Thursday, September 29, 2016

My Number One Gotta Have It, No Cost, Sanity Saving Tip for Travel with a Baby - Off Topic Thursday

You see that baby up there. Cutest one in the world? He's mine : ) And while James is a sweetheart, sometimes car rides are a deal breaker for him. What baby enjoys siting in the car for hours at a time? Not this baby, and not this momma. But the day I landed on this tip, it was a total game changer for us!

Only one thing really calms James during a road trip - my beautiful voice. And by beautiful I mean-  barely able to hold a tune, embarrassing, lyric forgetting voice. Top 40 hits won't cut it - James wants the classic and while singing Wheels On The Bus might be a pleasure for some parents, singing it for the ten thousandth time is no ones idea of fun.

Let me set the scene - it was one of those long days - you know those. James was cranky in a never ending and incurable way that makes you watch the clock waiting for bed time.  But inevitably on those days, bed time is hours away and you have a mile long to do list as well. On this particular day we had plans to visit family at a nearby beach. Sounds fun! Maybe. My husband got off work and we we began our hour long drive. We were all already exhausted, and I knew if we got to the beach and James had screamed the whole way none of us would be in a good mood.

Thankfully, music has always worked on James and so I knew what I had to do - but frankly I couldn't do it. I was exhausted, emotionally and physically and my nerves were shot. The idea of having to sing one of those monotonous songs with even an ounce of enthusiasm for an hour was enough to send me over the edge. And then the lightbulb!

And like a Mommy McGyver, I took out my phone and opened the recording option. I sang Wheels On The Bus once, with all of the happiness, enthusiasm, and most importantly, all of the verses I could think of- hell, I made up extra verses ( the dogs on the bus, the cows on the bus, the dinosaurs - it's the noah's ark of buses) and then I crossed my fingers.

I pressed play and waited.

Would he figure it out, would he know that I wasn't singing, that it was a recording of me singing and that instead I was meditating with my eyes closed/ eating Taco Bell/ reading a book?

He didn't! It was like magic!

Silence. 
Peace. 
and Rest.

After listening to "Wheels on the Bus" a dozen times, I tried it with several other songs and they worked, too! I now have saved on my phone six different songs I can play. Eventually James tired of my voice, weird, right?, so I recorded short loops of other songs he enjoys - Elmo's for example. Why not just play it on YouTube? Have you sat through a thirty second laundry detergent ad while your child screams. That's a long thirty seconds. This is instant and as long as I want it to be : )

Do you have a baby/toddler who struggles with car trips? If so let me know if this tip worked for you and ways you have used the resources around you to make baby/toddler car travel a little less painful!


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