KN J Tales and Snippets

ARE WE THERE YET?

I have never understood the appeal of family road trips. I mean, in theory, it does sound nice to spend some time with family without the interruption of phones, TVs, computers and general busyness of life. It also sounds nice to use the time to do things that you might not otherwise do. You can read books, catch up on sleep, do puzzles and card games…

But honestly, what’s the reality here?

If you have children, expect to hear “Are we there yet?” on repeat like a broken record.

Most, if not all of you probably live at the same residence, so what’s the chances of anyone having anything new to say? And if by chance, you do have something to add to the conversation, there won’t be hours worth of content.

You’re in a confined space with no escape. Problematic if there are belchers, farters or annoying siblings with knee jerk reflex issues. Imagine being in a car with these people for several hours; it’ll test the patience of a saint.

There are minimal bathroom breaks so you can’t be drinking too much liquid or risk the embarrassment of roadside bush prickles in your butt and indecent exposure. Plus no-one wants to be tooted by a passerby.

More importantly, to us at least, road trips means sharing music space. No one listens to their own music with solo headphones because there’s no fun in that. So, it can get quite heated in the car with everyone dissing on each other’s musical choices.

Our latest road trip took a total of seven hours, so we devised a “fair” system where each person got to choose a song of their choice to be played upon their turn.

My four-year-old son was happy to forfeit his turns to his eight-year-old sister, who tortured us with Disney songs from the movie Descendants. Although, I’d never admit this to the husband but l kind of like the sickly sweet and catchy pop songs.

My husband chose Barry Manilow’s Mandy and did a silly Dad rendition, an ode to our daughter’s name. It wasn’t a surprise that the children pretended to vomit and yelled out “Yuck!” He followed up with songs from Wig Wam, Diablo, The Darkness and Iron Maiden.

I’m not a fan of heavy metal or rock bands but the husband believes he is “expanding” the children’s musical tastes. He’s actually had some success. One of our daughter’s favourite songs is “Sandstorm” by Darude. He’s even gotten our daughter into Gloryhammer!

I like mainstream music. I don’t mind pop, hip/hop, R&B, country, indie or dance. I don’t know what that says about my personality other than I’m easy. Instead of going for current chart songs, I went with the classics. I chose Gloria’s “I Will Survive” because it has hooks that are catchier than covid. Tina Turner’s “What’s Love Got to Do with It” and Bee Gees’ “Stayin’ Alive” made the cut. Not a single person enjoyed my selections. It really says more about them than me, right??

Eventually, we got sick of playing musical merry-go-round and left Ballad Collection by X Japan on for the rest of the road trip. Our son stopped asking “Are we there yet?” and fell asleep. Our daughter pulled out a few books and was content for several hours.

With three long hours of the road trip left, no bickering over song choices and quiet from the children, I found myself moaning… “Are we almost there yet?”

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Kathy - KN J Tales and Snippets

Creative writer and storytelling enthusiast, sharing snippets of my journey through life and parenting. Aiming to inspire, empower and ignite laughter with every word that I write.

23 thoughts on “ARE WE THERE YET?”

  1. Love your choices!! I get your pain traveling with “are we there yet broken records”!! My kids are strange – sometimes they are perfect angels for good 6 hours and sometimes they will be brats for even a fifteen minutes hike..but then again, what else is different!! hahaha

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I like the classics you chose! 🙂 And I feel your road-trip pain, haha. We live 5 hours away from some of our family and drive up more often than I would like. We also live 40 minutes away from the nearest mainstream grocery stores so we make that drive pretty regularly. My husband loves scenic drives. I just hate the car haha. Maybe one day it will grow on me…

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Lol, I totally get that ‘stuck in a confined space’ feeling, and it’s one of the sole reasons why I avoid most social activities. It could be because I’m an introvert at heart, but there’s also something draining about constantly being around people, especially in a closed space. Loved this. Thanks for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I agree, the car ride isn’t actually fun. We do love to travel as a family though, only because we like to see new things and get away for a few days. We usually go somewhere like the mountains or the beach so it’s more about the destination for us. My kids are lucky enough to have their own tablets and a tv in the car so that helps with boredom. Luckily my hubby and I have pretty similar taste in music so we don’t have too much debate about that. Sometimes he likes to listen to podcasts while the kids have their headphones on watching a movie and that usually ends in an argument because of all the cussing or inappropriate jokes. He thinks the kids can’t hear it because they have their headphones on, but I don’t like to take the chance.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah, I agree with you! They could take their headphones off at any stage and accidentally learn a new cuss word!
      My kids get too unruly with lots of screentime so even for trips, we limit it. We’d end up at the destination tired and grumpy AND have to deal with two overstimulated and tantrumy kids. No thanks 😬
      I should look into family-friendly podcasts. That’s not something we’ve ever tried. Thanks for the idea!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. That’s a good idea! I know there are some but I don’t know off the top of my head. I have a friend who listens to them with her kids so I know they’re out there, but we’ve never tried that.

        Like

  5. Haha, takes me back to family road trips when I was a kid, though I don’t recall any fights over what to listen to. My parents made it clear my siblings and I had to agree otherwise we were stuck with whatever they wanted to listen to. My husband and I haven’t tried one with our kids yet, but I hope it’ll be as much fun as I remember the ones I went on being.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I would have liked your music, although I’m turned off by most pop music from 2000 or later, as well as a lot of older songs that everyone else seems to love. But those three are great.

    One of my most memorable family road trips is the one I blogged about a few months ago, when we decided to almost invade the privacy of one of the most notorious celebrities of the era. https://dontletthedaysgoby.home.blog/2020/10/13/december-30-january-1-1995-96-a-family-vacation-that-did-not-involve-boring-relatives/

    And my next episode is going to be about my first real road trip with friends, although to be honest I might not get it done this weekend, because I’m feeling really discouraged about life right now and also considering cutting ties with some of those people and/or an organization I associate with that group and those times.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think there are a lot of memorable songs in the 80s, 90s and even in 00s. A lot of stuff now is catchy but it doesn’t leave a lasting memory… Or maybe I’m just getting old.
      As for your next episode, take your time. We’ve all had a tough year and it might not be all that better this year, so take care of yourself. Do what makes your happy and healthy to get you through these unprecedented times.

      Liked by 1 person

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