Wednesday, August 06, 2008

525,600 Minutes

Okay, it's probably more like 960 minutes. Or 1080 minutes, according to my mom. All I know is that it seems like an eternity, and it's scaring the hell out of me.

A road-trip to Prince Edward Island.

My parents have rented a cottage near the beach for the last week of August, and we're going along for a vacation, and to split the cost. My parents, myself and the boys will be driving out, and Mr Earth will fly out for the long weekend. I'm VERY much looking forward to staying in PEI for a whole week. Very exciting! What I am NOT looking forward to is the 16 to 18 hour drive that it will take to get there.

With a three-year old.

And a baby who currently HATES all car trips, even if they only last for five minutes.

We're going to be taking it slowly - making the trip over 3 days - and taking lots of breaks. We're also going to be playing musical seats, so that I'm not the only person who has to entertain the crowd in the back seat. But still. Sixteen, possibly eighteen, hours. I've already entered retail therapy, and the trip hasn't even started.

Mr Earth has kindly bought two books at my request: When Dinosaurs Came with Everything and Wild About Books. I'm looking for a copy of If I Built a Car, but it is as elusive as the Bumble. Apparently, these books are great for reading aloud, and cover the topics that the Boy loves best: cars, dinosaurs and animals.

This afternoon, I went to The Store Which Shall Not Be Named to look for some cheap, packable toys. I spent $50, and what I came back with will probably only keep them occupied for about 5 minutes.

In short, I'm screwed.

Here's what I got:

  1. A BPA-free teething ring: We have about a gazillion teething paraphernalia, and I can't stop buying them. It's a problem. This one is colourful and has cute little bugs on them. In my defense, the Little Guy is a teething fiend these days, and GOD FORBID that you offer him a teething option that he doesn't want to play with. He will give you the Evil Eye. And then scream.
  2. Stacking Cups: Yeah, this was stupid. Technically, we already have stacking cups, but one of the cups is missing. Do you know how hard it is to stack cups when a cup is missing?? Plenty hard. Plus, it annoys the hell out of me. My OCD rears it's ugly head. I can't sleep. It's bad, folks. These cups also link to form a caterpillar, and can double as bath/sand toys.
  3. Two Small Disney Cars: The Boy already has four of these, and really likes them. This one has a firetruck in the set, and that should win me some brownie points. Plus, the cars are really small, so not a bother to bring along. Heck, I'll even throw in the cars he already has. I'm that nice.
  4. Eight Chunky Sesame Street characters: I'd never seen these before, and they were 2 for $5! I was hoping that these would be the magical crossover toy - The Boy wants whatever the Little Guy has and vice versa. They should work for creative play with the Boy, and are large enough (and wooden, not plastic!) for the Little Guy to mouth. (Yes, technically, I could have just gotten two, but then it would bother me that I don't have all the characters. I have a soft spot for all things Sesame Street. Especially the Grouch. He's my homeboy.)
  5. A Disney Cars book: It was cheap, and the Boy will love it. I, decidely, will not.
  6. A rubber-ducky in a fireman's suit: Okay, I had no earthly reason to buy this. I saw someone in line with it last time I was at the store and just really wanted it. Seems I have a rubber-ducky problem too. And hey - it is a bath toy! And it tells you if the water is too hot! It's useful, dammit!
  7. A sunhat for the Little Guy: Not a toy at all. BUT, it has cute little bees on it - how could I resist? I'm having a hard time finding a hat that has good sun protection (this has a wide brim), and doesn't fall in his eyes (seems to fit). Did I mention it's cute?
  8. Phone and Keys: These have buttons on them that make sounds and play music. It will drive me nuts, I'm sure, but it was $5 dollars for the set, and it will stop the Little Guy from stealing the real things and spitting up on them. The Boy, hopefully, will want to play with them too.

Phew! Apparently, when I go shopping, I should leave my ovaries at home.

If anyone has suggestions as to how to keep a 3 year-old and a 9 month-old occupied from Toronto to PEI, and back again, please let me know. Or I may just not come back.


Kyla said...

Do you have a portable DVD player? Those are handy on car trips.

In the hospital, (which is kind of like a car trip, except the kid is stuck in bed rather than a chair) we had crayons, paper, a few favorite books, two Bob the Builder vehicles, and bubbles. And it went pretty well.

For normal kids (not KayTar) snacks and drinks are always helpful in occupying them for bits of time, too.

Hope you survive it!

womaninawindow said...

Good luck! I remember those days. Living in the States and travelling up and then vice versa. A surprise bag you hold back on. I'd fill a Dollar Store bag and after every hour or so say, OK, pull something outta the bag. Colouring book, markers, whatever. It goes a long way. And kids books on cd alternated with dvds. Good luck. Have so much fun you hurt. Sounds lovely.

motherbumper said...

OMG you are brave but the drive will be completely worth it. We haven't been the Island in four years and I miss it. I wish I had some advice but other than what you got (oh we have the same OCD) I've got nothing to add. EXCEPT - Robert Munsch stories to play on the CD - we downloaded them all on iTunes and G loves them - they actually keep her quiet for stretches - I KNOW - AMAZING.

Mamalooper said...

Yes to the portable dvd player. No matter what you think about "x" amount of hours of dvd/tv watching at home, this road trip'll be all about getting through.

cinnamon gurl said...

Ooh - are you going to visit Bon???

I've never driven that far but we did have 24 hours of flying plus stopover (with no breaks) when Swee'pea was 1 and I definitely recommend rolling out the new toys over time. Give them the first new toy and wait for them to completely exhaust it before you give them something else new. Or maybe alternate with toys they already know and love.

metro mama said...

Portable DVD player, and tons and tons of new snacks!

kittenpie said...

Ooh, I love Wild About Books! Sierra is genius.

I would add - book and tape/CD sets from the library so they can listen to stories as well as music and a few instruments to shake along with it. Puppets, finger or hand, to help intertain and cajole. Small drawing pad and crayons. and attach some of the Little Guy's toys to his poerson or seat with link rings and velcro straps so he can find them again.

I think that might be it... except, of course, pail and shovel for the seashore! Have a great time!

Suzanne said...

Yeah, I heartily recommend the portable DVD player too. I railed against its purchase, lamented the decline of western civilization that it seems to imply, and now can't imagine a long car trip without it. And I've never even attempted a car trip as long as the one you're going to embark on...

Good luck!

bren j. said...

We might be taking a road trip to PEI this fall when my parents come to visit. We live considerably closer though.....I hope it goes well. Make sure you tell us which places to see while we're there - we can use all the planning help we can get.

Mad said...

If you can, please say hi along the way but I COMPLETELY understand if you can't.

b*babbler said...

YES to the portable DVD player. I just discovered yesterday that ours has a cracked screen, and I cried. Seriously.

Can I ask about what store you found the Sesame Street characters at? We're all about Sesame Street around here, and SS toys are hard to find, it sems.

Sandra said...

Lots of liquor and chocolate - for you!

That and all the treats they are never allowed to have, portable DVD and finger puppets ... ya I just wrote finger puppets but it worked for me man.

crazymumma said...

gravol, movies, bad snacks. stickers for the car windows (yes I said THAT!, playdoh,lollipops.

Mac and Cheese said...

Nothing to add but GOOD LUCK!