Saturday, June 29, 2013

Road trip: hello, Tennessee!

Maybelle, Uncle Trey, Olivia, and I are in Tennessee!  I will have plenty of stories to tell from this trip, but let me start with the travel itself.  Uncle Trey, Maybelle, and I had about nine hours on the road on Thursday (in the world's largest SUV which my dad rented for us--that thing is so huge that I have to climb up into it).

Maybelle remains an excellent traveler.  Like, truly excellent.  That's really what this blog post is about.

For the first four hours of the trip, she did the following things:

  • Played with Lela and the girls, having them sing songs from Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat and Oklahoma.  They spent quite a bit of time on "Jacob and Sons" (which isn't the name of the song, but that's how I remember it).
  • Read each of the books I brought along.  And read them.  I listened to her reading Listen to My Trumpet, a book I haven't read to her for several weeks.  She actually read the entire thing aloud, including all the wonderful sounds Piggie's trumpet makes.  This is a very good book--few words on the page so that Maybelle can follow along, but really cute and funny so that the adult enjoys it, too.  (Thank you, Amanda Hollinger, for this birthday present last August!)
  • Said "Mama!" occasionally, but wasn't requesting anything--just confirming that I was still up front.
  • Threw the girls on the floor and then said, "I want help, please!" to get me to pick them up.
Then after lunch, I was in the back seat with her so that Olivia and Trey could be in the front seats.  Maybelle remained an excellent traveler, but for the last five hours this required a tiny bit more effort on my part.  We did some little things to entertain her, like playing the soundtrack to Mary Poppins.  And then I had to do things that were a bit more labor intensive.  For instance:
  • I played "gimme five" with her for an hour.  That's not an exaggeration.  Here's how the game works:  I say, "Gimme five!" and she does it.  Then she flips her hand over and I give her five.  Then we both scream, "Right on!"
  • I sometimes switched this off with a new game she thinks is hilarious, the "Gimme five--too slow!" game, where I pull my hand away as hers is coming down.  This game doesn't get old to her.  She yells, "Too slow!" and laughs and laughs.
  • And then we had probably thirty minutes, interspersed in the "gimme five" games, of "This little piggie."
As these back seat activities were happening, adult conversation was going on up front.  Sometimes I wanted to be involved, but I'd have to make my comments in between the "right on!" and the next "gimme five!"

I never had to pull my computer out and play DVDs for Maybelle.  She never threw a fit.  She announced when she needed to potty, and we'd stop and I'd escort her into whatever bathroom we found.  Only one time was that a repulsive experience--we were in the middle of nowhere, and she said, pretty intensely, "Potty!  Pee in the potty!"  I encouraged her to hold it, that we would find something.  Hold it!  Hold it!  She did.  And what we found was a truck stop that was...icky.  She peed a lot, and then we scrubbed our hands and arms quite aggressively.

Trey wouldn't even come inside.  That's how unwelcoming the place was.  But when you're holding the hand of a four year old and looking desperately for the restroom sign, people are generally accommodating. 

A long but successful road trip.  All day, Maybelle was saying things like, "First yogurt, then Nonni and Poppi's house."  And when we got to my parents' house, she was delighted.


  1. I'm very envious about the RV. I've always wanted to ride in one. And please tell Maybelle that I know every single word to every song on the soundtrack of Joseph -- my sister and I listened to it obsessively as children! It is, quite possibly, the only musical I can bear!

  2. Benjamin travels in a similar way with one BIG difference....after spending a week in Nashville, we drove Bennie home. During the 8 hour trip he asked, "Are there yet?" 93 times! (We kept data)-