The Toddler's 10 Commandments Of Traveling

by Christina Antus
Originally Published: 
traveling with toddlers
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We recently went on a road trip to northern Minnesota. It’s 16 hours from here to there, which makes it 16 hours from there to here. That’s a total of 32 hours in the car, with three kids under 5 (we’re currently having our heads examined).

To say it was a little crazy is like saying the Pacific Ocean is a little big. At some point, the noise levels in our truck got so loud, my husband and I had the following conversation.

Me: Sometimes I wish I knew how to do that sleeper hold. You know, the one where you pinch the neck?

Him: Why? So you can use it on yourself and leave me all alone with the kids?

Me: I was thinking of using it on the kids, but that’s a better idea.

I have no idea how it worked during the Exodus. Obviously there were kids, but I have no idea how any of them and their parents made it through the parted waters in time because the only thing that moves slower than a toddler is a rock. I can’t imagine it taking anyone less than six months to walk across the Red Sea with a toddler in tow, especially when you have to stop and touch every single seashell. In addition to moving slowly, a toddler’s attention span looks like how “The Flight of the Bumblebee” sounds.

When Moses revealed the Ten Commandments, there should’ve been an addendum concerning traveling with toddlers—maybe there was. Maybe before it could be recorded into biblical history, it was used as a ramp to climb the side of Mount Sinai to pull a pokey thing off a bush. It broke, and the pieces were lost forever along with hair ties and parts of pony toys that are still scattered throughout the sands of Egypt.

If there had been an addendum to the Big Ten, I’d be willing to bet it would have been something like this:

1. Thou shalt ask thy parents if we are there yet, 40 million times in the first 30 seconds of the trip.

2. Thou shalt not covet thy sister’s My Little Pony until the vehicle is going 75 miles per hour in the rain surrounded by very large trucks hauling flammable fuel tanks.

3. Thou shalt ask for a drink five minutes after Mommy asks if you want a drink and you say no. After Mommy climbs back into her seat and you hear the seat belt snap, immediately ask for a drink.

4. Thou shalt wake the baby with screechy sounds seconds after the baby falls asleep. Thus starting a medley of uncontrollable noise.

5. Thou shalt talk louder than a jet engine.

6. Thou shalt not sleep.

7. Thou shalt not stop kicking the seat.

8. Thou shalt tell Mommy and Daddy you have to go potty 45 seconds before you actually potty.

9. Thou shalt not eat anything but McDonald’s.

10. Thou shalt not stop any of these commandments until you have made your mother and father contemplate jumping out of the moving vehicle.

Of course, I’m being silly. Every year it does get easier to travel with toddlers.

Just kidding. I’m lying.

So far, I’ve learned three things about road tripping with toddlers: 1) It’s a cheap form of marriage counseling, 2) toddlers don’t care about your stupid car activities, and 3) the phrase, “Are we there yet?” will drive you completely out of your mind.

Just like the Exodus, every road trip with our two toddlers is like leading 600,000 people from one land to another. Only, we’re a lot more confused than Moses, and our road trips look a lot like what “The Flight of the Bumblebee” sounds like.

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