Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Road Trips with Toddlers

Before we left for our recent many hours in the car with Cubby confined to a car seat, someone asked me how we keep a firecracker like Cubby entertained for that many hours in the car.

The word firecracker, incidentally, was not mine.  The kid's obviously got a reputation.


The answer?  I sit in the back and play Kristin the Great Entertainer for hours at a time.  There's lots of talking and pointing things out out the window.  So a typical "conversation" goes like this:

Me:  See the river, Cubby?  That's the Susquehanna River.  And look.  There's a boat.

Cubby:  Boat?

Me:  Yes, boat.

Cubby:  Fish?

Me:  Fish?  Maybe.

Cubby:  Man?

Me:  You think there's a man fishing in the boat?  Sure, if you say so.

Cubby:  Bobber?

Me:  The man fishing in the boat is using a bobber?  Maybe he is.

Cubby:  Hook?

And on and on and on.  Other fun topics include trucks, especially those with ladders and construction materials in the back; hammers, even though there are none in evidence in the car because I am not such a fool as to give my son a hammer when he's within smashing distance of a window; saws, though, once again, that's a hypothetical conversation as we do not routinely carry saws in the car; and dogs.

I also sing.  A lot.  And he eats things.  On this trip, the animal crackers were a big hit.  Those things are really hard to identify as actual animals, but since Cubby wasn't about to disagree with me, I'd just hand him one and announce it was a lion and that was good enough.  Then he would bite the head off and say, "Uh oh!"  And I'd say, "Uh oh!  You bit off its head!"  And he'd say, "Missing?"  And I'd say, "Yup, it's missing its head."  Then he'd eat the rest until only a foot remained and announce, "Foot!"

And then I'd give him another one and we'd go through it all again.

So you see, it's not hard to entertain a child trapped in a car seat for hours at a time.  The child is having a great time.  It's the mother sitting there in the back who could use some help.


edh said...

It's a day late, but sincere nonetheless; a very Happy Birthday to you! Your description of a road trip with a littley almost gave me flashbacks. I remember the first long one I did myself when ours was a year and a half; six hours spent either singing manically, or passing picture books back over the seat one after the other, to be carefully perused, then dropped neatly on the floor. When he'd gone through the whole stack I stopped, picked them all up, and started it all over again. Never mind, I AM having flashbacks...

Anonymous said...

The patience of a saint= Kristin.

sheila said...

Two and a half yr old grandson visiting here. Conversation is a bit more in depth. Full sentences that I can even understand this year. There are a few temper tantrums when he is tired and the adults don't understand the importance of NOT mixing food on his plate. Who knew chili was not allowed to even touch a corn muffin?

Happy belated Birthday!

Anonymous said...

Sooooo freaking cute. We used to do this. Now we cajole the older one into playing the same role, a task he often excels at. He is, however, too literal and is given to screaming at the toddler, "No! There is no fire engine anywhere around here" when the little guy wants to talk about fire engines in general.

Hope the trip was good.