Sometimes, you just can’t talk your way around it: you have to travel over the Christmas holidays. This was annoying when you were single. Now you have children, and that same 10 hour haul up I-95 has gone from kind of a bitch to the equivalent of an Arctic expedition. Does “To grandmother’s house we go” have you popping Xanax? Here are some tips for surviving travel during the holidays:
1. Break a limb. A casted right leg renders you incapable of driving. Should you lack the nerve to smash your own tibia with a hammer, try contracting the flu (other lingering, miserable illnesses work well, especially if they include stomach complaints). Try licking doorknobs, rubbing handrails, and visiting children’s museums.
2. Ipads. Put coal in their stockings, confine presents to that “something you want/something you need/something to wear/something to read” Pinterest maxim, and take out a second mortgage if necessary. Yes, you’ll want to claw your ears off when each kid is playing a different episode of Fireman Sam. But at least they aren’t screaming.
3. Remember that it is illegal to do shots before driving. Luckily, there’s probably some app that can locate each and every Starbucks off the interstate. Punish your signficant other/bank account by insisting on a designer coffee at all times.
4. Console yourselves with food. Find something magic that your kids never get to eat, preferably several somethings. Feed it to them at regular intervals. Puffs are like baby crack and can buy you at least half an hour. McDonald’s french fries, when doled out in slow intervals, can last an hour. Then they get the happy meal toy, which will last about five minutes.
5. Play the Quiet Game. Who can go the longest without talking? Winner gets a steamer at mommy’s next Starbucks stop!
6. Markers. Provide them with paper, then let them degenerate into tattooing themselves. They’ll think it’s transgressive. You planned it all along. Bonus: Gramma’s face when they show up with scribbled-on facial hair!
7. Turn the radio up really, really, really loud and pretend you never procreated.
8. Stop regularly. No, really. Look for child-friendly gigs at regular intervals: parks, ice-skating rinks, museum-of-some-dead-movie-star, outlet malls. Get out and walk around. That stop at the Coach outlet? You did it for the children.
9. Introduce your kids to show tunes. (Note: Rent is not child-friendly.)
10. Say “screw it” and drive at night. It’s what you’re going to do anyway. Just try to make gramma watch the kids afterwards so you can get some decent shut-eye. And remember: Monster has more caffeine than Red Bull.
Related post: Surviving An Airplane With Kids