Travel Survival Kit, Part 1

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Anyone who has ever traveled with young children realizes that there is much more involved than everyone grabbing a book and a pillow and having a peaceful day in the van. At least they will after the first time they try this method!

Our kids are pretty darn good travelers. They have done a lot of it in their short lives, and most of the time, are pretty good about entertaining themselves while in the vehicle. Jude has the most experience of course, having taken the 30-hour drive to San Bernardino, CA with us at the tender age of 13 months. Of course, he was sick, constipated and crying most of the way home, but that's another story...

Anyway. When we made the 12-hour day home from Writing-On-Stone this spring, the boys all did great until the very end. Twelve hours in a vehicle is a long time for anyone.

So, I was picturing this 12-hour day in my head as I was planning our route southward, and I multiplied it by five. Immediately, I had this deep certainty right down to the parts of my soul that reside in my left baby toenail that drastic measures must be taken--I. MUST. PREPARE. Not just ordinary throw-stuff-in-a-backpack-'cause-we're-goin'-to-Papa's-house preparation. This is much more serious than that. And so, the Travel Survival Kit was born.

We're not talking edible candles and space-age, shiny blankets. That ain't gonna do a thing to entertain three high-energy boys for five days in a vehicle. So, in this post and the next one, I will outline my drastic measures.

First off, thanks to an idea I got from Angela, I decided we needed some new music mixes. Normally, we alternate listening time in the van between "stuff-the-kids-like" and "stuff-Mommy-likes." Had it ever occurred to me that these could be one and the same? Nope, not until I read Angela's post. I promptly made up four new mix CDs, and while I downloaded a few tunes off Napster, most of these were (scarily enough) already in my collection. Yes, even Stompin' Tom Connors.

This is our favourite list so far:

1. The Lion Sleeps Tonight - The Tokens (Of course, the kids all think this is "from" The Lion King. Ha!)
2. (Meet) The Flintstones - Studio Group
3. There's No Tune Like a Show Tune - Jerry Herman (from Parade)
4. Coffee In A Cardboard Cup - from 70, Girls, 70 (Every time it plays, Noah says, "I yike dis song!")
5. The Ketchup Song - Stompin' Tom Connors
6. One - from A Chorus Line
7. When You're Good To Mama - Queen Latifah (from Chicago)
8. Spiderman - Moxy Früvous
9. Winnie The Pooh - yes, the original
10. I Can Do That - from A Chorus Line
11. You Gotta Have A Gimmick - from "Gypsy" (Of course, I didn't realize until right. now. that this is about stripping! This is actually the recording I have, sans all the banter at the beginning.)
12. King of Spain - Moxy Früvous
13. Jolly Holiday - Dick Van Dyke, Julie Andrews (from Mary Poppins)
14. Loves Me Like A Rock - The O'Jays (from The Fighting Temptations)
15. I Can't Do It Alone - Catherine Zeta-Jones, Renée Zellweger (from Chicago)
16. Once In Love With Amy - Ray Bolger (from Where's Charlie? In case you are not familiar with this great tune, check out a performance of it here.)
17. Feet Do Yo' Stuff - from Hallelujah, Baby!
18. Conga - Rosalind Russell (from Wonderful Town)
19. I've Got Rhythm - Judy Garland (from Crazy For You)
20. The Canadian Lumber Jack - Stompin' Tom Connors
21. All I Care About - Richard Gere (from Chicago)
22. Bud The Spud - Stompin' Tom Connors
23. With A Little Bit of Luck - Stanley Holloway (from My Fair Lady. Of course, I was thinking as I was humming along to it yesterday that Alfred P. Doolittle's "most original moralist in England" thoughts may not be something I want programmed into my kids. Oops.)
24. You're Never Fully Dressed Without A Smile - from Annie

You probably noticed the high density of show tunes. Who knew? Moms like show tunes, kids like show tunes. But really--what's not to love? ;-)

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  1. i LOVED my fair lady.... that father was insane!!
    i like singing show tune songs with a bunch of people though.You can shout and yell and do all the arm waving!!!.. alone it doesnt seem as fun!!!

  2. Don't forget to put at least one song by Peter on there. Ask Jude if he recognizes it.

  3. You missed "Fearless, the Wonder Dog"?? ....or is that going on volume 2???

  4. Great list! I'm going to have to check some of those out! And oh, "Loves me Like a Rock" - gotta add that to the new playlist. We are currently looping the Scooby Doo Theme song - Wecco's fave. And I'm laughing at "You Gotta Have a Gimmick" because I just posted about the amount of vice in kids' songs.

  5. We practice the choose your CD rotation with my grandaughter, but shes old enough to choose. Did you know the original singer on the Tokens The Lion Sleeps Tonight has a dinner theater here in Phoenix and still has a five octave voice. Hope its OK for some guys to learn from your blog.

    Don in AZ

  6. Grafx - I haven't got to sing showtunes with a large group of people since college, sadly. But it was awesome.

    Logan - 'Twil be on the next list.

    Mom - How could I forget Fearless?!! I'm going to have to go search for it right now! Actually, last time I checked, it is almost non-existent and unheard-of on the internet, so it might be a stretch to track down a copy.

    Richie - Amen to that.

    Angela - Ha! I was thinking that about a few of the other songs on there, too, and on the other new lists I just made. I put "Happy Boys & Girls" by Aqua on one list, forgetting about the "C'mon, let's go get it on," line. Ooops.

    Don - Hi, and welcome! Everyone's welcome, as long as they aren't a "downer", if you know what I mean. Cool about that guy in Phoenix--if we ever wander through there I'll have to look it up! Come back anytime!

  7. You did a great job of catering to them (and yourself).

    Whatever it takes to retain sanity on a long trip is cool!

    Thankfully, our kids are older now & it's much easier.

  8. Thanks for sharing this one with us. I love great songs.
    Have a great day


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