This past week was an incredibly busy one for us traveling in the car back and forth to family and friends for holiday, wedding and birthday festivities. Much of the time involved Sarah being in her car seat for long spurts of time.
It first started with the day before Thanksgiving driving to a wedding typically a two and a half hour drive away. We expected to be in the car for likely a bit longer due to the holiday traffic and to stop once or twice along the way for potty and food breaks and some run around time for Sarah. But, due to the crazy holiday traffic, likely the worst I have ever experienced, we could only make one stop along the way as arrival to the wedding we would have been very, very late. On top of it all, because of the insanity of the traffic, another two hours got added on to our commute. We factored in extra travel time but didn't expect this.
As a result we made sure to have a portable DVD player in the car to keep Sarah occupied outside of the typical car games and activities we do. I have to say thank goodness for having this electronic device as it saved our lives that day. Normally, I don't like Sarah to be exposed to too much television time but knowing how stressful the drive could have become with the long hours and stress associated with traffic and Sarah potentially flipping a gasket from boredom it was what was needed for all involved.
Sarah was then in the car for another unplanned two hours that same night as we were not able to make our way to friends who were going to babysit. (Sorry Jessica and Amy for the last minute cancellation) We had to instead drop me off first at the wedding alone, with little time to get to the sitter and back to the wedding in time for the ceremony, and for Sarah and Daniel to then go all the way to my parent's home. Fortunately, thanks to friends I was able to get to my parent's home after the wedding safe and sound. (Thanks Sal and Nori)
Bummed by all of this Daniel was then convinced Sarah was going to be fussy and cranky in the car. With the movies on DVD fortunately Sarah was incredibly patient and seemingly understanding of the situation. If anything, she was content during an otherwise stressful situation for Daniel and I. Despite not being able to dance with my hubby and share in the joy of this wedding with my honey I was glad to know that Sarah was okay and content, not giving Daniel a hard time, and all-in-all she a great time with her grandparents once she arrived at their house.
Nonetheless, when push comes to shove sometimes having video solutions available during long car trips especially at night when it's hard to see in the car to do other activities, for kids, this is a valuable solution worth considering.
I have come to realize that the nature of situations like this warrant the help of television or videos to help a child remain calm and comfortable. I know that I need to research further other car games and activities for toddlers. Often times we do much with her in the car but once sun sets our car activities become limited especially if Sarah's not ready for sleep.
Any ideas you want to share I am fully open to. In the meantime, you can be sure that I won't be leaving home for any long trips without DVD support.