Beach-y Skeen

Vacation brings out the best in children, right? My child is at her best when we are on vacation...NOT, or should I say NO, which seemed to be Janie Kathryn's favorite word. It was as if she regressed to being three years old. I know that the root of the problem is the vacation itself- no routine, loose standards, too much sugar, late bedtimes...I get it. Don't get me wrong, we had an amazing time. PiƱa coladas, sand castles, America's Funniest Home Videos, Go Fish, George R. R. Martin ...  
It was a family fun to the max!

When we were a little over half way to the beach (an 8 hour drive) the portable DVD player died. It wasn't the battery that died, it was the DVD player. I thought that was going to be the downfall of the beach-y Skeens, but we made it a collective 12 hours in the car without a movie. Impressive.

We use the portable DVD player for long trips, though I have mixed feelings about that. Sure it brings peace and quiet for 90 minutes at at time, but I struggle with the fact that she watches too much television already. Do we devalue the vacation experience by allowing her to tune out? I mean, why shouldn't we have to endure the irritating road trip antics that we inflicted on our parents? Are we there yet, Are we there yet? How much longer? Then there are the pediatric researchers that link anytime-anywhere media to ADHD.
Ugh, how can something so wonderful be that bad? C'est la vie. Part of me takes it as a sign that we should bury the DVD player and be more actively engaged during our travels. This vacation proved it is possible. There's nothing like driving through Mississippi, gazing at kudzu or finding shapes in far off clouds, all the while a 5-year-old voice belts out, from the backseat, the lyrics of Queen's We Are the Champions. Then, my more cynical side thinks about our upcoming autumnal drive to Virginia (14 hours) and... Well, it's time to go shopping.

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