So I had the joy of being invited on a Mom & Kids Beach Trip in Myrtle Beach. What was I to do but go! Only approximately 475 miles stood between us and the delightful respite with friends by the sea! I was thrilled that the trip went even better than I had anticipated. What follows is the strategy that I employed:
I got up at 4AM and loaded the cooler and final little detail things according to my last minute list. I made myself a breakfast of eggs and some coffee. I nursed my littlest monkey and loaded her in the car with her favorite blanket. (I had all the kids shoes at their seats the night before.) I then woke my 6, 4, and 3 year-old monkeys and encouraged them to pop in the car with their one pre-selected blanket and pillows. I kissed my Honey goodbye and hit the trails at 5.
I had pre-loaded a box and placed it in the passenger’s seat with snacks and ziplocks of junk-drawer treasures for each little monkey with their name on it, books, a small cd-case full of cd’s and movies for this particular trip. I made a particularly marvelous energy bar recipe that a friend told me about and individually wrapped those in this box of tricks as well. I had a 2-liter of water and two smaller water bottles for myself and one to be passed to the monkey’s upon request.
My 6-year-old monkey proved most useful in the middle seat passing out said snacks and treasures and entertaining our baby monkey.
We commenced the trip in the stillness of pre-dawn starlight. As far as my little monkeys were concerned it was still night. I played a cd with a sonorous voice reading the first 35 Psalms or so. As the sun began to rise I played a favorite Judy Rogers cd with peaceful happy music and passed out breakfast snack bars. Our van is equipped with a dvd player and I let the monkeys enjoy a mommy-picked movie after that.
We made a total of two ten-minute stops. I informed the monkeys that the stop was coming up and they must put on their shoes and get out when I opened the doors. I started the gas and locked the car and herded monkeys into the restroom where everyone went! Then herded them all back again. I enticed them to enjoy the ride by offering lollipops to all but the youngest monkey when we were two hours from our destination.
My third little monkey who also happens to be 3, has problems with unfastening her seat-belt. I was able to entice her with various incentives and threats to refasten without actually having to stop! We arrived in Myrtle Beach at our marvelous destination around 1PM with time to enjoy the afternoon sunshine!
The trek home I employed similar strategies, except we left in the afternoon and I didn’t need to consider two full meals on the road. I hoped my monkeys would sleep a lot of the day…..which they did to some extent. Our second stop on the way home was longer than 10 minutes since I nursed my littlest monkey and treated us all to a Dairy Queen blizzard!
Bon Voyage to all small monkeys and monkey mommies on their journeys!
Posted by Joli