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Making the Drive Time Fly

Fof3 posed the question last week while I was traveling (good timing, by the way!), so here goes:

What are the best car games for travel sanity?

And yes, we know that many folks rely heavily on in-car DVD players, handheld video games and iPods. But when all that's just gotten to be too much or too boring, the old-fashioned all-family chatter in the car can be both fun and bonding.

During our trip last week, we taught the boys 20 questions. They're still playing it daily -- in the house, in the car, wherever. So, clearly it was a big hit. Before that took hold the family favorite was "I Spy." My brother and his wife have used the game to successfully visit art museums as well, having the kids "I Spy" objects in paintings.

Other winners from Fof3:

* GHOST: In this word game, the players alternate saying letters to spell a word. Finish off the word, and you lose, getting a letter in the word ghost. Lose five times and your competitor wins.

* Take turns singing a song

* The Quiet Game: First to make noise loses

And my family's favorites when I was a kid:

* Spotting all the state license plates. This has gotten much more complicated now that all the states have so many plates. For older kids, give them maps and have them mark off the states as they find the plates. Get extra points for out-of-country plates.

* Finding the alphabet on signs and buildings. No letters on moving vehicles allowed.

* Hold your breath through the tunnels. (Yes, yes, I know, this might not have been Mom and Dad's brightest idea!)

Sites such as MomsMinivan.com and Ann Zeise's homeschooling site have some good ideas as well. For instance, encourage your kids to keep a travel journal. Or create scavenger hunt lists ahead of time for the kids to follow on the drive. Or count cows on the sides of the car. Or add up numbers on street signs.

What travel games are hits in your family? And which are the duds to be avoided at all costs?

By Stacey Garfinkle |  July 1, 2008; 7:00 AM ET  | Category:  Preschoolers , Tweens
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Comments


When we travelled with children, we played a game of making up sentences where the words began with license plate letters. For instance, a plate has LFB 123, one sentence could be Let Freedom Be. Even when my children were teenagers, they still liked playing this game.

Posted by: SB in DC | July 2, 2008 7:42 AM | Report abuse

My stepdaughter, husband and I used to play variations of the "extreme alphabet game" -- only one person was allowed to use a letter from any sign or car, or sometimes no license plates allowed, or sometimes only license plates, or there was a time limit, or the adults had to find two of every letter to one for my stepdaughter. We spent a lot of hours playing this game on the weekly trips back and forth to PA where my stepdaughter lived.

I found a cool game called "Name Its" that is a small deck of cards on a key ring. Each card says things like "name things that are sparkly/smelly/red/big". We have a great time playing it as a family in the car. I also always pack a "trip box" for each child, something my mother did as well for us on long rides. A new book, stickers, some small toys, snacks, their water bottle, etc. We also listen to books on CD or tape (get them out of the library) and sing.

We don't have a DVD player in the car and if I have my way, we won't ever have one. It is not a crime to be bored and let your imagination stretch a bit, even when you're trapped in the car with loved ones.

Posted by: WorkingMomX | July 2, 2008 7:51 AM | Report abuse

We bought a used police crusier. You know the one with a window between the seats the cage in back and no door handles. Works great!

Posted by: More practical | July 2, 2008 7:56 AM | Report abuse

Get extra points for out-of-country plates.

I think Hawaii and possibly New Mexico would qualify!

Posted by: The states | July 2, 2008 7:58 AM | Report abuse

as a kid we drove from ny to al every summer. took about 22 hrs. we played punch bug with the vw beetles by color, we slept, played cards and had mini magnetic board games like backgammon and monopoly, life etc

Posted by: nall92 | July 2, 2008 8:10 AM | Report abuse

Whenever possible we travel at night. We put the children in their PJs and put them in the back seat with their blankies and pillows. The sleep most of the way except for rest stops. It is so exciting to see them wake up in the morning and find that they are in Grandma's driveway. It is like magic to them still.

Posted by: Donna | July 2, 2008 8:17 AM | Report abuse

We just had this experience this past weekend. Normally, we try to travel in the evenings, so the kids fall asleep in the car, but that didn't work out this time. We bought my 6-year-old a MadLibs book and that was perfect for him. He got to practice some reading and writing, and was very excited to learn about adjectives! Even my 3-year-old thought the stories were funny.

Posted by: Jen | July 2, 2008 8:35 AM | Report abuse

I just don't want to take the chance with little precious traveling. So I have the grandparents come to us.

The statstic that the number one accidental killer of child is transportation accidents just frightens me!

Posted by: Cecilia | July 2, 2008 8:36 AM | Report abuse

Xbox/nintendo plugged into the rear power with its own portable screen works great. they want to play. Time screams by. no PJ's required.

Posted by: xbox for travel | July 2, 2008 8:40 AM | Report abuse

1. 6-8 hours long book on CD in a CD changer or on ipod connected to speaker system (several of them, if necessary)
2. Nintendo DS or PSP
3. Kindle (always on-line)
4. phone with web an TV, as long as you are not driving so fast that cell towers can't transfer your signal reliably (under 120 mph you'll be fine)

Posted by: Nine | July 2, 2008 8:40 AM | Report abuse

Last summer (and coming up again in about a month) we drove to a beach house 14 hours away from our home with a 12 year old and 7 year old twins. I created beforehand what they all now call my "bag-of-tricks". I keep it up front with me and hand out new items when things start deteriorating. In it were a couple of new books for them and one for me to read aloud (hit), children's road atlases (hit), Activity books (not a hit), state lists for the license plate game (not a hit), a couple new DVDs (TV shows bigger hit than movies) - but the star of the trip was a game called "rubberneckers". It's a card game, each player gets a certain number of cards with something they need to find or do - for instance "find a sign with a president's name" or "wave to another car with your foot (extra points if they wave back)". They still talk about it and we still laugh about some of the cards. It has cards that cover country and urban settings but it gets tricky on long stretches of highway with nothing to see. I believe I purchased it online at Barnes and Noble.

Posted by: Up North | July 2, 2008 8:45 AM | Report abuse

From childhood, it was slug bug/bug'em, padiddle (one-headlight cars), and the alphabet game. My mom's favorite game was the quiet game; I'm ashamed to admit how long it took me to figure that one out! She would also stop for cool things -- I still remember a trip when I was 5, when we stopped by the side of the road in W. Texas to look at bison, which I'd never seen before.

Nowadays, we like the "leave at night" approach, but can't do it for the time being, since the boy has entered a stage where traveling amps him up (last time we tried it, he kept his big sister up for 3 hrs). The girl really likes word-find puzzles and simple crosswords; she also likes it when my husband (the uber-geek) quizzes her on math problems. Oh, and books -- if I give her a new book right before we go, that will keep her occupied for quite a while. And coloring always works for a while for both.

We also found a cool magnetic "make your own monster" toy -- basically, a metal box with two different backgrounds, and inside are a bunch of magnetic body parts that you stick to the backgrounds, so you decide what head to put with what body, etc. They also make a more typical dress-up one. The kids love those.

But what we really need is some kind of tray to attach to the carseats to put the games and puzzles and toys on. I remember having something like that as a kid, which made it really easy to play with puzzles and the like.

Posted by: Laura | July 2, 2008 8:45 AM | Report abuse

My husband always drives and he would not like the noise of a nintendo game. I am afraid it might distract him from getting us somewhere safely.

Posted by: Donna | July 2, 2008 8:47 AM | Report abuse

Family car trips were such a huge, wonderful part of my childhood! What happy memories. My favorite game by far was a combination of geography and spelling. One person names a place ("New York"). The next person has to name a place that starts with the last letter of the previous place ("K" in this example). Kazahkstan! The next person has to name a place starting with "N," and so forth. It gets tricky with so many places starting and ending in "A." But, so fun! I can't wait to play such games with my yet-to-be-created kids.

Posted by: Sarah | July 2, 2008 8:51 AM | Report abuse

Audio books are the best traveling entertainment for us. We choose titles the whole family will enjoy, especially the Harry Potter books narrated by the brilliant Jim Dale. Children's classics such as "The Secret Garden" and "Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH" are also great. Our library has a fantastic selection to borrow.

We also make frequent use of the Magna-Doodle, which isn't just for toddlers and pre-schoolers! My daughter likes the "Creativity Game" I invented. I make a random squiggle or shape on the Magna-Doodle, pass it to her, and she has to incorporate what I drew into her own drawing. (My kids assert that a genuine Magna-Doodle is superior to the many knock-offs now available.)

Posted by: Laura | July 2, 2008 8:55 AM | Report abuse

Laura -- I also love the HP books on CD. Jim Dale is fantastic. For anyone who hasn't had the experience, it's wonderful. Also long. I forget which book it is, but one of them weighs in at about 27 hours or something.

Cecelia, when you refer to your child as little precious you are reminding me of both Golum from "The Hobbit" and the serial killer in "Silence of the Lambs". Just sayin'.

Posted by: WorkingMomX | July 2, 2008 9:03 AM | Report abuse

Is Cecilia for real? Or is 'she' supposed to be an over-the-top joke?

Posted by: Just curious... | July 2, 2008 9:03 AM | Report abuse

I've done so many of the suggestions here! And Organic Kid has done some road tripping time with me (NE to NC, NE to TX, NC to Chicago), the drive at night thing doesn't always work (the drive often involves an overnight stay on the road). One that hasn't been mentioned that we do is "Spot the Animal" and you must be somewhat specific (Organic Kid is 10, so that helps). "Bird" isn't enough, it has to be "Cardinal," "Cow" isn't enough, but "Jersey" works fine. Of course, this can be modified for younger kids. But when we started this one, we were surprised how much wildlife we could see. Deer, foxes, oppossum, raccoons, and antelope have all been seen. Another is really silly...we pick out a vehicle, and make up a story about who they are and why they're on the road. Nothing unkind is allowed. Sometimes this gets really detailed; last year on the holidays, Organic Kid came up with a really elaborate story about a young lady driving home from college for semester break, and how she really missed her parents, and how she was doing in school, what she was studying, and everything! She was basing the whole story on the fact that the car had like three laundry baskets full of clothes in the back, and she remembered my story of hauling clothes home for washing when I was in college!

Posted by: OrganicGal | July 2, 2008 9:03 AM | Report abuse

The alphabet game is a hit in our family. this is how it is played (by example):

Me: "I'm thinking of a word and it begins with "B".
Kid #1: Bear?
Me: No
Kid #2: Bicycle?
Me: No.
Kid #3: Bikini?
Me: No, but thats a really, really nice thought.
Kid #4: Bottle?
Me: No, but you're getting close
Wife: Beer?
Me: Correct! How did you read my mind? OK now you're "it".

Wife: "I'm think of a word and it begins with a "D".
me: Divorce?

And so the game goes on and on. the person that guesses it right becomes "It". After 10 wrong guesses, a clue can be requested.

One thing I like about this game is that I can teach my kids words like taciturn, exonerate, predilection, apocryphal, supercilious, resplendent, abrogate, ascendancy, culpable, remittent, renascence, atrophy, auspices, cogency, forensic, consummate, neophyte, maudlin, parlance, fetid, concoct, expound, antidisestablishmentarianism etc... just by guessing when I'm not "it". None the less, my kids all think they are smarter then me. Hahaha! I'll give them credit for that when they graduate from college!

Posted by: Whacky Weasel | July 2, 2008 9:10 AM | Report abuse

jim dale's rendition of harry potter is fabulous. we have a dvd player & use it to play long movies. much to my surprise, my son at age 5 really loved the sound of music. he also liked my fair lady & the a&e version of pride & prejudice. i really like the rubberneckers game idea. i'll have to give that a try. that sounds like it would suit my family's humor.

Posted by: quark | July 2, 2008 9:11 AM | Report abuse

Donna

"My husband always drives and he would not like the noise of a nintendo game. I am afraid it might distract him from getting us somewhere safely."

Ha, ha! Good one! Keep 'em coming!!!


Posted by: Jezebel | July 2, 2008 9:11 AM | Report abuse

Yes, little precious and I are real. Why do you continue to mock me? I am just trying to do my best to protect and raise my child!

Posted by: Cecilia | July 2, 2008 9:16 AM | Report abuse

Growing up and moving across the country on a regular basis, we did a lot of long drives. The parents would put down the back seat in the station wagon and put a couple of inflated air mattresses down, and let us kids have our own private playroom. (Luggage was on the roof.) When your MO is to stop for the night every other night, it lets kids get some sleep. Other than that, it was books, games, and lots of fights. When we got older, the rules included whoever deflates the air mattress has to blow it back up.

When our kids were younger, we did the "leave at night" drill for trips to New Orleans. Made the first day better, at any rate.

Now we just let them bring their iPods and laptops. They watch their own DVDs or sometimes share, and we get peace and quiet.

Posted by: ArmyBrat | July 2, 2008 9:18 AM | Report abuse

Whacky Weasel

"One thing I like about this game is that I can teach my kids words like taciturn, exonerate, predilection, apocryphal, supercilious, resplendent"

Grammar Police!

"None the less, my kids all think they are smarter then me."

They are. Duh.

Posted by: Hall monitor | July 2, 2008 9:19 AM | Report abuse

Yes, little precious and I are real. Why do you continue to mock me? I am just trying to do my best to protect and raise my child!

Posted by: Cecilia | July 2, 2008 9:16 AM

Kids like yours end up beat up in/after school or in rehab after they experience life on their own.

Posted by: Did you know... | July 2, 2008 9:21 AM | Report abuse

Again, you are mocking me and being cruel. My husband, the law enforment officer, will teach little precious all about the real world when the time comes.

Posted by: Cecilia | July 2, 2008 9:25 AM | Report abuse

I committed a "typo." The word is spelled enforcement.

Posted by: Cecilia | July 2, 2008 9:27 AM | Report abuse

Donna, the sound is turned off so there are no distractions for the driver. I wouldn't call it sedation as they like to play "samurai warriors" or some other T rated game.

ArmyBrat, we do the ipod thing too.

Posted by: xbox for travel | July 2, 2008 9:33 AM | Report abuse

"Again, you are mocking me and being cruel. My husband, the law enforment officer, will teach little precious all about the real world when the time comes."

Cecilia

Give it up. You are not fooling me.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 2, 2008 9:34 AM | Report abuse

Cecilia just puts her kids first above all things. Seems a very common, though wrong headed, opinion. so Cecilia is real, but how does anyone know anyone is real? Witness the Ge Real, Get Real, Get Realer discussion from last week.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 2, 2008 9:36 AM | Report abuse

We get a lot of mileage out of Cash Cab.

Posted by: Stroller Momma | July 2, 2008 9:42 AM | Report abuse

"so Cecilia is real, but how does anyone know anyone is real? "

When the writing is "off", it's a clue that something is going on.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 2, 2008 9:47 AM | Report abuse

There is a auto bingo game, I think we got it at cracker barrel. But when you see certain things on the trip (e.g., police car, farm, 65 speed limit sign) you pull little "shade" over that square, until you have bingo. Or just cover the whole board. Lot's of fun. Here's a link. Or you can just search for "auto bingo"

http://www.unclesgames.com/product_info.php/products_id/2269

Secret Can game (kind of a pre- 20 questions game for toddlers). You give three hints, and the others have to guess what is in the "can".

Posted by: Cliff | July 2, 2008 9:58 AM | Report abuse

do the kids with leashes hang their heads out the windows?

Posted by: Anonymous | July 2, 2008 10:00 AM | Report abuse

When a me and my youngin' goes on a trip we play "name that varmit!" They's gittin' right good at spotting squarrel, racoon, rabbit, possom and others littl' rascals!

The bonus be's that whens the youngin' spot a weasel, we's stopp righ there and we get out our rifles. Weasel flambeau is just a mighty fine bonus of rode trips!

There is beeing one game we likes to play "name that oil gusher!" Seems likin' we can only plays that in Texas for somethin' or another.

Posted by: Jed Clampett | July 2, 2008 10:06 AM | Report abuse

"do the kids with leashes hang their heads out the windows?"

Yes, while they are playing with toy guns.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 2, 2008 10:11 AM | Report abuse

so 'off', anyone you disagree with must not be real? Way to self-justify.

favorite car game: read the billboards

Posted by: Anonymous | July 2, 2008 10:14 AM | Report abuse

Cecilia and Donna would make a good "Saturday Night Live" skit. Whoever is posting as them is pretty funny!

Posted by: Anonymous | July 2, 2008 10:14 AM | Report abuse

I don't get the TV/DVD thing in the car. For our family, we'd all be car sick, which is why we also never read or used games where we had to read in the car.

As for games - we did several license plate games. One on finding the states (it was a lot easier when each state had it's own color). Then we'd try to make words out of the plates using the least amount of additional letters, but now with so many personalized plates, this game is not nearly as fun. We also did state capitals for each plate as well to learn them.

My parents made sure we were involved as we traveled down the road whether it was singing along to the radio (or 8 track at the time), or reading the signs, calculating the miles, etc. One year when driving back to Pennsylvania from Florida, we had bought a ticket in the Florida lottery and spent a good deal of the trip determining how we would spend the money if we actually won it.

As a teacher, I can tell you there are a lot of educational opportunities around as you travel, and I worry that most parents want to keep the kids quiet rather than seize on them.

Posted by: amw | July 2, 2008 10:32 AM | Report abuse

Avoid the Never-Ending Song. We experienced that one with a van full of Brownies on a trip to the beach. I'll take Nintendo any day. Parents deserve to enjoy the trip too.

Posted by: nelly | July 2, 2008 10:34 AM | Report abuse

Mad Libs! you can make up your own stories. Kept us sane through a trip to Europe 40 years ago - my parents, 3 kids and a friend in a VW squareback, and my kids love them too. I remember that at 6, one of the funniest words in the language was "Washcloth" (out of context, of course). My daugher's friends play "A my name is Alice" where you have to find names, cargo for your ship, etc all starting with the same letter. And they hold their breath through the tunnels (ill-advised, yes, but no one's fainted yet...)
Animal spotting is good, although no one will ever beat the small nephew of a friend who shouted "Tiger!" When they went back to look, there was a woman with a leopard on a chain. Think they had to retire the trophy for that one...

Posted by: winger | July 2, 2008 10:36 AM | Report abuse

The only regret I have about driving at night is that we miss stopping at the attractions that the children might enjoy seeing. I remember watching the movie, Michael, and how much fun they all seemed to have traveling together. Maybe in a few years when the children are older we can drive during the day and stop at South of the Border for a good lunch and some shopping.

Posted by: Donna | July 2, 2008 10:39 AM | Report abuse

When I was a kid there were a LOT of long car rides; all my extended family lived out-of-state. Our favorite games were ones without names, or ones I don't know the names to. The Initial Game, which is like 20 questions, only you give the initials to a famous person, dead or alive, and go from there. The Traveling Alphabet game, where you start with 'A' and have to give a name, a destination, a mode of transportation and a profession (My name is Alistair, I'm going to Addis Ababa on my Affenpinscher to be an Acrobat. The crazier the better). The Category game, where you pick a category (like brands of cereal or books in the Bible) and keep naming them until one person can't get another one. My mom also loved to sing show tunes. That wasn't my favorite. But I liked car rides, and still do.

Posted by: Mom2Be | July 2, 2008 10:56 AM | Report abuse

Depending on the length of the trip, we start the trip out with a video and try to get a good 3-5 hours pounded out before someone has to go to the bathroom or have to stop for lunch. We tend to chat the closer we get to the location, what are we going to do there, who are we visiting, play a word game.

Happy 4th everyone, and if you do travel this week (with kids) I hope you keep your sanity.

Posted by: Siggy | July 2, 2008 10:59 AM | Report abuse

Donna

"The only regret I have about driving at night is that we miss stopping at the attractions that the children might enjoy seeing. I remember watching the movie, Michael, and how much fun they all seemed to have traveling together. Maybe in a few years when the children are older we can drive during the day and stop at South of the Border for a good lunch and some shopping."

Funnyyyy!! Almost a lawyer's sense of humor...

Posted by: Anonymous | July 2, 2008 10:59 AM | Report abuse

do the kids with leashes hang their heads out the windows?

Posted by: | July 2, 2008 10:00 AM

I just discovered my cat loves to ride in a car! He was totally freaked out when he tried it first time, and now he is the first one to jump in. He is not allowed on the interstate, though, since he behaves like 50s kid: standing on the back seat, peeking out of the sunroof, wandering in the way back. At city speeds he doesn't turn into a projectile. A friend of mine is driving with a guinea pig, who knows to stay away from the pedals :)

Posted by: Nine | July 2, 2008 11:07 AM | Report abuse

"Cecilia and Donna would make a good "Saturday Night Live" skit. Whoever is posting as them is pretty funny!"

Funny - yes. Clever - no.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 2, 2008 11:07 AM | Report abuse

Funny - yes. Clever - no.

Posted by: | July 2, 2008 11:07 AM


Jealousy rears it's ugly head.

Posted by: Green-eyed monster | July 2, 2008 11:11 AM | Report abuse

If Cecilia's owner would purchase a thesaurus so that "precious" isn't the only adjective in her fake arsenal, the world would be a better place.

Posted by: p -yew | July 2, 2008 11:12 AM | Report abuse

"so 'off', anyone you disagree with must not be real? Way to self-justify."

Oh, brother! Here is an example of "off" writing from "Cecilia" today:

"I committed a "typo."

It's a combination of style & content. Duh.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 2, 2008 11:13 AM | Report abuse

BrainQuest is the most fun thing we've found for those moments when we don't crank the tunes up too loud for communication.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 2, 2008 11:13 AM | Report abuse

Things I remember from car trips as a child:

1) Audio Books, every day, after we had stopped for lunch.

2) The previously mentioned license plate game.

3) Earning souvenir money by keeping a running tally of animals with each animal worth a certain amount - cows .01, horses .05 etc. Be careful asigning value, you never know what you will pass. The game ended prematurely on one trip when we passed a llama farm. My father pointed them out, not knowing that each one was worth a dollar.

Posted by: MH | July 2, 2008 11:21 AM | Report abuse

Is this a writing contest or a blog? Maybe some people are writing at work, on a blackberry or are just not good typists. I hardly think you can call someone a fake just because they don't write the way you feel they should - jeez loize.

Posted by: Style and Content | July 2, 2008 11:22 AM | Report abuse

and I worry that most parents want to keep the kids quiet rather than seize on them

goodness, don't seize on your children for heaven's sake. or at least teach them to take out your wallet and put it in your mouth when you do!

Posted by: Anonymous | July 2, 2008 11:26 AM | Report abuse

You are mocking me again. I call my little precious that all the time because my child, and I have only one, is my little precious.


And I said I "committed" a typo because I did not want the hall monitor or whoever else to criticize me for my misspelling or send me off to AA--whatever that is.

Maybe some of you should be "committed."

Posted by: Cecilia | July 2, 2008 11:26 AM | Report abuse

so 'off', anyone you disagree with must not be real? Way to self-justify.

Posted by: | July 2, 2008 10:14 AM

Just when I wonder who could possibly be left roaming the Internet with absolutely no authenticity filter, I read a comment like this.

The continuing success of the Nigerian email scam -- 6 - 10 years after it started - makes perfect sense only if there remain people out there who marry arrogance with "sucker" .

Posted by: gcoward | July 2, 2008 11:28 AM | Report abuse

100 Bottles of Beer on the Wall is a song good for 20 miles.

the beach is 200 miles away. do the math.

Naturally, I felt really drunk when we got there, but surprisingly, I passed the breathalizer test after being pulled over!

Posted by: Heavy Drinkers | July 2, 2008 11:32 AM | Report abuse

"I hardly think you can call someone a fake just because they don't write the way you feel they should - jeez loize."

Take the blinders off, darling. They're not fake because they don't write a certain way. They are fake because their comments don't ring true.

Virginia, There is no Santa Claus, either.

Posted by: Fran | July 2, 2008 11:34 AM | Report abuse

Put the kids in the trunk with a couple of pillows and floor it. As long as we stop every hour and do not take a lot of summer trips, it works out fine for all of us.

Posted by: Vanessa | July 2, 2008 11:37 AM | Report abuse

Cecilia

"And I said I "committed" a typo because I did not want the hall monitor or whoever else to criticize me for my misspelling"

"Committed" a typo is the "off" part of the writing...

"or send me off to AA--whatever that is."


Bingo! It's Father of 4!

Posted by: Pretty easy to figure out | July 2, 2008 11:44 AM | Report abuse

Good for ages 8 to 80. We play an alphabet game but with movie titles. Each person takes turns. Start with "A" Apollo 13, next persons movie has to start with the last letter of previous title. So then "N" Neverending Story, "Y" Yentil, etc..
Another favorite game is counting cows. Players take different sides of the road, can play as teams. Set a end number, say 300. First player to 300 wins. There is a penalty if you drive by a cemetary, you lose all your cows and have to start over.
Driver is the referee on any cow counting disputes. Fun times.

Posted by: NanFan | July 2, 2008 11:50 AM | Report abuse

My youngest child hates being strapped in a car seat for hours and the whining and fussing ruin the whole trip and the entire family arrives at their destination in a foul mood. So for the last few years when we take long trips, I let her go unbelted in the back seat of our minivan as long as she stay quiet. I know it's breaking the law, but thank God the troopers can't see through the tinted windows.

Posted by: comfort comes first | July 2, 2008 11:51 AM | Report abuse

I used to like 'How far can we go before I start throwing up from motion sickness.'

Another favorite was 'How many times do we need to stop for potty stops.'

After we perfected these games we did very little travel as a family.

Posted by: Are we There Yet? | July 2, 2008 11:52 AM | Report abuse

I just don't understand why you continue to mock me. I am certainly not this "Father of 4." I have only one little precious.

I have used my same name with all my comments. Maybe you smart "detectives" should figure out who are all these ones who don't use a name at all.

Posted by: Cecilia | July 2, 2008 12:01 PM | Report abuse

blah, blah, blah, blah, I am a very bored 50 year old government employee with no life, no children and no hobbies, blah, blah, blah, blah.

Posted by: Cecilia | July 2, 2008 12:09 PM | Report abuse

My youngest child hates being strapped in a car seat for hours and the whining and fussing ruin the whole trip and the entire family arrives at their destination in a foul mood. So for the last few years when we take long trips, I let her go unbelted in the back seat of our minivan as long as she stay quiet. I know it's breaking the law, but thank God the troopers can't see through the tinted windows.

Posted by: comfort comes first | July 2, 2008 11:51 AM

I hope you're joking, really I do. The thought of your child being a free projectile if you were to be in an accident should be reason enough for you not to do this.... Safety before comfort always!!!

Posted by: amw | July 2, 2008 12:17 PM | Report abuse

"blah, blah, blah, blah, I am a very bored 50 year old government employee with no life, no children and no hobbies, blah, blah, blah, blah."


I come from an emotionally & physically abusive home. I was harshly judged and excessively shamed as a child. At least one of my parents was a substance abuser. I don't have a good education. And I am immature. Very, very immature.

Posted by: Cecilia | July 2, 2008 12:26 PM | Report abuse

Slightly off-topic.

How do the safety-first people ever leave their homes in the morning?

Do they never dive into a pool that has "No Diving" stenciled along the edge?

Do they never go up in a parachute?

Do they never enlist in the armed forces?

Do they never date anyone their parents do not approve of?

How old do they get before they realize that safety-first is not a way to live, although it ensures they will live longer?

Are they as often as not hypocrites? Is it safey-first for the kids, but mom and dad understand that safety is a relative concept and they make less than perfectly safe, but rational, judgments for themselves on a daily basis?

Posted by: Evelyn | July 2, 2008 12:26 PM | Report abuse

Laura and for anyone else who is looking for a safe soft tray to attach to carseats...
We've had really good luck with the Star Kids Snack and Play Travel Tray (we ordered off of Amazon.com). It's been the best $20 we've spent recently. All you have to do is to tigten the strap around the back of the carseat and buckle it around your child's front. It's made of soft nylon material so its safe in case of an accident, but still firm enough to provide a fairly stable and level surface. Our two year old uses it for books, coloring, snacks, blocks, matchbox cars, and lots of stuff. The tray has raised sides so stuff doesn't roll off. Brilliant. I could use advice from the trenches about traveling with very little ones -- we have a two year old and a four month old. We just took a long drive to see family and did the bedtime thing. Worked pretty well, but mom and dad are still tired.

Posted by: Liz2 | July 2, 2008 12:31 PM | Report abuse

Just mock away, all of you! Just look at how you act on the internet and then wonder why I want to protect my little precious in the way I do.

Posted by: Cecilia | July 2, 2008 12:32 PM | Report abuse

At least one of my parents was a substance abuser.

Posted by: Cecilia | July 2, 2008 12:26 PM

At least one parent? Out of how many 5? 8? Have you misplaced a parent or two under the couch?

Posted by: Yawn | July 2, 2008 12:34 PM | Report abuse

Cecilia

"Just mock away, all of you! Just look at how you act on the internet and then wonder why I want to protect my little precious in the way I do. "

"Mock" = blue collar.
"Look at how you act" = crappy education.

Posted by: Sherlock | July 2, 2008 12:36 PM | Report abuse

To Cecelia,

Don't pay attention to those who "mock" you. They are just the MM's from OB. We used to have such a nice little blog before they came!

Posted by: OB, OB go away | July 2, 2008 12:38 PM | Report abuse

I am always afraid to give my children too much to eat before we start our trip in case they get carsick. I do pack a cooler in case one of them wakes up and is hungry. They just love the baby carrots and celery sticks. I pack a couple of each in those little snack bags (perfect size for the little ones) so they can each have their very own snack. We also make a batch of no butter popcorn if they want something different. They get to choose between water and juice if they are thirsty but only a couple of ounces since we don't want to have to make too many rest stops.

Posted by: Donna | July 2, 2008 12:39 PM | Report abuse


OB, OB go away

"To Cecelia,"

Spelling Police!
Oh, the sweet, sweet irony...

Posted by: Karma | July 2, 2008 12:40 PM | Report abuse

To Cecelia,

Don't pay attention to those who "mock" you. They are just the MM's from OB. We used to have such a nice little blog before they came!

Posted by: OB, OB go away | July 2, 2008 12:38 PM

Right - and you were lucky to get 50 posts a day. We have brought some sunshine here.

Posted by: Former OBer | July 2, 2008 12:42 PM | Report abuse

Donna

"They get to choose between water and juice if they are thirsty but only a couple of ounces since we don't want to have to make too many rest stops."

The kids are off the boob?
What does your husband get to drink?

Posted by: This is soo funny | July 2, 2008 12:43 PM | Report abuse

Liz2 -- thanks!! That's perfect! As to the very little ones, I hate to say it, but DVD players can really help. My son discovered Laurie Berkner on the trip to my dad's last year, and he was transfixed -- kept a highly active 18-month old happy as a clam for well over an hour (he liked Baby Mozart too, but that one bored older sis). Also, if you have room for a parent to sit in the back with the kids, it can help -- hard work, of course, but especially helps with the backwards-facing little ones.

BTW, there appear to be two Lauras today -- I'm not the audiobooks Laura. I'm the Laura from OB, although I've been posting on and off here since the beginning as well. (And all I can say is don't blame OB for the MMs -- the posts over there paled in comparison to some of the vitriol I see here every day!).

Posted by: Laura | July 2, 2008 12:53 PM | Report abuse

We used to have such a nice little blog before they came!

Posted by: OB, OB go away | July 2, 2008 12:38 PM

In Wednesday's episode, a Queen Bee is disturbed to find out that the neighborhood is not gated.

Posted by: Huh? | July 2, 2008 12:57 PM | Report abuse

we play 'hide the beer can'

Posted by: car games | July 2, 2008 12:57 PM | Report abuse

"BTW, there appear to be two Lauras today -- I'm not the audiobooks Laura. I'm the Laura from OB, although I've been posting on and off here since the beginning as well. "

Doesn't matter. Both "Lauras" are equally pretentious bores.

Posted by: Even more funny | July 2, 2008 12:57 PM | Report abuse

The states | July 2, 2008 7:58 AM:
Get extra points for out-of-country plates.

I think Hawaii and possibly New Mexico would qualify!
----

Seriously?!
Come on.
Last I checked, New Mexico was still solidly between Texas and Arizona.

Posted by: Geography police | July 2, 2008 12:59 PM | Report abuse

Doesn't matter. Both "Lauras" are equally pretentious bores.

Posted by: Even more funny | July 2, 2008 12:57 PM


methinks you have never read OB Laura's comments if you consider her pretentious. Boring is in the eye of the beholder, but people who live in glass houses shouldn't throw stones.

Posted by: Ge Real | July 2, 2008 1:00 PM | Report abuse

Love Laurie Berkner. Other good CDs that both the kids and I like: Beethoven's Wig, soundtrack from the movie Cars, Barenaked Ladies (they love If I Had a Million Dollars), and believe it or not Toby Keith. My son's favorite song is Shoulda Been a Cowboy. (They also like the Dixie Chicks. We're politically moderate.)

Posted by: WorkingMomX | July 2, 2008 1:00 PM | Report abuse

I believe the point is the relative rarity of NM and HI tags with respect to Mexico and Canadian tags. One sees more Bahamian tags than HI tags. Especially on I95.

Posted by: geographically knowledgeable | July 2, 2008 1:04 PM | Report abuse

"I believe the point is the relative rarity of NM and HI tags with respect to Mexico and Canadian tags. One sees more Bahamian tags than HI tags. Especially on I95."

Ya think? Wow - thanks for tellin' us. We would NEVER have been able to figger it out by ourselves.

Posted by: Master of the obvious | July 2, 2008 1:07 PM | Report abuse

WMX- Ha! I sing "Shoulda Been a Cowboy" to my daughter when we're playing riding a bronco. That's a college oldie.

Donna- How old are these little popcorn eaters?

Laura rules.

Posted by: atb | July 2, 2008 1:09 PM | Report abuse

"I just discovered my cat loves to ride in a car!"


Mine did too! And I discovered he like s to pee in the car too! Now, he NEVER rides in the car. You too will soon discover the pleasures of cat pee.

Posted by: no cats in the car!! | July 2, 2008 1:12 PM | Report abuse

"methinks you have never read OB Laura's comments if you consider her pretentious."

I get it. You have missed "The Best of OB Laura"

"My grade school daughter is smarter than her teacher..."

"I'm a hag and I can't believe how good looking my daughter is. I mean, people actually stop me on the street, blah, blah blah."

Posted by: Anonymous | July 2, 2008 1:13 PM | Report abuse

NM plates aren't rare...seriously, people live there...and some of those people that lived there, now live here...(!)
From a making broad generalizations view, I see many more Canadian plates on 95 than HI or Bahamas....and can claim to never have seen a Bahama plate (is there such a thing).
glad to see the SUV-driving, DVD watching, imagination sucking population have their voice here.

Posted by: uh - geography | July 2, 2008 1:13 PM | Report abuse

I think Cecelia is really Emily with the hemorrhoids.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 2, 2008 1:20 PM | Report abuse

I read and post on this blog to learn and hear other ideas. I may not have as high an eduction level as some here but if higher education means being hateful and bitter towards other people here, I am not sure I want anymore learning.

I also see that some people have been using the same name as I do. I will say, no, neither of my parents or hubby's parents were abusers of any kind.

Posted by: Cecilia | July 2, 2008 1:21 PM | Report abuse

"To Cecelia,

Don't pay attention to those who "mock" you. They are just the MM's from OB. We used to have such a nice little blog before they came!

Posted by: OB, OB go away | July 2, 2008 12:38 PM

Right - and you were lucky to get 50 posts a day. We have brought some sunshine here.

Posted by: Former OBer | July 2, 2008 12:42 PM "

And as a former OB person you know this blog is the equivalent of playing basketball against pygmies.......

Posted by: yawn | July 2, 2008 1:22 PM | Report abuse

Play the trivia game "Canadian Political Correctness" - ask the kids to name their favorite political correctness episodes. Good starts:

- the administration of a former Toronto mayor banned Barenaked Ladies from performing a concert in Toronto, because their name objectifies women

- the Toronto City Council passed a resolution demanding that the English lyrics to the national anthem be changed. The opening lines "Oh Canada Our home and native land..." are offensive to immigrants, for whom Canada is not their native land

- last week, a Toronto city councillor demanded that gay police officers be prohibited from marching in the Gay Pride parade. Seems that some immigrants come from places where the police abuse and mistreat the local citizenry, and seeing Toronto Police marching in the parade would traumatize those immigrants

(To quote Dave Barry: "I am not making this up.")

... this one can last all the way to Saskatoon if the kids are old enough

Posted by: m2j5c2 | July 2, 2008 1:23 PM | Report abuse

I have two children - my son is 7 and my daughter is 5. She is very excited to start school in the fall and I will be very sad to see her walk though the doors that first day. She is no longer my baby. I have been trying to convince my husband that now would be a good time for me to go back to work but he thinks I should stay home and continue doing what I have been doing for the last 7 years. But a big part of what I have been doing is taking care of my daughter while my son has been in school.

Posted by: Donna | July 2, 2008 1:23 PM | Report abuse

I have always wanted to know why the license plates from NM read:

New Mexico USA

Posted by: Just another troll | July 2, 2008 1:26 PM | Report abuse

Donna

"I have been trying to convince my husband that now would be a good time for me to go back to work but he thinks I should stay home and continue doing what I have been doing for the last 7 years."

I'll bet he does!!!

Posted by: This is a riot! | July 2, 2008 1:26 PM | Report abuse

Thx Stacey, 20 questions is a blast.

Maybe a whole thread could be allocated to the best audiobooks for kids and road trips? Jim Dale and the HP books are great. There is an audio book of Huckleberry Finn that was well read too. We dont do video in the car since I hope that the books will elongate my kids attention spans. The series of "A Series of Unfortunate Events" are good too - way better than the movie.

Oh Cecilia,
you're breakin' my heart
you're shakin' my confidence daily...

re: "precious": My precioussssssss.... Creepy. Reminds me of Gollum. Please find another name for your progeny.

If you properly install a child seat, and drive defensively and by the rules of the road you really should have little to worry about. But I agree that roads are dangerous places: driver education in the US is woefully inadequate.

Possible future thread: What should parents do to educate kids about road safety, whether on foot, on bike, on school bus? What age will you let your kids ride bike to school?

Posted by: Fo3 | July 2, 2008 1:27 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: | July 2, 2008 1:13 PM

Nonono, you've got it all wrong -- my SON's the cute one. :-)

Posted by: Laura | July 2, 2008 1:28 PM | Report abuse

"I have always wanted to know why the license plates from NM read:

New Mexico USA

Posted by: Just another troll | July 2, 2008 1:26 PM"

Part defense against stupidity, part in joke -- you'd be surprised to know how many people don't realize it's a state. One of the NM magazines I used to read routinely printed true stories of clerks refusing "international checks," or hotels insisting on passports or alternate ID's beyond the "international drivers' licenses," etc.

Posted by: Laura | July 2, 2008 1:36 PM | Report abuse

Best new family roadtrip CD: The Hobo Nickels, Cooper County. You can get it on Amazon or CDbaby. My three-year old loves the songs and, more importantly, I like them too so it doesn't drive me crazy to listen to it many times. Highly recommend it.

Posted by: Good songs | July 2, 2008 1:40 PM | Report abuse


Laura

"Nonono, you've got it all wrong -- my SON's the cute one. :-)"

Got it.

Mother = hag with awkward social skills
Daughter = "sleeper" genius
Son = traffic-stopping looker

Posted by: I stand corrected | July 2, 2008 1:41 PM | Report abuse

Doesn't matter. Both "Lauras" are equally pretentious bores.

---------------------------------------------------

Fo3 is the pretentious bore of this blog!

Posted by: You are wrong! | July 2, 2008 1:44 PM | Report abuse

This is so junior high. You're name calling? So you have nothing more constructive to contribute to the conversation than calling people hags and other choice words? Go back to myspace and facebook and let the grown ups talk, please.

Posted by: WorkingMomX | July 2, 2008 1:52 PM | Report abuse

There is a real Bahamas plate, I've seen one. But the question is, am I real?

Posted by: Anonymous | July 2, 2008 1:55 PM | Report abuse

"I know you are but what am I?"

Car games avoid this kind of destructive downward spiral in social discourse:

Dad, "precious" is bothering me!

Keep your hands to yourself!

Dont make me stop this car!

But Dad!!! You are being such a pretentious bore!

See? This kind of negativity gets us nowhere.

Posted by: Fo3 | July 2, 2008 1:57 PM | Report abuse

I call my little precious that because my mother called me that. It has fond memories for me. I am sorry that for some it you, it does not.

Yes, Fo3, I have had bits of that song sung to me but I am not really sure that I have heard the whole song or even who sang it.

The car seat does go in the middle of the backseat of the Volvo but I so seldom drive.

Posted by: Cecilia | July 2, 2008 1:59 PM | Report abuse


WorkingMomX


"You're name calling? So you have nothing more constructive to contribute to the conversation than calling people hags and other choice words?"

It's a good thing you are returning to school. You might learn something about nuances....

I'm pretty sure OB Laura laughed at the "hag" label; if not today, then tomorrow. Um, I chose the word "hag" for a subtle (maybe too subtle for you) reason.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 2, 2008 2:04 PM | Report abuse

Shandra

"As someone who was abused as a child, I don't appreciate the use of the word like that."

And I'm not surprised that you have continued the cycle of abuse.

Posted by: Get real | July 1, 2008 1:06 PM

You know you need a personality transplant when insulting abuse victims becomes your secret online passion.

Posted by: gcoward | July 1, 2008 4:31 PM


Coward, that was not the real Get Real, which has become a ping-pong on this board. It's getting used by everyone now so I am giving it up. I'd never make fun of an abuse victim, but apprently the confusion over Get Real leads people to believe I would.

Have at it people, use 'Get Real' at will. I won't use it anymore.


Posted by: Get Real | July 2, 2008 2:04 PM

Posted by: Anonymous | July 2, 2008 2:06 PM | Report abuse

Dont make me stop this car!

But Dad!!! You are being such a pretentious bore!

See? This kind of negativity gets us nowhere.

Posted by: Fo3 | July 2, 2008 1:57 PM

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

But don't you have to stop the car to make sure the Bahamian license plate hasn't fallen off?

Posted by: To Fo3 | July 2, 2008 2:08 PM | Report abuse

Cecilia,

What does your law enforcement husband think are you doing during the 6+ hours you have spent here?

Posted by: yawn | July 2, 2008 2:10 PM | Report abuse

Hey, to the old Get Real, don't feel bad. Nobody really knows who anyone is, anyway, it's not like anybody was thinking anything real about what you believe or don't believe.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 2, 2008 2:11 PM | Report abuse

On drives from MA to FL with my family, we had our walkmans and books and one year we decided to look for all the state license plates. But first we had to list all the states, which took some time considering we were in elementary school. Another favorite was calling out a color and seeing who could spot a car that color the quickest. My personal favorite was who could spot the "South of the Border" signs first.
In a few weeks I will be driving from NV to TN with my 7 month old daughter. I am terrified! My husband and I already plan to listen to the Harry Potter cds, but I'm worried my baby, who is happy 95% of the time, is going to make us miserable after a few hours. We plan to take 4 days and longer breaks, but I've already accepted the fact that it is likely going to be 4 of the worst days of my life.
Does anyone have any advice for long car rides with a baby? I don't want her sleeping the whole time either..

Posted by: Bludevil8 | July 2, 2008 2:14 PM | Report abuse

The Fo3 pre-trip checklist includes safety wiring all potential loose parts, double tying all luggage, replenish first aid kit (advil supply etc) replacement of tired dilithium crystals, top off winshield washer fluid, check air pressure etc.

SO do not worry, for I am secure that my Bohemian lic plate is ah, um.. er secure.

"Batteries to power, turbines to speed!"

Posted by: Fo3 | July 2, 2008 2:15 PM | Report abuse

Alright, folks. I'm taking on my mama role here. Enough with the name calling and back to the topic, please.

Posted by: Stacey Garfinkle | July 2, 2008 2:15 PM | Report abuse

yawn

"Cecilia,

What does your law enforcement husband think are you doing during the 6+ hours you have spent here? "

Killing time between her phone sex stints.

"Law enforcement husband" is code for security/ prison guard.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 2, 2008 2:16 PM | Report abuse

Just so you know, GHOST has been solved, so the first player can always win. http://blag.xkcd.com/2007/12/31/ghost/ has some solutions.

Posted by: KR | July 2, 2008 2:17 PM | Report abuse

You must be an engineer. Are you a real engineer or a civil engineer?

And, yes, we caught the little Boheminan joke, ha!ha!

Posted by: To Fo3 | July 2, 2008 2:18 PM | Report abuse

Um, I chose the word "hag" for a subtle (maybe too subtle for you) reason.

Posted by: | July 2, 2008 2:04 PM

Lemme make sure I understand. You are proud of your subtle approach to insult selection?

Posted by: MN | July 2, 2008 2:19 PM | Report abuse

Alright, folks. I'm taking on my mama role here. Enough with the name calling and back to the topic, please.

Posted by: Stacey Garfinkle | July 2, 2008 2:15 PM

Thanks Stacey.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 2, 2008 2:21 PM | Report abuse

Alright, folks. I'm taking on my mama role here. Enough with the name calling and back to the topic, please.

Posted by: Stacey Garfinkle | July 2, 2008 2:15 PM

The 9:07 a.m. post from yesterday morning is still sending its message of hate from this blog. Is posting a message directing users to abide by rules that aren't enforced intended to accomplish something?

Posted by: MN | July 2, 2008 2:28 PM | Report abuse

So it is ok to call a group of people who are unable to help themselves "retarded" but one adult can't call another a "hag"? Haxonian WOW here.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 2, 2008 2:29 PM | Report abuse

No one has ever called me civil. So sweet of you to think it possible.

Other road trip strategies:

No soda or juice in car, only little water bottles.

Carrot stick best. Chips are ok, popcorn worse, gum and candy really a bad idea. Car is a mess for the whole trip.

Pillows and blankets great for the back seat - and sometimes front seat as the A/C has go to keep the car COLD to keep driver/engineer awake!

Cheap sunglasses for kids fun too.

AHA! How could I forget. Fun car game:

Have kids wave and smile out the back window to any car that flashes brights, tailgates etc., (but - Please get out of left lane if they want to pass: Antagonizing strangers driving on the highways of America aint worth the risk. You never know when you are going to come accross a road rage candidate out there on the fiendly backtop of the 'ol USA. Who knows! They may have a gun - - or worse! - a swimming pool. Better safe than sorry.)

Posted by: Fo3 | July 2, 2008 2:30 PM | Report abuse

"Is posting a message directing users to abide by rules that aren't enforced intended to accomplish something?"

Dunno. Does reposting an "offensive" message make any sense?

Posted by: Anonymous | July 2, 2008 2:33 PM | Report abuse

Again, ha!ha!

Civil engineer like in:

Nuclear engineers make bombs.

Civil engineers make targets!

Posted by: To Fo3 | July 2, 2008 2:35 PM | Report abuse

I can go Fof3 one better ("Have kids wave and smile out the back window to any car that flashes brights, tailgates etc., ") - have mama flash other drivers then the kids count how many strange men try to follow the car.

Posted by: Fun car games | July 2, 2008 2:35 PM | Report abuse

Is mom still nursing the young one or not? It does make a difference.

Posted by: to fun car games | July 2, 2008 2:39 PM | Report abuse

you raise a good point there. Intentionally aiming and squirting milk at passing cars is a general no-no in my book.

Posted by: to to fun car games | July 2, 2008 2:44 PM | Report abuse

Another fun car game?

Fail to proceed at green light.
When turns yellow, wait until the moment before will turn red and proceed.
Make hasty advance, and take evasive action, lay smoke screen etc etc.

Posted by: oooooo I have a car game | July 2, 2008 2:45 PM | Report abuse

Yeah, if she's still nursing she can just get em with a well-aimed squirt!

Posted by: get em! | July 2, 2008 2:45 PM | Report abuse

Our family's favorite games for kids in the car:

Spin the Bottle

Strip Poker

Hide the Salami

What has Daddy been drinking?

Posted by: Pillsbury Doughboy | July 2, 2008 2:48 PM | Report abuse

Don't forget Russian Roulette.

Posted by: Pillsbury Doughboy | July 2, 2008 2:50 PM | Report abuse

Good experience from last trip, books on CD:
1. Schooled, ~4 hours
(hippy kid goes to middle school, hilarious for elem school kids )
2. Teacherman, ~6 hours
(memoirs of the author of Angela's Ashes about teaching in NY public schools, very funny but quickly becomes R-rated)

ps. cat in the car: no pee. Short trips. Plus he doesn't even have a litterbox at home, all business is done strictly outside in the woods.

Posted by: Nine | July 2, 2008 2:52 PM | Report abuse

Don't forget Russian Roulette.

Posted by: Pillsbury Doughboy | July 2, 2008 2:50 PM

I really take the offense that you disparage mother country in such a way. We Russians are not all gamblers on the silly wheel with numbers and ball bearing, and to suggest thus is an insult. You Doughboy needs to be more culturally sensitive or I poke you in belly button over and over until you say many sorrys to Svetty.

Posted by: Svetlana Xumpsalot | July 2, 2008 2:54 PM | Report abuse

Svetlana Xumpsalot

"I really take the offense that you disparage mother country in such a way. We Russians are not all gamblers on the silly wheel with numbers and ball bearing, and to suggest thus is an insult. You Doughboy needs to be more culturally sensitive or I poke you in belly button over and over until you say many sorrys to Svetty."

I will bring the vodka to the next cell meeting, Comrade.

Posted by: Ninotchka | July 2, 2008 3:02 PM | Report abuse

Alright, folks. I'm taking on my mama role here. Enough with the name calling and back to the topic, please.

Posted by: Stacey Garfinkle | July 2, 2008 2:15 PM

This sheds new light on Stacey's view of mothering.

Posted by: Get Real Real Annoyed Again | July 2, 2008 3:02 PM | Report abuse

"I really take the offense that you disparage mother country in such a way. We Russians are not all gamblers on the silly wheel with numbers and ball bearing, and to suggest thus is an insult. You Doughboy needs to be more culturally sensitive or I poke you in belly button over and over until you say many sorrys to Svetty."

Abu!

Posted by: Anonymous | July 2, 2008 3:08 PM | Report abuse

"This sheds new light on Stacey's view of mothering."

And blogger and - God help me - reporter or journalist.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 2, 2008 3:10 PM | Report abuse

Favorite car game is rolling papirosi (Svetty's famous hand rolled cigaretti) and showing off French inhalation to passing truckists. Svetty drink Voda, sorry please. Vodka mean "little water." My body is my temple, you worship. Yes?

Posted by: Svetty | July 2, 2008 3:11 PM | Report abuse

no way, svetty is way funnier than Abu.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 2, 2008 3:11 PM | Report abuse

Has Abu been here with his elephants?

Posted by: Anonymous | July 2, 2008 3:16 PM | Report abuse

"no way, svetty is way funnier than Abu."


Nope.
Abu's humor is similar, but way more sophisticated. Svetty is a wannabe.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 2, 2008 3:18 PM | Report abuse

Ya liubliu Abu! Tseloi!

Posted by: Svetty | July 2, 2008 3:19 PM | Report abuse

I have no intentions of acting like Mrs Watanabe, she lose too many ruble shorting Yen.. Duraki! Abu long Euro, moi geroi!

Posted by: Svetty | July 2, 2008 3:22 PM | Report abuse

And let's not forget that perennial favorite Svetty Game that obviates rest stops:

Who can make big vodka pi$$ into window of car in next lane?

Posted by: Pillsbury Doughboy | July 2, 2008 3:24 PM | Report abuse

Back in the US, back in the USS, back in the USSR.

Svetty is rollin. Somehow calling shotgun in Russia sounds alot more dangerous in Russia.

Very funny. Watanabe? Please 'splain.

Posted by: Fo3 | July 2, 2008 3:24 PM | Report abuse

I can't believe anybody thought Abu was funny.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 2, 2008 3:25 PM | Report abuse

I can't believe anybody thought Abu was funny.
====================================================

Only when tieing down his elephants during the hurricane!

Posted by: Anonymous | July 2, 2008 3:29 PM | Report abuse

Svetty reminds me of that old Saturday Night Live skit with Alec Baldwin: Shweddy Balls.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 2, 2008 3:29 PM | Report abuse

"Global investors are getting antsy as the long-awaited yen-carry-trade blowup draws nearer. "Mrs. Watanabe" can't be happy, either. She is the metaphorical Japanese housewife and the new queen of global currency markets."

I see said the blind man as he picked up his hammer and saw.

Posted by: Mrs Watanabe? | July 2, 2008 3:31 PM | Report abuse

Pete Schweddy: Well, there are lots of great treats this time of year - Zucchini Bread, Fruitcake.. but the thing that I most like to bring out this time of year are my Balls.

Teri Rialto: Mmm.. Balls.. Tell us about your Balls, Pete.

Pete Schweddy: Well, over at Season's Eatings, we have Balls for every taste. Popcorn Balls, Cheese Balls, Rum Balls.. you name it.

Margeret Jo McCullen: Wow! My mouth's watering just thinking about those Balls!

Teri Rialto: It's been years since I've seen any Balls.

Pete Schweddy: Would you like to see my Balls now?

Margeret Jo McCullen: Yeah. Whip them out.

[ Pete places a tray of Balls on the control board ]

Teri Rialto: Mmm.. wow.. you have some beautiful Balls..

Margeret Jo McCullen: They're bigger than I expected.

Pete Schweddy: A lot of people tell me that.

Margeret Jo McCullen: Look at that, Teri - the way they glisten.

Pete Schweddy: That's because make sure that each one of my Balls gets plenty of oil.

Margeret Jo McCullen: I can't help but, notice, Pete - your Balls are a little misshapen.

Pete Schweddy: That's because I rested them on a hot stove too long.

Teri Rialto: Can I touch your Balls.

Pete Schweddy: Go ahead. But be careful, they're very delicate.

Margeret Jo McCullen: Wow. I can't wait to get my mouth around his Balls.

Teri Rialto: [ sniffing ] Ooh.. I like the way your Balls smell..

Pete Schweddy: Do whatever you want to, ladies. My Balls are here for your pleasure.

Posted by: Hey Russky! | July 2, 2008 3:31 PM | Report abuse

"Myach" rhymes with biatch and means "ball" po russki you silly peoples.

The boys toys are called "yaitsi," or in the english way, "eggs."

You thank Svetty for anatomy lesson. yEs?

Posted by: Svetty | July 2, 2008 3:38 PM | Report abuse

Svetty, what is good Russian name for appendage-thing that capitalist pigs nickname "salami"?

Posted by: Pillsbury Doughboy | July 2, 2008 3:50 PM | Report abuse

To Bludevil8:

Break up the trip anyway you can. If there are ferries or fun bridges along the route. Tak ethem to get a break from driving.

Eat meals outside the car, that way the car wont smell like food.

Bring along a bunch of those great cardboard books. Boynton are all super.

Avoid Raffi = save sanity. Instead train child to enjoy Grateful Dead: Teach/memorize words to "Monkey and the Engineer."

Since a baby, change nappy frequently and bring along dry onesies since car seats can get svetty.

Posted by: Fo3 | July 2, 2008 3:51 PM | Report abuse

Salami is sausage yes? Not polite way of descibing a ladies chests. Called sisochki by rude russki pigs (svini or swines by the english way)? As in, "Vam nravistsa agromnie sisochki etoi dvotchkoi?" transl: Pleasing to you the enourmous sausages of that chick?

Posted by: Svetty | July 2, 2008 3:59 PM | Report abuse

Keep it clean people. Language lesson appreciated tho... I guess.

After a long day on the road with kids screaming out license plate letters, isnt it more imporatnt to know how to say, "Two beers please" in every tongue?

Dva piva pozhalsta?
Dos cervesas por favor?
Due bierri prego?
Zwei beer bitte?
Deux bierre s'il vous plait?
Two Molsons eh?

Posted by: Fo3 | July 2, 2008 4:06 PM | Report abuse

"no way, svetty is way funnier than Abu."

Never mind, I take it back.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 2, 2008 4:08 PM | Report abuse

isnt it more imporatnt to know how to say, "Two beers please" in every tongue?

Especially when driving to Europe.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 2, 2008 4:08 PM | Report abuse

No soda or juice in car, only little water bottles.

Carrot stick best. Chips are ok, popcorn worse, gum and candy really a bad idea.

A/C has go to keep the car COLD to keep driver/engineer awake!

Cheap sunglasses for kids fun too.

AHA! How could I forget. Fun car game:
=======================================================

don't know if I could stand any more "fun" in a car with you!

Posted by: Anonymous | July 2, 2008 4:09 PM | Report abuse

I believe that would be

"Zwei grossen beer bitte?"

Posted by: Anonymous | July 2, 2008 4:11 PM | Report abuse

"Law enforcement husband" is code for security/prison guard.

Posted by: | July 2, 2008 2:16 PM
------------------

You make it sound like the job of security/prison guard is not honest work. Perhaps I am mistaken; at least I hope so.

Posted by: Prisoner Cell Block H | July 2, 2008 4:23 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for the tips Fo3. I'm worried she's going to soak through the carseat, as it doesn't take her long for the back of her head to get sweaty in the seat. We have lots of board books and some other toys, but the problem is she doesn't hold on to them long, so it will be hard to keep her entertained. I think we will have too much stuff for me to sit in the backseat with her.

She has a Garcia/Grishman baby cd that her dad loves to play for her...I prefer the classic disney tunes.

Posted by: Bludevil8 | July 2, 2008 4:30 PM | Report abuse

I can relate to the too much stuff thing. When we were in that situation with baby number one, we useed the passenger seat for baggage, and left the back seat for travel.

If I may add, the addage, "Sleep when the baby sleeps" was a well worn motto for that trip.

Posted by: Fo3 | July 2, 2008 4:42 PM | Report abuse

I am dying here, Pete's Schweddy Balls is the one of the funniest skits delivered by an SNL cast.

Posted by: Siggy | July 2, 2008 4:47 PM | Report abuse

do svidania.

Posted by: Svetty | July 2, 2008 5:05 PM | Report abuse

Car games we used to play - spot the VW bug - but they aren't as common anymore. Alphabet game. Bad song game. Twenty questions.

When I was a kid, I got quizzed on spelling words. I remember being really proud of being able to spell Mississippi. It is also fun to do the spelling game backwards. No need for hard words, backwords is hard enough for most people. And mental arithmetic is fun too.

Posted by: Emily | July 2, 2008 5:31 PM | Report abuse

The boys toys are called "yaitsi," or in the english way, "eggs."

Cool. That's cross cultural, apparently. In Spanish, we refer to them as huevos, which also means eggs. A little less in your face then cojones.

Posted by: Emily | July 2, 2008 5:35 PM | Report abuse

This is probably one of the geekiest games, but ... we used to try and make up definitions for the "words" on license plates.

When I was older and stuck in traffic we would make up stories about the people in the other cars, who they were, where they were going, etc.

Posted by: anon | July 2, 2008 5:47 PM | Report abuse

Bludevil8, please relax and don't worry so much about your baby. She'll sleep a lot of the way. No need to break up the trip into so many days, it would probably be better to get there sooner so she (and you) can have more time to actually enjoy your destination. Look forward to your trip instead of stressing about it. Hope it will go well.

Posted by: Anonymous | July 2, 2008 6:46 PM | Report abuse

Haven't read everything yet, but...

One thing that has changed significantly from when we (or, I) were kids, is the whole car seat/seat belt thing. I mean, I could go to the third row and curl up and go to sleep (not that we traveled far or often, or anything, but still). We could move around in the back seat, no big deal, no seat belts.

So, kids are expected to stay in one place these days. We have a portable DVD player we bought for a drive to Florida. We only put it in the car for long (ish) drives. Not for day to day (I agree with WMX on that...). But when we were faced with this long drive thru Florida - with the kids being little - I did explain the above to my DH. So he agreed, and the day before our big trip, he was off to target/circuit city.

Posted by: atlmom | July 2, 2008 9:45 PM | Report abuse

Germane comments: 12

Troll Barf: 158

Comments that need to be censored: too many to count today!

Posted by: Today's Count | July 2, 2008 11:03 PM | Report abuse

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