Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Mother of invention.

Yesterday we drove from the coast back home to Nashville. It's a pretty long drive - 8 hours not counting all the stops - and our first attempt at spending the whole day in the car with Liam. Everyone who witnessed him sitting perfectly still at the church with his ear buds in, watching Blue's Clues quietly while the bride and groom said their vows told us we had nothing to worry about. "Just plug him into that thing and you'll be home before you know it!"

But 8 hours is a long time for a kid. What if he got tired of watching videos before we got home? We'd be screwed. I mean, the iPod is pretty much our silver bullet. It's what works when all other books, games and snacks have been exhausted. Pull it out too soon and we'd be committing road trip suicide. We may as well start whining "are we there yet?" right now. No way. It's much better to hold out as long as possible, waiting for everything else to fail before pulling out the iPod and letting it save the day.

So what do we do until that point? Well, to be honest, I like to kind leave Liam alone. If he wants to interact with us, that's one thing, but mostly he is happy entertaining himself. He is either very imaginative and fun to eaves drop on (his bears say the darnedest things!), or he gets totally bored and falls asleep. Both are great options if you ask me.

Yesterday in the car, he never even asked for the iPod. (We had to offer it to him at one point because it was raining buckets and Bill needed to concentrate all his attention on trying to see the road.) He was totally happy entertaining himself with his new favorite toy. Stacking cups.

They're really just half-and-half containers that Bill's mom collected for us but Liam loves them. He probably spent a good 3 hours in the car playing with them. Seriously! Her timing couldn't have been better. The only Yo Gabba Gabba! episode we had on our trip (so, therefore, the episode Liam watched many, many times) featured cup stacking as the cool trick. So the whole time in the car we heard, "My name is Liam and cup stacking is my cool trick." How much cuter is that than, "Are we there yet?"

What a clever grandma...

The only problem Liam could see with the cups was that he didn't have enough. Five were okay but he really wanted ten. Nothing a quick stop at a gas station/coffee shop couldn't solve. A pancake for Liam and coffee with lots of half-and-half for us.

Then it was back to the car for a little more cup stacking and a nap.

This was my big idea for the month - using an umbrella to block the sunny side of the car. It worked way better than those dinky pull down shades that only cover one patch of the window and are just a hop, skip and a jump away from a rear window full of kid-centric bumper stickers.

I may be wrong but I'm pretty sure the window shade is the first step to a mini van decked out in soccer mom paraphernalia. Just in case I plan to keep an umbrella with me at all times.


Sarah Lindahl said...

You take the most beautiful pictures! Even the picture of the cups is pretty! EXCELLENT idea with the umbrella, I wish I would have thought of that when my kids were little

No Mommy Brain said...

thank you so much!

Girl Healthy said...

First it's only five cups, but then....