This weekend I purchased a few digital indulgances that I thought might help my WIfe and I manage our kids on our upcoming Disney Cruise vacation. The main problem is that we have to fly all day to get to Orlando. What do you do with two kids ages 5 and 3 while you and they are stuck in a plane for five hours?
While you ponder that conundrum, let me say that we decided to buy cheap MP3 players for each child and a single, cheap DVD player that they can take turns using. So I went to my local Target, pronounced Tarjay, and purchased two MP3 players for about $40 US Dollars a piece. I then ripped three or four Chapin CDs and loaded up the players. My five year old, Jack totally got the whole music in your pocket deal. He was bebopping along in no-time. The youngest will take some supervision to use his. Both kids thought the “Toys” were very cool.
Then I got a Audiovox DVD player and showed them how to use it. Another big hit with the oldest, and a spectacular miss with the youngest. Spencer doesn’t “do” TV like a regular kid. He’d much rather read a book or do his “work” as he calls it. Which involves drawing wavy lines in perfect order as if he were writing a letter. That kid’s destined to be the Engineer in the family. Or maybe a writer. :)
While I watched my kids take to this marvelous technology, I couldn’t help but wonder how spoiled they are compared to what I had to travel with as a kid: A pencil and paper and a book or two in the back of a VW bus with no AC and no AIrbags, no music, no DVD’s with cartoons and the same trip would have taken us three days hard travel. These kids are flying at 30,000 feet, listening to music and watching movies at their beck and call and getting cross country in one day.
As a parent, I hope I just don’t have to hear myself turning in my seat and saying, “If you two can’t behave, I’ll turn this plane right around and we will all go home!”