Travel: Toddler plus Technology

by cindy


It’s been a long time since I’ve traveled distances with a two-year-old. When my children were this age, neither car seats nor seatbelts were required and unless road conditions were a serious issue, we rarely used them. I spent many an hour in the back seat, bracing children from bumps and curves as they meandered back and forth along the seat. Dangerous? Clearly. But they were happy to be able to stretch their chubby little legs and climb at will. When we “upgraded” to a van, they could move from seat to seat, scrambling over the top or scrunching underneath. I’d like to say that they remained content for long periods but that would be a lie. There was still plenty of griping and fighting and whining to endure. It kinda makes my head ache to remember.


Now it seems kids have to remain strapped in their carseats until the age of, maybe, fifteen. Safe, yes. Smart, yes. Easy on the parent…hell, no.

Enter technology.

Over this past holiday weekend, we traveled some five hours to visit relatives. Our son, our daughter-in-law, and our grandson, Rooster Tooster, age two years and ten months, joined us for the trip. Wisely, I downloaded several age-appropriate games on my iPad for Rooster to use. Best five bucks I’ve ever spent. He was amused the entire journey. Even eating in a restaurant—the kind with real china, real napkins, real menus, and NO happy meal—was painless with the iPad. It was damn hard to pry it loose from his hands when we returned home after the weekend.

Tomorrow, we babysit for the day. The iPad is ready. Thank you, Apple.