Monday, July 05, 2010

Road trippin' part 2: what didn't work

What Didn't Work:
1. Expecting children to eat a balanced diet on the road. If a restaurant offers a kids menu, you can pretty much expect your little ones to eat a carb and salt-heavy meal (that is, if they haven't stuffed themselves with car snacks and destroyed their appetite). Think chicken fingers, grilled cheese sandwiches, plain noodles, mac and cheese, hot dogs, pancakes and fries washed down with chocolate milk or apple juice. I knew we were in trouble when, at our last stop of the trip, A announced "I love bacon and french fries!" The good news is that our 2-day road trips were bookends on a week at a vacation rental home. Which meant that breakfasts consisted of fresh fruit and bowls of Grape-Nuts and evenings included carrot sticks, peas and a bowl of apple sauce.

2. Taking turns driving. I enjoy a turn behind the wheel, but it is much less fun when your 2 1/2 year old is screaming bloody murder because she only wants you to pick her toy up off the floor, unwrap her snack, take her trash or play telephone.

3. Listening to the radio. Thank G-d we packed four iPods full of music because commercial radio stinks. Especially in the South, where 3 out of 4 stations are Christian and the other quarter play nothing but car dealership commercials, even when the mountains didn't mess up reception. There was one exception to this rule, and that was an awesome classic country legends station in Louisville (think: "Take This Job and Shove It"). But even it played far too many "Come one down and we'll make you an offer you can't refuse!" commercials.

4. Sleeping in our own beds. My hats are off to any parents of small children who are able to keep the bedtime routines 100% intact while traveling. Josh and I spent exactly 1 night in the same bed during this trip. Instead, we played musical beds, lying down with and even sleeping with our kiddos in separate bedrooms. I'm looking forward to the time when our youngest won't treat a night in the same bed as her big sister as an open invitation to an all-night wrestling match, or a night's sleep that doesn't end with getting kicked awake ... in the face.