This morning is overcast and cool. Silas has been in the bathroom for about 20 minutes, as he often is, and I just caught Eden spitting into a play tea cup "making tea." At least it's quiet. I am sitting at the table with my hair unbrushed, wearing a hoodie, drinking tea. At 8:26, we have been up, at least mostly up, for about 4 hours. Oh, transition.
It is a good week to transition, though -- the last week of summer before the flurry of new routine. We flew home on Labor Day Sunday -- a day, it turns out, when no one flies. Out of the blue on the first leg, Ben upgraded me to first class alone (glory!), and on the second leg we had 6 seats to ourselves. Back in Costa Mesa, friends invited us over for a burgers with guacamole and jalapenos -- I felt quite cared for.
We traveled so much this summer, in car and plane, so here are some of my favorite tricks/activities:
*my recent favorite: a little pair of plastic scissors, a glue stick and a small notebook (or printer paper folded or any paper) -- Eden and I cut up the airline magazines and glue pictures for a long time
*a roll of colored tape -- I cut shapes and strips for a long time, while Silas and Eden made designs in their books. We even cut a little triangles for each fingertip to make scary claws (my mom's idea) -- funny.
*a pack of gum each -- a treat, and Eden will seriously watch me blow bubbles for 20 minutes
*a box of band aids apiece -- Eden sits and opens band aid after band aid and puts them on her legs and in her notebook (and, of course, on me). Silas mostly loves the possession of a box of toy story band aids and opens them to see who is on the next one -- wasteful but time consuming.
*Silas is a movie-watcher for at least part of the flight, which, of course, is easy. Scholastic has a box set of movies at Costco that are the old library films of books (essentially the book read aloud) that are nice to weave in with Pixar films...
*a zipper pouch of odds and ends in my bag -- a mirror, a comb, some matchbox cars, measuring spoons -- whatever I can grab as I pack. The randomness interests them, the cars make a game etc.
*on our last three road trips, I had gallon-sized, themed ziplock bags (Annemarie's advice)-- a kitchen bag with plates and whisks and toy pots, an art bag with a roll of colored tape, a vehicle bag, a little animal/doll bag, a lego bag. Separate bags = slow release
*legos and markers both tend to pose problems on planes or in cars because of the little pieces and rolling factor, I brought little trays -- anything will work for this, the lid of a lego box, a shoebox lid, a toaster oven pan -- which they both settled on their laps and used a lot.
*I also always have a little emergency pocket -- mints or chocolate or lolly pops or some surprise to distract in the midst of a loud tantrum. magical.
*a little magna-doodle
What didn't work: -the crayola markers that write only on special paper -- not very juicy or fun to use
-same story with the old school activity books with the magic pen -- Silas really likes these but can't quite do them himself yet.
-triangular crayons -- thought this would be a good idea because they wouldn't roll, but they seemed to break a bit more easily and we lost them just as readily as a normal crayon
-ear buds fall out of their ears constantly, but headphones work, even adult size, if I fold a blanket on the top of their heads or put a little stuffed animal there (always funny). We also found child-sized headphones at Target.
I would love to hear your ideas, too -- please post!