Fresh from my wild (unplanned overnight) adventure south into North Carolina, I give you fun games to play to entertain your screaming child while driving solo:
1) “Pacifier Pick-Up”: Find and grab the pacifier from it’s random location in the back seat while attempting to keep one eye on the road and not swerve like a drunkard on the highway.
2) “Sippy Cup Search”: Also fun and in the same vein as game #1 is this little gem. Just follow the damp trail (because the leak-proof sippy has managed to leak and inevitably was filled with some liquid other than water) and you’re sure to find it and manage to keep the car on the road at the same time.
3) “Feeding time at the Zoo” : Remove lid from small cereal bowl thoughtfully packed with child’s favorite dry snack. Attempt to offer to child so they can take a handful. Curse under breath when child grabs entire bowl and because your arm is at such a goofy angle in order to get said bowl from the front seat near child in back seat in the first place, said thoughtful snack explodes in every direction all over entire backseat. Repeat when child starts to howl because they cannot deign to pick cracker/cereal/fruit snack out of car seat and eat. Bonus points for playing this game after dark.
4) “Is that the loudest you can scream?”: Pull out this oldy but goody if your car trip is longer than 2 hours. Even though you’ve only been on the road for 2.5 hours and already made two pit stops so someone can get out of their seat and stop the never-ending howling at the indignity of having to be strapped into a comfortable car seat with sippy cup, snack and comfy blanket at the ready, said small person will still want to see what maximum decibel level can be achieved within the confines of the vehicle. Even though encouraging said small person to crank the yelling up another notch (“Seriously–is that the loudest you can yell? Surely you can yell louder than that”) might cause your ears to ring for the rest of the afternoon, it will be well worth it when the small person tires of the game and blissfull quiet reigns again. Bonus points if small person exerts so much energy yelling as loudly as they can that they fall asleep mid-game.
5) “Look at THIS!”: For when you’ve managed to show off/pass back all real toy options to the small
dictator passenger in the back and they’ve all been angrily tossed aside to the furthest (unreachable while driving) corners of the backseat and you’re forced to make toys out of random objects you can find within your reach in order to keep the unhappy shrieking to a dull roar. Old snowscrapers will provide minutes of blissful peace and quiet while your child tries to determine what this new treasure is. Extra bonus points if you can keep your child from immediately and repeatedly licking said non-toy.