-toy-out-the-window!" and the "when-are-we-gonna-be-there?!" and "mom!-mom!-mom!-mom!-MOMMMMM!" that ensues on a simple trip from the house to the nearest grocery store. It is humanly impossible to satisfy the demands on my attention, and consequently I've been known to crank the radio high enough or simply roll down every window in the 7 degree weather to blast them all into submission.

and with that confession I'm going to caution you,
judge not lest YE BE JUDGED.
I am no longer in the habit of accepting condemnation from people who have not met the same criteria for the above scenario and mastered it fully intact and sane. I submit to you, no such person exists.

So you can understand why I would view the impending eight hour drive we had to endure last week as the ultimate

suicide mission.

And yes, I was going solo. Four demanding children, lots of baggage, a packed to the ceiling Honda Pilot, and a semi-competent overly caffeinated mother? We all like a good dare, right?
 Besides, we have to get used to this drive anyways since we will be back visiting frequently, so I pulled up my big-girl pants and said Rachel You Can Do This Stop Being a Wienie.

I developed an experimental plan:

Four goody bags. Each bag good for 2 hours each. 
An  attempt to break up the monotony and give the girls something new to look forward to along the way. All in all, it was a pretty successful plan. Our trip went much smoother. Sure, it would have probably been better to give them something new ever half-hour, but let's not be ridiculous. Boredom has its benefits. 

Below are the ideas I came up with, 

*Bag #1
*Love a good redbox. Simple to return anywhere, plus we reloaded on our trip back.
*We have a DVD player built in our car, but there are plenty of portable ones for sale now too. Life savers, these contraptions.

*Bag #2
*Who knew that discmans were still in production?!!! I ordered them off of Amazon after a kind sales associate/archaeologist carved them out of the sedimentary rock they had fossilized in (oh, you so funny rae.). You can get them at any second-hand thrift store too, and for really cheap. I was short on time and just decided to order instead.
*I checked out a load of books on CD and zoo magazines at the library
*Also grabbed a few $1 flash card sets

Spoiler alert: Least favorite bag. Cuz what kid really wants a lame granola bar on a road trip? Note to self: have educational texts accompanied by Skittles next time. Win some, lose some.

Bag #3

*My girls already had Leapstar Explorers from Christmas, I splurged and bought two new games that they could play and swap.
*I checked out toddler-appropriate music and DVD's for Ellie Jane

*Bag #4

* One new art supply for each girl. 
*$1 Easter coloring books. 
*Lizzie McQuire soundtrack. 


The best part was the "mystery" element. It worked as a good incentive for them to behave while  waiting to "earn" and discover what was in the next bag. Plus it made the trip much more exciting for them. Rewards all along the way for being patient on a long drive.

All in all, it successfully warded off suicide soooo....

Mission accomplished!!!!!!