So here's how we maintain our sanity on long distance drives.
- Car seats and seat belts - Best thing. EVER. You can't use strait jackets so this is the next best thing.
- Essentially get the kid used to a car seat from day one. Alternatively tolerate the squalling for a couple of weeks, stay firm and you are set. (Same logic for getting said kid to sleep in a separate room). Optional: Get the Mother Care review baby mirror which is kinda cute but mostly pointless once baby is used to the seating layout.
- Lots and lots of potable water, along every door. It will be used for drinking, cleaning baby/kid, cleaning you up. Basically everything other than buffing the car.
- Nice roomy large plastic bag to catch all the crap that travelling with kids entails. Hook it against the front seat and away from longer little legs. Use it for everything that is icky including discarded food items and empty out at your next rest stop/food stop and continue until unbearably smelly in which case replenish with a new bag after safely discarding former.
- Get the older child (if above 4/5 and reading) to read every sign and act as navigator (Even if you have GPS). Makes them feel important and well, less bored. To be honest, mine was better than the GPS which goofed up a lot over obscure village roads.
- A ginormous set of baby wet wipes - the 1000 variety with bum softening agents being purely optional. You will be cleaning sticky faces and grubby hands a whole lot more than bums.
- No nursery rhymes in the car. Period. My rule of thumb - Get your license and THEN you get to choose your music. Driving from Mumbai to Mercara listening to Itsy Bitsy, I should think NOT!
- A big carton below kiddy feet full of kiddie 'healthy' treats and not the sugary sort that induce throw-up. For baby, I swear by the Gerber dry snacks wholeheartedly abhor the veggie mush (godawful if you are considering the Indian palate) however the fruit variant mash is tolerable. Britannia oat meal and crackers work a treat as do cheese cubes.
- Keep bibs handy as well as hand sanitiser -duh!
- It's not really all that bad but it does require a steely resolve and a lot of patience - which is a bit rich coming from me;) A semi-loud music system also helps. Okay just kidding. Nonetheless, it is worth it because you can stop when you want to and explore slightly pokey, out-of-the-way places (assuming the kids are awake and conducive to poking around aforesaid out-of-the-way place)
FOR THE RECORD
Miss V (Current: 21 Months)
- 6 months trial run: Mumbai-Murud
- 8 months longer run: Mumbai-Goa
- 15 months longest so far: Mumbai-Bangalore-Coorg
Mr Ved (Current: 6 years)
- 17 Months: Vizag-Chennai
- 2.5 years: Wellington to a tour of Malabar coast(And many, many more trips since -Maha-Gir, Udaipur, Ranakpur, TN-Mumbai etc)
Books that I have read lately
Alice Munroe is a pleasant discovery. But here's the rub - it is very dissatisfying and yet so splendidly written, Runaway is like a course of hors d'oeuvres with no main course in sight. Titillating, tantalising, wets your appetite and yet leaves you craving for more. Shrugging off the conventional short story mechanism aka Deus ex machina which I am self-confessedly rather used to, these stories hang in the air - light as powder and yet heavy with intent. This is my first Munroe so I am a bit puzzled by the jumps in time and her stories that do not talk about anything and yet say so much. Passion is my pick about a woman who discovers her own sexuality with minimal fuss but Tricks is the one that fits the perfect story in my head - a chance unhappy mistake ruins a lifetime. Definitely worth a read but in direct contrast to Gillian, this one has no endings really.
Dark Places (Gillian Flynn): After 'Gone Girl' (the book) I should have known better to expect a mystery that will keep me hanging till the end...on tenterhooks. In typical 'Gone Girl' style, 'Dark Places' starts off enticingly enough with a really interesting concept based around a 'Kill Club'. Yup, it's all good but somewhere around 60% (Sorry, Kindle) she quickly begins tying the loose threads and ties them together into a pretty little bow that is jus too neat and too pat - a random third party emerges as sheer coincidence, people who matter just vanish and the wicked Satanic witch just trots along 40 kms down the road and vanishes off the face of the Earth. Flynn is a fab writer, she is really good in a Michael Connelly in drag strain but she wants to present a smug solution and that kills it. I like some threads to remain loose:(