You Learn a Lot About Your Kids in 40 Hours in a Car Over Four Days

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A highlight from our trip was adopting some new parenting tactics. First, the good. We realized that our kids are troopers. They can hang in the plane or car like no one else. Granted, they are now also vidiots (vid-e-ots: humans that excel at playing video games; recognizable by their permanently cupped hands and calloused, arthritic thumbs). I challenge any one of you to navigate Angry Birds or Oregon Trail like they can. But they are mostly well-behaved, gracious travelers.
We also realized that they whine.  A lot.  A whole heck of a lot. We know it’s normal and definitely understandable given that we literally strapped them down in the car for about 6 hours each day in Portland after putting them on three airplanes over the course of 12 hours to get there. But we still want to suggest that Halloween become a gift giving holiday. We’ll both take a set of Bose noise cancellation headphones, please. If you’re on a budget, a set of construction plugs from the Home Depot would be equally as welcome. If you’re feeling especially generous, buy a few extra so we can share with those who sit on the plane in our general vicinity.
Finally, we realized that they are slowly building a Napoleon-sized, shared-throne, tag-team tyrannical empire whose philosophy is wear ‘em down however you can so we get what we want.  But we’re fighting back. We’re not answering or acknowledging them unless they talk nicely. And we don’t care if they are screaming at the top of their lungs in a crowded space. We refuse to respond unless they have a nice tone of voice and use manners. (Yes, that may have been us in PDX. Yes, Little G was punching her fists down to the ground while screaming she wanted to eat her yogurt while she walked. No, she did not win.) We know it will be annoying for you and any others in the area when they are freakin’ out (see headphones note above – just ask, we’ll let you borrow them until the freakin’ out is over). But you’ll thank us one day when they are polite and nice and considerate to everyone around them. It’s probably not going to be tomorrow. Or even next month. But it WILL happen. They will not be rude, wild screaming banshees whose every sentence starts with ‘I want…’. We promise!

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goingwestcoastal October 9th, 2011 1 comment prep / the move
  1. allison

    I love this…. and I feel ya. My main goal in life is to raise kind, polite, grateful kids. After hanging with your children I can say you are well on your way. The true mark of a kid is how they behave when thier parents are not around.

    October 17th, 2011 // Reply

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