Wednesday, December 19th, 2012
2 years, 1 month.
In a couple of days, we will be loading up the Honda and making the 3 hour journey to my hometown of Fort Payne, Alabama to spend the Christmas holiday with my side of the family.
There is definitely potential for this road trip to be stressful…for all of us. So I want to do my part to make this as easy as possible for our family.
I’ve compiled a “2012 Christmas Vacation Family Road Trip Checklist” for us to go by. Let’s take a look:
For the car: snacks, bottled water, toys, books, crayons and coloring book, clean-up wipes and/or Kleenex, sunglasses, travel blanket, small garbage bag, iPod/CD’s
Necessary electronics: cellphone and charger, camera and charger, laptop and charger, compact DVD player and DVDs
For the destination: the Christmas gifts and cards, food to contribute to the Christmas dinner, family tradition activities (like board games and playing cards)
Toiletries: diapers, deodorant, toothbrush and toothpaste, contacts and contact solution, razor, unmentionables
Clothes: underwear, socks, t-shirts, casual and dress shoes, outdoor play clothes, indoor play clothes, church clothes, warm coat, light jacket, pajamas, hats
It seems that no matter how hard we try to prevent it, we always end up forgetting to pack something. I’m not saying this year will be the exception, but it’s worth a shot.
I designed the list with you in mind. In particular, I asked myself, “How can I do my best to keep Jack from being bored and/or hungry?”
We will pack some of your favorite toy trains, stuffed animals, plenty of Goldfish crackers in plastic baggies, a blanket for you to “make a house” with in the back seat, and even the Carbon Leaf CD which has several of the songs from the soundtrack to your favorite movie, Curious George 2: Follow That Monkey!
If you’re happy, then Mommy’s happy, and that means I’m happy.
Now, let’s start packing…
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Monday, August 20th, 2012
Looking back over 20 years later, that green-and-black “educational” game we played during computer class was not only not really all that educational, but it somehow completely glamorized the turmoil of those Americans who actually made the trek to Oregon.
(Sort of like the way 16 and Pregnant does with teen pregnancy, but that’s a whole other story I’ve already written about.)
The Oregon Trail made you not really mind so much when a member in your wagon died, due to a snakebite, dysentery, cholera, typhoid, exhaustion, or measles.
Even if it was morbid and I’m just now realizing it, I suppose it was fun to get to write on the fallen member’s tombstone.
And boy was it exciting to hunt my own furry food: squirrels, rabbits, bison, deer, elk and bears. If my aim was really good that day, I would kill over 200 pounds of meat and not be able to fit it all on the wagon. (Bragging rights!)
If only driving your kid around in the car was that much fun.
I suppose, though, if they could make The Oregon Trail such a glorious and engaging game, they could do the same thing with take a road trip with your kid.
Just like in The Oregon Trail game, you would have to pack enough clothes and food before you even head out.
While it’s not likely that anyone in the car would die of a snakebite or dysentery, it’s possible I could die of annoyance because my son keeps pretending to drop toys in the back seat, then cries when I don’t pick them up for him, causing me to explain that as long as the car is moving, my job is to keep us all safe by paying attention to the road.
As the parent who drives our kid around almost exclusively, I know how challenging and nerve-wracking the process is. My 30 minute drive to and then back from work each day used to be my “reflection time.”
Now the only reflecting that goes on is me looking in the review mirror to see my son dousing his shirt in water from his cup and stuffing his shorts full of Goldfish crackers.
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