Back in the day when kids had to walk to school uphill both ways with snow on the road, such amenities as TVs weren’t available in cars for long road trips. When my family went on vacation, we all piled into our full-sized Chevy van with our bags of things to do strapped to our shoulders. Our bags full of things to do were always packed tight, because there was nothing worse than being stuck in a van with our siblings for 8 hours without anything to do.
The first chance I had to do something other than read and play games in a vehicle while on a long trip was when I was 16 years-old. I had been on a scout trip with several other kids my age and we were riding home from our trip in one of the parents’ vans.
On our way home, which was a four hour drive, we stopped at a local store so the guy who was driving us home could buy a TV/VCR combo and a power inverter for his van. He set up the TV and the inverter, which was about 50 pounds, in his van and we were off. That trip was amazing. I don’t remember what movie we watched, but I do remember the four hours flying by.
Fast forward several years and now DVD players and TVs are almost standard in most vehicles. Casey and I made sure that we had a DVD player in the car we recently purchased. We had learned earlier, while using an Ipod Touc,h how amazing a long trip could be with Addie watching TV through most of it.
But even though our vehicle has a DVD player, Addie hasn’t used it much. On our two drives out to Utah, a trip that is 24 hours each direction, Addie maybe used the DVD player for a total of 2 hours. Vivi had used it even less, because she wasn’t much of a TV watcher.
But recently Vivi has discovered the magic of watching TV in the car, and I have discovered the magic of having a kid who watches TV in the car. On trips longer than 30 minutes, I’ll open the DVD player and hand Vivi a set of headphones. She’ll sit back in her car seat and watch whatever movie is playing in complete silence for the full 30 minute trip. In return, I get to sit in the car for a full 30 minutes in complete silence and silence has never sounded so good.
More on Babble Dad: