Me Myself And I #girlsaretrippin

We just drove 800 miles. It’s amazing how much easier the driving gets each day. I feel like I could pack my kids up and make it to California within a day or two. And in case you’re wondering, my kids have never complained during the almost 4000 miles that we’ve now been in the car. In fact, sometimes after a silent three hours or so I actually call back to them to make sure they are there. Did I forget someone at the last rest stop? Did they choke on an almond from the snack bag? True story – a certain panic can set-up when you haven’t heard another voice in so long.

 

Okay, there was a complaint/whine registered yesterday when Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody came on the radio and I turned it up ALLTHEWAY and started screaming along. My kids didn’t like that so much. “Mom, that is awful music!” “Mom, you’re embarrassing us!” “Mom, that’s too loud!” “Mom, I cannot focus on reading when you act like this!” Stick in the muds much?

 

Anyway, they mainly read in the car. Eloise and Esther read nonstop and Astrid reads, plays some games on the iPad and watches a movie here and there. I honestly don’t know what they do as I’m driving and they seem quiet, alive and happy.

But on Sunday during a particularly long pull through Pennsylvania, Eloise started asking trivia questions to all of us – from history, facts about the presidents, music and movies, and facts about The States – she asked them all and we had a fun game. So, when Eloise’s questions stopped, Astrid decided to make-up her own trivia game for us. Astrid’s game was called “Panda Trivia” and all questions were about Pandas and the answer to ALL of the questions was “Bamboo.” So, if she were to ask “What food does a panda eat?” You would answer “bamboo!” And if she were to ask “What is the panda’s favorite color?” You would answer “bamboo!”  So, Astrid asked hundreds of questions about pandas – from allergies to favorite swimming places, to articles of clothing and vacationing spots..and if you are following along, you just always answer with “bamboo!” And then Astrid would say “You are correct!”

 

Although adorable, this game got old after about 20 minutes and soon Eloise and Esther dropped out of the game and returned to their books. I made it about 10 more minutes and sadly, I also had to drop-out of the game..because “BAMBOO!” And a building annoyance called parenting a preschooler and their games just don’t stay exciting for very long. Also, a Carol King song came on the radio and I was in the mood for a soulful singalong.

 

At first Astrid sadly said “But who will play with me now?” But then after a few moments, she just continued asking the questions, responding with “Bamboo!” to her own questions and then praising herself for getting the question right with a “Yes! That is correct!” She did this for almost another hour. Then she said “I think I’m done with that game now, and I’m the big winner. Who knew that I knew so much about pandas, but I seem to know everything!” Then she quietly went back to looking at books for two more hours.

 

I don’t entertain my kids. Sure, I’ll play a card game and make a hopscotch course on the sidewalk, and get out the art supplies for a project..but I encourage my kids to make their own games and learn to entertain themselves.

And after driving nearly 4000 miles in dozen of hours in almost complete peace and quiet with not-a-one “Are we there yet?” or “I’m bored?” or “How much longer?” or a fight for “My turn for the iPad!” – I guess my kids have developed the life-skill of MAKE YOUR OWN FUN! – because I’m able to listen to the radio with the music that I LIKE in the car, and nobody complains – unless it’s a Queen song of course.

 

I win.

About Tracy


My name is Tracy Morrison and I live in sunny Minnesota. I'm neither British nor a nun - I'm just a Midwesterner with a headache. This is mainly a humor and lifestyle blog that documents the lighter side of parenting. I am an ex-corporate ladder climber turned freelance writer, social media manager, and fashion expert - and ruler of my own little universe(very small). Aren't we all. I would love for you to contact me at tracy@sellabitmum.com

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Comments

  1. says

    You totally win.
    Also? I feel better now. Because I make my kids make their own fun too. I’m craft-challenged and building blocks bore me after 20 minutes.
    (confession: I do like trains though so if only they were into it, I would so play)
    Alison recently posted..Cake For Breakfast

  2. says

    Hi Tracy,
    I love that you are teaching your kids to be independent and make their own good times. My 4 year old makes up her own games and has less toys and more stuffed animals instead, where she makes her own “schools” and brings them along with her like an entourage.
    Estelle
    Estelle recently posted..What Paula Deen Can Learn from Bloggers

  3. Wendy says

    I love that you don’t stand on your head to entertain them. I have been guilty of helping/entertaining too much in the past but this summer they have heard from me, “I am not the camp counselor. You should be able to find something to entertain you. If you tell me you are bored, you get a chore.”

    It has been sooo helpful for my sanity! Kids need to learn how to entertain themselves and be independent.

    Have fun road tripping! It looks like so much fun!

  4. says

    I need to know your secrets. I’ve tried from Day 1 to make my daughter learn to entertain herself, but with mixed results. She’s 5 1/2 now, and lately I feel all the progress I made in her first 5 years have been wiped out by one thing — the Kindle she got for Christmas. Suddenly, whenever she reaches her daily limits on that, she’s bored. I’m sure things will get better after the summer and kindergarten starts but it’s a challenge, especially because she’s an only child. Thankfully, last night, I saw a flash of her old self and she orchestrated an entire surprise birthday party for her Cinderella Barbie with all of her other dolls (and she’s NOT a Barbie kid; this was rare). I even let her stay up later than usual because I was just so thrilled with this development.

    Anyway, that’s the long way of saying, kudos to you! I’m still striving to get to that point and I’m glad to see success IS possible.
    Jackie @ MomJovi recently posted..Pennsylvania Living

  5. says

    I just drove almost 1800 with my three kids and I have to admit my favorite part of the whole thing was the silence. The magic time when they are all totally engrossed in their own things. I even turn off the radio so it is just the sound of the road and my own thoughts. I didn’t even know I had missed the quiet so much until we got on the road. Good luck with the rest of your trip.

  6. says

    Getting to listen to your own music in the car is such a triumph. My son is 2 so he usually sleeps in the car, so far he’s been a good traveler. I’m big him entertaining himself, it’s good for him and me.
    Julia recently posted..Yelling and Forgiving

  7. says

    My dude is an only, so he has no choice but to play by himself the majority of the time. I personally would never survive 4,000 miles of driving in a car. 3 1/2 hours is my max at which point I’m going bat crap crazy. In some ways I feel that his imagination & creativity are heightened from the daily stimulus. He is a building fanatic & is crazy good at it – his mind works in ways constructing LEGOs like I couldn’t possibly imagine. It makes me feel so guilty.

  8. says

    I think Astrid and Zoe would get along famously. She and her sisters play together almost all the time, but she is amazingly good at entertaining herself. Every time I read about Astrid, I think of Zoe.
    Leigh Ann recently posted..Thoughts on summer

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