Weekly Monumental Road TripWe did it. My mom and I took my three and four year old children on a road trip to visit relatives in the New Orleans area. It took us a little over 12 hours to drive there and a little less than 12 on the way back. The children were wonderful. Both drives went very well. We spent entire days in swimming pools. We visited extended family many of whom went out of their way to make sure they got to see us in the three short days we were there. The children loved everyone and can't wait to go back.
As some of you may remember, I went a
At first I tried to micromanage. I would turn the tv off and give each child a bag. Let them play for 10-15 minutes and then instruct them to switch. Then have them clean up and return the bags to my mother before turning the tv back on until the next stop to stretch our legs. As it turns out, a much more relaxed approach worked better. We ran the tv most of the trip. Ava was more interested in the tv and less interested in the activities. Michael was very interested in the activities. We just let him play until he got bored on his own. Then he'd pack up the bag and ask for another one. Michael went through twice as many bags as his sister and that was fine. Letting him play while watching television worked better for Michael than forcing him to alternate between the two types of activities. Live and learn. His favorite activities were the make-a-wand kit, the geoboards, the duplo kits, and the notepad with stickers and pens.
Another focus on the drive was to keep things moving at all costs. We stopped only at rest stops and kept those stops to under 10 minutes. We stopped at every other rest stop instead of at each one. We timed gas stops to coincide with meals and my mom took the kids to the bathroom at the gas station while I filled the tank. Then we went through a nearby drive-through for food to eat in the car. For us, it was more important to keep the drive from stretching to 13 or 14 hours than it was to take a more leisurely approach to the stops and it worked well.
Ava this WeekSeveral people commented on our visit about how far Ava has come in the past six months both socially and in terms of her speech. She was much less shy and overwhelmed. She talked a lot and rarely had difficulty making herself understood. I was so proud of her and relieved to see her able to participate so well in the visit.
Weekly MichaelInstead of saying, "When I grow up..." Michael has taken to saying, "When I'm an engineer..." He has a long list of things he'll do when he's an engineer from telling me all the things he'll build for me, to the foods he'll eat and the games he'll play. He added something new to that list on the trip.
Michael saw his first roach on the trip. What can I say, it was a home in the deep south in a rural area. He also got to see his first roach get squished. Then we got to learn a great new vocabulary word in addition to the word "roach" - "guts". After that 60 second lesson in the wildlife of Louisiana we moved on and I didn't give it another thought until the next day when Michael came up to me and shared this nugget about his future: "When I'm an engineer I'm going to have an oach (roach) for a pet. I like them because they're so big." After a brief speechless moment I replied, "Sweetheart, when you're an engineer you can have whatever kind of pet you like, including a roach."