On a recent trip to visit family about two hours away from home, the girls started saying, "Are we there yet?" I have to say I don't like this development.
When they were infants, we would time our trips so we could feed them before we left and they would sleep most of the way. If they woke up, they would play with the toys above their infant carriers. When they were toddlers, they would play with some toys and I'd read them books while Daddy drove. In the preschool years, we would read books and let them watch videos.
"Are we there yet?" means the girls are no longer entertained by the videos. We need a new travel strategy.
If there is one thing I remember from our family car trips, it is how much we loved annoying my parents by saying, "Are we there yet?" We said it over and over again until my Dad threatened to leave us on the side of the road. We never really worried about being left on the side of the road because we knew this meant Dad would have to pull over. If there was one thing we knew, it was that Dad only pulled over when the gas tank was empty. As long as he had gas in the station wagon, he wasn't going to waste time pulling over.
The first few times the girls asked, "Are we there yet?" we simply answered and told them to watch the video. By the tenth time they asked, I told them I would turn off the video and they would have to talk to us the rest of the trip if I heard that question again. This worked the rest of the drive.
For the next trip, I need a new strategy. I am thinking about bringing some other things, like crayons and coloring books, to keep them busy. I bring some easy books for them to practice reading.
Most importantly, I cannot let them know how annoying the phrase it. When they figure out how much it annoys me, it will become a game of "how much can we annoy Mom."