We made it. 12 hours in the car with 2 under 2.
Here was our plan of attack.
Step 1. Pack the car the night before so you can just pack up the last minute things and cooler but theoretically you can throw the kiddies in the car and be on your way.
Step 2. Leave at 3 am so that we were guaranteed at least a few solid hours of the children sleeping. It was just not possible to leave at their bedtime (somewhere between 7 and 9 pm) after both my husband and I working a full day and then trying to pull an all nighter. We are just too old for that.
Step 3. Bring a DVD player with about 25 episodes of Mickey Mouse Clubhouse. And YES I absolutely swore I would never be “one of those mothers” that shoved electronics onto their children just to keep them occupied but guess what … desperate times call for desperate measures. For my own sanity, yes, I am now prepared to watch Mickey Mouse for 5 hours straight if that is what it takes to make it to the destination.
Step 4. Pack a secret weapon. For my baby girl that would be goldfish. Anyone who knows (and loves 🙂 ) me, knows that I do my very best to feed my girl as healthy as possible. My feeling is that while she is still young enough to not know what junk food is, I see absolutely no reason to give it to her. Especially if she is not asking for it. And yes I absolutely make exceptions if everyone is having birthday cake then I will not leave her out of the fun. But on the day to day she eats healthy and let me tell you she loves all fruits and veggies and loves trying new things! But back to the goldfish. This was so clutch at the last 45 minutes of the trip when she’s been in the car for over 11 hours and just wants to sit in mama’s lap. She is now bored with mickey, putting the window up and down, and listening to me pointing out the water, trees, boats and whatever else I can think of. Goldfish. Oh I don’t get these at home. Give me more. And now I am happy for a few more minutes.
My baby boy is just shy of 4 months old so there is only so much you can do to keep him entertained. Thankfully he is a pretty easy baby in the sense that as long as he has someone to talk to him, he is very smiley and happy. So being stuck in a car actually works out great to be able to give him all the attention he wants. But again there is only so much conversation that a baby can take before getting stir crazy and wanting to be held by mama!
All in all I think we made about 5 stops. One stop for a poop diaper. One stop to change out of the pjs. One stop to get out and run around for a little bit to get some energy out. However, we were attacked by bugs and had to jump back into the car which made it extremely hard to get the kids back into their seats. They had a taste of freedom and were not happy going back in the car. One thing I hate about feeding my baby boy in the car is that I never know if he needs to burp. Is he crying because he has to burp or because he just wants to get out of the car seat. Sometimes it is a little of both.
But we made it. Leaving the cold weather behind in New York for the sunny and warm weather of North Carolina.
It was all worth it for this alone.
GG got to meet her 3rd great grandchild.
I will keep you posted about the trip back!