Yes, you read that right. You, the kids and a funeral.
A few months back we had a death in the family and had to embark on quite the adventure. Within 2 days we put the kids through 3 new things. Their little brains just about exploded.
For parents out there who dare to give their kids multiple new things knows the pain we went through. Usually 1 or 2 new things a week is good, more than 1 in 2 days is crazy!
So, what were these new things we exposed our delicate little angels to?
1. A car ride lasting longer than 1 hour. It was 6 hours, one way.
- If you have never gone on a trip via car/truck/van with a child that lasts longer than 1 hour here are a few things that are a must if you want peace. The first is have snacks and drinks. Lots of snacks and drinks. Have a few for yourself as well. Nothing worse than dealing with cranky children when your blood sugar is dropping. Luckily our boys do like some healthy things so, sun chips! LOL. I know, I know, they’re still chips but they’re not horrible for you. Goldfish, fruit snacks, crackers and other things of that nature. The least amount of sugar the better (aside from the gummy snacks.).
- The next is have toys. Not a ton but enough to rotate and keep them happy. We had a few toy cars, action figures and some other child occupying toys that kept them busy for about 20 minutes.
- Blankets and/or pillows. Sometimes, just sometimes they may fall asleep. Keep the blankets and pillows for your cherubs to get comfy while on the trip.
- Movies. Yes, with technology these days you can have videos. We have not installed video monitors in our van yet, but we both have laptops and iTunes. The amazing thing about iTunes is if you buy movies that come with digital copies (I do know for a fact that blu rays and 3D movies come with digital copies for the most part. It’s what we buy) you can add them to your iTunes account which can then stream to your computer. Also, Netflix is amazing. An almost unlimited video streaming that can keep kids occupied in the car.
We managed to get through the 6 hour car drive to Pottstown and back with little whining and crying. I was quite impressed and thankful.
2. The kids went through their first grave side service. We couldn’t make it out for the actual service because at the time I worked for an absolutely horrid company, in fact the district manager threatened to dock my pay for even going to the funeral. Heaven forbid I want to be with my husband and parents (whom I absolutely love to pieces btw. That’s another post though.) as they mourn the loss of grandma. I pretty much told them what I thought of that and thankfully for them, my pay was not docked.
So, the grave side service. It was at a small cemetery and it was cold, raining and we were all tired. Great for a first funeral right? The only thing that made me happy was that I had my ballet flats sitting in the front with me. Let me tell you, high heels and wet graveyard do not mix! The kids weren’t completely horrible. Luckily they didn’t scream much, whine or cry. They did run around the tombstones like maniacs. I must have the only children in the world who are fascinated by graveyards and tombstones. They (graveyards) completely freak me out.
I have no advice or words of wisdom about kids and funeral homes and graveyards. I don’t think there is much you can do when it comes to these things. Perhaps have a few quiet toys ready for them, snacks that take a while to eat or somehow put them to sleep. I’m just glad funerals are far and few between. I did have a diaper bag packed and ready. Some cars, non noise making toys, gummy snack and gold fish. Luckily the service didn’t last too long and the melt downs didn’t start until we were walking back to the van.
No matter how you work it, funerals aren’t a fun thing to do with or without kids. They’re not quiet and if they’re small they don’t understand why everyone is so sad. The first funeral I remember actually going to was my Uncle Lee’s…when I was 14. There were other family who died before him, of course, but my parents either had a sitter for me or I opted to not go. I don’t like death and I have an intense fear of funeral homes. Not so much graveyards but I just do not like funeral homes at all. Not sure why, it’s just one of those unexplained fears.
We haven’t had to go through the weddings yet. Not sure if I’m looking forward to that or not.
3. We had to go through our first hotel stay with the kids.
That was, well, something else. I think when we got to the room was when their little brains went into overload. Their eyes lit up like it was Christmas morning. What was the first thing they did? Ran to the beds, climbed on them and started jumping which they are not allowed to do at home. Then they found the room phone, we quickly found out in order for them to not call anyone, you unplug the phone. The t.v. went on shortly after that as I showered and got them ready for dinner with the parents. (Greg’s, not mine. You’ll see I don’t really differentiate between his mom and dad and mine. I’m lucky in the in-law department. I’ll have to come up with a post about them at some other time.)
Bedtime that night was nearly non existent. They didn’t just fall asleep, they passed out. They wore themselves out to the point of just falling onto the bed and snoring. I laughed.
For hotel stays, I’d say just let them go nuts, as long as they’re not too loud or destructive. Ours weren’t overly loud and amazingly not destructive at all. If you don’t want them jumping on the beds, take some toys and make sure you have snacks. Buying things at the hotel can be EXPENSIVE. I went to their vending area and a 12 oz can of soda was $1.50! Ridiculous.
When we got back the following night we were all exhausted. The kids were in bed sleeping by 7 pm and we followed shortly after.
New things for kids can be overwhelming and stressful, for the kids and parents. Just be prepared and plan, plan, plan. Over pack and have an abundance of everything.