Adventures in Parenting: Traveling with Two
**written in the car between Georgia and South Carolina, Sunday evening
Q: Where do most goblins live?
A: South Scarolina!
Q: Where are the Toones going for fall break?
A: South Scarolina!
We’re on our way! Man, it took a lot of work, though. Let me tell you… traveling with two little ones takes a lot of effort. I told Brian earlier that I’ve decided we’re not leaving the state of Alabama until the kids are 10. This doesn’t feel like a vacation! I think it’ll get better when we’re settled at our cabin, though.
We borrowed Brian’s dad’s car… It’s bigger than ours, and I wanted a little extra room to take our double jogging stroller so the kids and I can do some walking while Brian’s on his 5-hour bike adventure tomorrow. We’ve also got the backpack carrier and the Baby Bjorn so we can hike a little, Brian’s bike, 2 small carry-on size suitcases, a small cooler and other paraphernalia. (Note: did anyone else know that there is a random "r" in the middle of the word "paraphernalia"? How odd. Neither Brian nor I – the jr high spelling champion – would have spelled it this way.) Anyway, we didn’t pack too lightly on this trip, though we’ll have to be much more selective on our future trips in our Nissan Altima. This car is also advantageous because it has a DVD player to entertain Analise. She was happy to watch Nemo on the way to Atlanta, and now she’s watching Veggie Tales. Josiah is in his rear-facing seat, finally sleeping, but he keeps turning his head up to see what’s playing, too.
Josiah isn’t the seasoned traveler that Analise was at this age. By 4 months of age, she’d been in 5 states. After this trip, Josiah will have 3 states, and after November he’ll have been in 5. Analise napped so well during the day when she was little, and sleeping in the car was no big deal. Josiah doesn’t sleep well during the day, unless he’s sleeping on me or in his swing. So, napping this afternoon in the car was a battle for him. He wanted my hand to hold, so I reached back there for a while. He is finally sleeping, now that it’s 7:30 and dark. On the other hand, though, he’s sleeping much better at night than Analise did, which is a huge relief (do I say this frequently?). I hope in the next couple months he adjusts to sleeping in the car seat because we’ve got quite a bit of car travel planned between now and the holidays. In less than 3 weeks, we’ll be on our way to Panama City, Florida for the Ironman Triathlon. Brian’s parents and 2 couples from church (with 1 child) will be going and staying with us in a 4-bedroom condo. Then 2 weeks later, Brian’s got a conference in Gatlinburg, Tennesse, up in the Great Smokey Mountains and we’re going to go, as well. Then, the BIG trip comes at Christmas, when we’ll drive to Wisconsin and Indiana to see my family, for about 2 weeks total. We’ll probably try to do most of that trip at night, so there are fewer child-needs:)
Aside from one short stop for Josiah to eat, we made it from Birmingham to the northeast side of Atlanta in one shot. Just like last year, we stopped at the "pumpkin station" – a former gas station that has been converted to a pumpkin patch, that also sells wood creations, like gazebos and swing sets. Analise enjoyed the swings and slides more than the pumpkins, though she did help us pick out a couple little ones to take home.
Brian’s such an adventure to travel with. Some of my only quiet moments to catch up on reading were while both A and J were napping (about a 20 minute stretch), and he’s telling me to stop reading so I don’t miss something exciting. For example: Stone Mountain, Georgia, visible for about 15 seconds at the crest of a hill, over my shoulder, carefully looking between the jogging stroller and the edge of the car window. He just now pointed out a "big oak tree" in the medain of the road… ‘cept that it’s absolutely dark out and I can’t see anything in the medain. He only knows that it’s there because he’s travelled this road many many times between home and college. And just now, we’re looking at the map deciding which road to take to our bed & breakfast – the bigger (yellow on the map) road or the little road, named "Critter Road", and he says, "Oh, Critter Road, definitely – doesn’t it sound way more fun?" That’s where we’re heaing now.
Sidenote: Speaking of reading – I’m enjoying our friend, Corrie Haffly’s newly pulished book, The Photoshop Anthology. Analise and I are famous! She used our picture as an example in the book! If you use Photoshop for web design, it’s a great resource – I’m learning a lot:)
Rule: If kids are sleeping, absolutely no stopping for any reason. (When Brian’s family traveled back in his younger days, they had a "pee jar" so that they wouldn’t have to stop so frequently. Brian just said we might need to have one eventually…not for the kids but for ourselves to enforce this rule!)
Realization: I’ve always noticed when we drove past cars at night that had DVD players running. I always thought it was kind of novel. We’re one of those cars, I just realized. And I even said not too long ago – probably before kids – that we’d never have a DVD player, that my kids were going to be able to entertain themselves. My sisters and I grew up reading and playing games – oh, and irritating each other:) – to entertain ourselves in the car, and though it got boring sometimes, I’m so glad we were such a family of readers and good travelers. For now, though, I’m grateful for the DVD player to keep my pre-reading toddler entertained so we can have some good stretches of travel.