Monday, May 10, 2010

Can We Be Still?

About three years ago, Mr. Daddy and I had serious misgivings when we bought our first portable DVD player. Our thought was that we survived without being able to watch movies in the car, shouldn't our kids also be able to survive?

But we bought it. And we used it for the first time on a trip up to the mountains. I almost immediately regretted it because our kids missed some huge icicles hanging from the side of the mountain as well as a flock of wild geese beside the road. At one point I made them turn it off and "look at nature!"

As a child, some of my happiest memories are road trips we took. We were a singing family. I don't know if this is because the radio in our car didn't work (or did it?) or if we would have sun anyway, but we had a whole litany of favorites: "The Fox," (a song my children demand that I sing almost nightly) "I Love My Rooster," "The Cat Came Back," and even "America the Beautiful" one summer because of my inexplicable fascination with the phrase "oceans white with foam." Once we were singing a rousing rendition of "The Rattlin' Bog," a song that gets faster as you go, when my mom looked down and realized she was driving over 90 mph!

Our portable DVD player hasn't gotten a whole lot of use in the past year or so. We didn't even use it on the drive to Florida last summer, but we did use it a fair amount at bedtime or when the kids -- and I'm not going to lie, Mr. Daddy and I -- needed some down time.

But I have to admit I was intrigued when I read a post the other day on my friend's blog, What a Ride. She titled it "Be Still" and it's about their recent "unplugged" camping trip. And I want to try it.

I'm scared to death to try it, but desperate to do it at the same time. I want to enjoy this time with my children without being dependent on electronics. I want my children to learn to have a good time without needing some kind of stimulation. I want to take nature walks, look at the stars, play cards, sing songs, read.

We can do this. I know we can. And we will. But I need your help on one teeny thing. Books. I would like to read a book over several nights, a chapter book if you will, on the trip that will appeal to both Bubba (7 1/2) and Punkin (4 1/2). Both love to be read to and I'm itching for this experience -- sharing a book that we'll all love. So what is it? What is this book? What should we read, dear readers? I'm counting on you!


AndreAnna said...

I loved the Ramona and Superfudge books as a kid - those are great chapter cooks!

Robyn said...

I think that's a fantastic idea!

Bear's not into chapter books yet, but I remember loving the Bobbsey Twin books. Are they too young for Harry Potter?

Amy Munnell said...

Stuart Little or Charlotte's Web, The Mouse and the Motorcycle

Leslie said...

I second Amy and AndreAnna and add the Henry and Rigsy books.

As for traveling and DVD players, I know where you're coming from. But I think the difference for us as children is that we didn't have to be strapped into car seats. My sister and I played with each other in the back seat, stretched out and took naps, sang, and played the alphabet game (look for things beginning with each letter) on long, long car trips (it took two full days of driving to get to my grandmother's house from ours each summer). Because we weren't strapped down, though, it somehow seemed more fun. Not that I'm at all opposed to safety, mind you. Our DVD player has been a Godsend on long trips to my parents' house. We did it once without it (11 hrs.) and I was ready to throw myself out of the car after several hours of whining, despite singing and other games.

Laurel said...

Your comment yesterday was really, really kind, and it meant the world to me. Thank you. And I know just what you mean in this post. I have some plans for this summer along the same lines.

As for books: We are doing the Harry Potter series. And Logan has loved the Nancy Drew series for two years now. I'm trying to help her branch out a little. On my list this summer is My Father's Dragon and Nate the Great, both are recommended for the 5-8 crowd.

The Thrailkills said...

You can do it!

We read Peter Pan (one of the children's classic adaptations) over the camping trip. I have to say falling asleep to the sound of my husband reading aloud to all of us was one of my favorite parts!

My kids like Ramona and Superfudge too. Junie B. Jones is funny - a little more disrespectful than Ramona:). We're reading Mrs. Piggle Wiggle now - funny.....or an Amelia Bedilia compilation is also funny!

Katie said...

The Ramona series and Superfudge series are both great for boy and girls. But my very first thought when I read this was the original Boxcar Children book. My mom read that to my sister and I when we were 8 and 4(ish) and we loved it! It has the added bonus of kids suriving outside on their own (for a short while), so it might tie in well with camping. Sounds like a lovely idea!

Crissy said...

Charlotte's Web, all the way. :)