This blog will NOT be about tips and tricks for a successful road trip with a 19-month-old. Yesterday we drove 10 1/2 hours from Kansas City to Denver, and it was the longest 10 1/2 hours of my life. We woke the baby up at 5:40 a.m. Kansas City time and put her directly into the car. She was jammie-clad and still in her nighttime diaper, since I never usually change her until 7:30 or so. She was a little excited, because let's face it, it's exciting to be in the car when you should be sleeping. It was still dark out, but I figured she'd fall asleep once we left the bright city lights.
Nope. We stopped for breakfast at 6:45, a good hour before we planned. I thought maybe if she had some food in her stomach and a clean diaper on she might be more inclined to go back to sleep. Wrong again. By the time we were finished with breakfast the sky was light with the promise of the rising sun and she wanted to "salos." (Translated = color.) I let her color on her magna-doodle for awhile.
Now on a normal day, she goes down for a morning nap at 8:30. Yes I realize she's a little old to be taking a morning nap, but she loves it, and I'm not forcing her to give it up. The car really is a perfect place to sleep for kids. It's boring and the dull hum of the engine should put anyone to sleep. Not her. She chattered and yelled and read a book until about 10:45 when she finally fell asleep. At 11:30 we had to stop for gas, and that sleeping princess woke right up. So we found a place to eat for lunch.
So now we all had full bellies, a full gas tank, and plenty of boring scenery to keep us company. I thought with the early hour and her short tiny nap, she'd fall asleep again in no time. Not a chance. She didn't fall asleep until about 2:45, well past her normal 1:00 nap time. She decided to fall asleep just as we were entering the city limits of Denver.
I'm sure I could have handled the car ride better for her. I had the magna-doodler, a board book (that I had to take away because she was chewing on the edge and ripping off the soggy cardboard) and several stuffed animals and toys for her to play with. But mostly she was bored. And NOISY.
So don't look here for tips on keeping a toddler occupied on a long car trip. It's something I keep googling myself.