I'm writing this post as I sit in my empty house pining for my three most precious people. I always underestimate how much it will hurt when we're apart. I can't stop picturing them driving 100km per hour away from me. They've only just left. I miss them already!!
Ranger has taken the boys to Sydney to visit his family. I need to stay here in Dubbo to work.
It's always bittersweet having an empty house. I miss them. But it's also nice to have a little rest from parenting toddlers. For instance it's nice to be back blogging for a change!
Driving for 6 hours with little children is hard. I always feel anxious preparing for a trip. We try to make the drive fun and fill it with lots of special things. We sing songs and tell jokes and stories. We chat about the things we can see and the things we're looking forward to. There is a lot of time to fill and it can be a challenge to keep things positive. I find being prepared helps.
I take some time a week or so before a long drive to think about the boys' favourite things and pack them away. I thought I'd share the things I packed for their drive. I've crammed as much love into this box as possible to send along with them!
For Bear at 2 years and 10 months
His two favourite train books. Bear is still obsessed with trains.
Colouring trains with textas and highlighters (Bear's favourite subject matter and favourite medium). Bear also enjoys opening and closing this type of systema box because he can do it by himself.
A cutting activity in another little box.
Chopping velcro food.
Some Duplo sets to build. Each set in a box that fits on Bear's lap with enough room to build and pack up. Yes - one of them is a train.
For Fox at 13 months
Some favourite books that are easy for him to read by himself.
A box with a lid that opens and closes in a frustration free way. Some plastic food to take out and put in (and most likely through on the floor).
An assortment of little things to fiddle with. Handed to him one by one. Wheels that turn. Doors that open and close. Lids go on and off or open and shut. Dominos go in and out. Some little animals to hold and talk to.
For both of them
Buttons, flashing lights and music. Some passive entertainment can buy another half hour of peace when everyone's exhausted. We also use a DVD player as a last resort. These measures can help us reach the next McDonalds without a melt down.
Their special comforters for quiet time and hopefully peaceful sleep.
Dubbo is a long way from our family in Sydney so we often find ourselves in the car with Bear for many hours at a time.
We have just returned from our second holiday to the South Coast with Bear. We made the same journey this time last year and had such a fantastic time we've braved the drive again. That's a 570km drive (7 hours) according to Google maps. It took us longer than that - but who's counting?
I thought that I would share some of Bear's favourite things to do in the car at 18 months.
*Anything is much more exciting when presented in a mystery bag!
Other games we play together are:
- truck spotting
- legs in, legs out, legs up, legs down
Meals and snacks are a great way to pass time. I save the sweet treats until the last 2-3 hours.
Other ways that we maintain our sanity include:
- We hit the road first thing in the morning
- We make play stops every 2-3 hours - the grown ups eat while the Bear stretches his legs
- We enforce quiet time when Bear gets cranky (Bear doesn't sleep in the car!!)
- I sit in the back and have fun with him for the last hour to leave a pleasant memory for next time :)
My name is Vicky I am wife to Ranger and mum to two boys - Bear (2) and Fox (8 months). Somehow I stumbled across Montessori and now my goal is to raise and educate my children with a Montessori philosophy in country NSW Australia.