Thanks so much, everyone, for all your kind words about Buttonsworth. I'm still in a period of mourning and distracting myself with work, so today I'm going to put up a how-to post on surviving road trips. Not that I have any experience or anything.
My husband, daughter and I live in Kansas City. Both sets of our parents live in Iowa. Which means: road trips. Lots of them. Like almost every month, and the drive is from three to five hours each way.
You'd think in the era of portable DVD players, iPads, iPhones and NOOKs that entertaining oneself in the car for a few hours would be cheesecake. This, unfortunately, is not the case. My daughter just started liking to play digital games in the last year. I may not win any mother-of-the-year awards for saying this, but there were days when I would beg her to just play a game so I didn't have to play one more round of I Spy while twisting myself around so uncomfortably in the front seat to look at her that I actually pulled a back muscle once. Here are some ways to pass the time we've developed for our now eight-year-old road-tripper.
Credit Image: Damian Gadal on Flickr
This is a broad category that includes everything from reading a story to writing a story to her writing a bit and then me writing a bit to her creating graphic novels. There are many websites that let you turn a story your child writes into a book. (Speaking of that, I have three sitting here on my desk to be scanned and converted!)
Think of the game show that is least annoying to you and try to convert it to a car version. I personally like Wheel of Fortune, so we play Hangman a lot. Although -- hangman? Seriously? Who came up with this draconian way of losing? I'd like to say I've come up with a kinder, gentler version, but I haven't. I just try really hard not to lose.
How many times do you actually make conversation -- like cocktail party conversation -- with your kid? I usually don't -- we talk about what happened that day or what we're having for dinner or how she really feels strongly she does not have enough pairs of leggings. On road trips, I've learned how her favorite color has changed from blue to purple, who her friends are, what she wants to be when she grows up and whether or not she thinks she'll have kids. Some of my favorite conversations have happened in the car.
So, there you have it. Trust me, I'm no saint -- these are the things I go to AFTER she has watched as many movies as she will watch and played as many games as she will play and read as many books as she will read. I hate riding in cars for long periods of time and prefer to spend my own time working on a novel or with my nose in a book. But if we must interact while trapped in a small box for hours, these are my favorite ways to do it.
How do you survive roadies?