Remember those long car rides you took when you were a kid? I vividly remember our family vacation trips to Florida (about a 10-11 hour drive from where we lived). My brother, sister and I used to pile all of our pillows and blankets in the floor of the station wagon (70's and early 80's) or Suburban (80's). We would bring books, snacks, toys and games, and make tents and have a ball. I still remember my favorite treat to take was those little baskets of gum that were shaped like strawberries - they even came in a little green plastic basket like real strawberries. What fun those trips were! I am sure that is not quite how my parents remember it. I am sure there were hours of "are we there yet?" and "I need to potty" and "hey, get off my side of the car!" And my father will never let me forget the time when I was 3 and threw up on the way home from D*sney W*rld, all over his brand new company station wagon.
Well, boy have times changed. We just arrived home from a long trip to visit my husband's extended family. The car ride there was 9 1/2 hours long. It was rather odd to look around our car and see my 2 older ones with headphones listening to Chronicles of Narnia on CD, the 3 year old (christened "the queen" by her godfather) with her headphones watching March of the Penguins on a small TV we had strapped to the console with bungee cords, and my husband and I both with our headphones on listening to our respective i-pods. Now, if only they made little headphones for a 9 month old :). She slept a total of 30 minutes the whole drive (did I mention it was a 9 1/2 hour trip ?) and cried for the last three hours straight. While I miss the days of making tents in the floor of the car on the way to Florida, I will confess, if you have to strap them down for 9 1/2 hours (and only make two 20 minute stops), then at least let them be entertained! That is hard for me to say, since I am all for them coming up with their own entertainment, but for sanity, we gave in to the technology, and only had to listen to "are we there yet?" a few hundred times.