The great American family vacation road trip–a time for bonding and sharing each other’s interests. A time for pulling your hair out one by one.
As long as Americans pile the kids in the car for a family vacation, they are doomed for the anxieties that come with the mind-numbing boredom of a very long road trip. After a short while into the trip, the fidgeting starts. The inevitable discussion about who hit whom first is under debate. Good feeling’s gone.
As it happens, once the children have seen a couple grazing cows and a horse pasture, they pretty much don’t need to see it again. Rolling hills and scenic mountains served their purpose a great many miles back, but now, who really cares? And who really gives a hoot what they’re growing in these widespread fields anyway!
So here you are, only a couple hours into the trip, with the entire day ahead of you, and the whining starts. “Are we there yet?”
Never fear! Keep in mind those awesome car trip games we used to play as kids? The age-old “Rat Poop” game in which the other player tries to guess your thing. Then, of course, the license plate game options: See if you can spell all 50 states, make a phrase out of the plate letters or see who can add up the numbers correctly.
Car trip games are really terrific entertainment for the children, but when 20 Questions suddenly turns into 20 reasons why you are bothering me, then it’s time to move on until the scuffling accelerates.
Unlike past generations, today there’s a simple solution. Put in a DVD movie. Just slide that little disc boldly into the slot, and the family road trip takes on fresh scenery–Shrek, Nemo, Woody and Buzz. The whining stops. Restless small bodies settle down, and the car mercifully becomes surrounded by contentment. Suddenly, the trip becomes a lot simpler.
Okay, so now you are thinking enjoyment of the journey is lost. The family vacation is a bust. Relax, already! True, the countryside is becoming just a faint flicker in the background, but consider the fact that in the event that you make the most of getting to your destination, then you will bring home great memories of the entire trip. In reality, TV provides a welcome sanity for the long road trips. Thus, let modern technology take over. Enjoy it!
If you are still having difficulty accepting defeat to the state-of-the art, consider days gone by when fidgety children were free to move around. Maybe you can recall sitting at the back of the station wagon or hatchback playing board games or working on small paper jobs. Can’t do that now. For safety, the small ones are strapped in their special seats and the older ones are buckled up tight. Not much freedom there. The great American road trip has forever changed.
So the next time you hit the street, throw in these DVD movies. Your sanity may depend on it.
A word of caution I must add. As parents come to rely on DVDs as their survival against hours of back-seat complaining and clashing, DVD players won’t solve all issues. There can be fewer”are we there yets,” but finally new squabbles of”it is my turn to pick” or”I do not want to watch that” will erupt. Isn’t modern technology great?