Travel Survival Kit, Part 1

Anyone who has ever traveled with young children realizes that there is much more involved than everyone grabbing a book and a pillow and having a peaceful day in the van. At least they will after the first time they try this method!

Our kids are pretty darn good travelers. They have done a lot of it in their short lives, and most of the time, are pretty good about entertaining themselves while in the vehicle. Jude has the most experience of course, having taken the 30-hour drive to San Bernardino, CA with us at the tender age of 13 months. Of course, he was sick, constipated and crying most of the way home, but that's another story...

Anyway. When we made the 12-hour day home from Writing-On-Stone this spring, the boys all did great until the very end. Twelve hours in a vehicle is a long time for anyone.

So, I was picturing this 12-hour day in my head as I was planning our route southward, and I multiplied it by five. Immediately, I had this deep certainty right down to the parts of my soul that reside in my left baby toenail that drastic measures must be taken--I. MUST. PREPARE. Not just ordinary throw-stuff-in-a-backpack-'cause-we're-goin'-to-Papa's-house preparation. This is much more serious than that. And so, the Travel Survival Kit was born.

We're not talking edible candles and space-age, shiny blankets. That ain't gonna do a thing to entertain three high-energy boys for five days in a vehicle. So, in this post and the next one, I will outline my drastic measures.

First off, thanks to an idea I got from Angela, I decided we needed some new music mixes. Normally, we alternate listening time in the van between "stuff-the-kids-like" and "stuff-Mommy-likes." Had it ever occurred to me that these could be one and the same? Nope, not until I read Angela's post. I promptly made up four new mix CDs, and while I downloaded a few tunes off Napster, most of these were (scarily enough) already in my collection. Yes, even Stompin' Tom Connors.

This is our favourite list so far:

1. The Lion Sleeps Tonight - The Tokens (Of course, the kids all think this is "from" The Lion King. Ha!)
2. (Meet) The Flintstones - Studio Group
3. There's No Tune Like a Show Tune - Jerry Herman (from Parade)
4. Coffee In A Cardboard Cup - from 70, Girls, 70 (Every time it plays, Noah says, "I yike dis song!")
5. The Ketchup Song - Stompin' Tom Connors
6. One - from A Chorus Line
7. When You're Good To Mama - Queen Latifah (from Chicago)
8. Spiderman - Moxy Früvous
9. Winnie The Pooh - yes, the original
10. I Can Do That - from A Chorus Line
11. You Gotta Have A Gimmick - from "Gypsy" (Of course, I didn't realize until right. now. that this is about stripping! This is actually the recording I have, sans all the banter at the beginning.)
12. King of Spain - Moxy Früvous
13. Jolly Holiday - Dick Van Dyke, Julie Andrews (from Mary Poppins)
14. Loves Me Like A Rock - The O'Jays (from The Fighting Temptations)
15. I Can't Do It Alone - Catherine Zeta-Jones, Renée Zellweger (from Chicago)
16. Once In Love With Amy - Ray Bolger (from Where's Charlie? In case you are not familiar with this great tune, check out a performance of it here.)
17. Feet Do Yo' Stuff - from Hallelujah, Baby!
18. Conga - Rosalind Russell (from Wonderful Town)
19. I've Got Rhythm - Judy Garland (from Crazy For You)
20. The Canadian Lumber Jack - Stompin' Tom Connors
21. All I Care About - Richard Gere (from Chicago)
22. Bud The Spud - Stompin' Tom Connors
23. With A Little Bit of Luck - Stanley Holloway (from My Fair Lady. Of course, I was thinking as I was humming along to it yesterday that Alfred P. Doolittle's "most original moralist in England" thoughts may not be something I want programmed into my kids. Oops.)
24. You're Never Fully Dressed Without A Smile - from Annie

You probably noticed the high density of show tunes. Who knew? Moms like show tunes, kids like show tunes. But really--what's not to love? ;-)