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Friday, June 15, 2012

Three Books

I recently cleaned out the back of the minivan after our trip to the Wisconsin Dells.  It took me hours.  It was completely and totally disgusting.  I vacuumed, cleaned carpet, wiped everything down and took absolutely everything out of the car.

In the past, each kid had a bag of stuff to play with next to their seat.  That bag grew to a bag and a plastic tote and anything you could shove in the cup holders.  It sounds like a good idea to have things on hand, but the baby get frustrated that she can't really access the bag, and she tends to drop her 5 snacks all over the floor.

Now that car is clean, today, I decided to bring her 3 books.  And Tate could have 3 things.  And at the end of the car ride, those 3 things (each) come back into the house.  I'll tell you why this is great--the car stays clean AND they actually play/read with those 3 things.  There isn't a mound of stuff that they throw on the floor, and they are happier.  I had read once that if you give kids too many choices, it overwhelms them.  This seems to be the case in my house.  (Yesterday, I cleared out Soleil's little "shop", and had the same surprising result--she played with the 10% toys I left behind!)

As for the snacks....  My kids are grazers.  I think Soleil's favorite word IS "snack".  I couldn't starve the little thing, since at age 2, she weighs only 22lbs.  (For reference, Tate weighed this at 11 months, I think.)  I found this awesome cup/snack holder that clips on to the car seat AND the stroller.  I put her sippy cup in one hole and then preloaded the snack cup that comes with it.  I also brought an additional cup.  I didn't fill it, just put a small handful of snack in the cup.  Ok, there was still some mess, but way, way less!  When she wanted the second snack, I just switched out the cups and took the other away.  (This also prevents month old teddy grahams from being consumed at some other time when you aren't looking!)

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