Road Trips!

Road Trips!

Being on a four plus hour road trip with a five year old can only be described as interesting, and long! Like about ten hours. We went up yesterday to see the other grandkids, stayed overnight and returned today. It is understating the obvious to say I’m exhausted, and those who are grandparents will understand. I wasn’t even the one driving.

Thank goodness for iPads, when in wifi range, which was not a lot of the time once we’d left the metropolitan outreaches. I forgot to download (not that I actually know how) some of the video clips the granddaughter likes, so we were reduced to I Spy to pass the time, after the usual time fillers were not to her liking. When did young children learn the phrases: I’m bored, or That’s boring? I’m pretty sure it would have been a good swot on the rear end, and probably more than one, had we said that when we were that age. When we were at home, we were told to play outside, no matter the weather, and to use our imagination. Personally, I think we did really well at it. We climbed trees, and made up games. Yes, the rules kept changing, depending on who was winning or losing, but that was part of the fun. We generally kept ourselves occupied and out of the way of the adults. Nowadays, it seems to be them demanding I want, rather than the adults asking Would you like? But that could just be the grumbles of one tired Grannie.

Back to I Spy. We all know the rules: I Spy with my little eye something beginning with (and name a letter of the alphabet). I said C, but was happy to go with K , as they have the same sound. How on earth does Bunyip get to be her answer? I know I teach Special Education, however … They had read a book about a bunyip in the bush, and she saw one, apparently. Personally, I wanted to have what she had had! It’s been a long time since the 70s, but I remember those days! It would have made the road trip, not to mention the game, so much more interesting! Anyhoo … We, meaning me, decided to go for colours instead. Now, this little girl is one smart cookie, and had us on our toes. She chose red. There’s not a lot of red in the bush which, as we know, stretches on for miles and miles and miles in the Australian outback. And there’s not a lot of red inside the car either, once we’d gone through my t’shirt, the lights on the dash etc. And guess what it was? Ariel’s hair on her water bottle! Because we would know that! After that, the P-i-C faded from the game pretty quickly, and his excuse of I’ve got to concentrate on driving was pretty poor form I thought. So that left me and the five year old to battle it out. Just what I wanted to do on a Sunday afternoon, knowing there were at least three loads of washing to do, plus a pile of ironing, on our arrival home. Sleep was more my preferred activity until then. It was not a great weekend: my Lotto numbers hadn’t come up, and neither had my luck in the car. Games it was to be … for the next couple of hours, at the very least. I’ve never looked forward so much to housework in my entire life!

But there is a God. Eventually, there was a crackle of the radio, faint at first and intermittent, which excited me no end. It meant we were getting back into civilization, and that meant WIFI! Hallelujah! My previous long speech about too much time on electronic devices, and what it was doing to her eyesight went right out the window. I practically threw the iPad at her, already loaded up on Youtube, for her to choose one of the clips I consider to be American trash, at the best, and downright shit, at the other end of my scale of what not to watch. I got off my high horse, and decided to let her watch whatever she wanted, for as long as it would take to get home. Because I’ve reached sixty, I’ve decided I could become the Grannie who allows the grandies to get away with murder, if it suits my agenda. I only have the energy to fight one battle at a time, and keeping my eyes open for the rest of the road trip was the one I wanted to lose. So it was a win-win situation for the five year old, and the Grannie twelve times her age, while P-i-C was able to have some peaceful time too. Discounting the snores from the passenger seat, of course; he just turned up the radio and sang along to drown them out.

That’s how you do a happy road trip. Next time, I’m catching a plane!

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