My daughter had her spring break recently. We stayed in California, and spent the first weekend on a wine trip down to Paso Robles. As I knew that there would be a fair bit of car time, I was proactive and packed my daughter several new graphic and notebook novels that I knew she would be eager to read, such as the newest 5 Worlds book, The Red Maze. I also threw in a book that her teacher was kind enough to loan her over the break: The Tale of Despereaux. This effort was successful, in that she ended up not even asking for her tablet the entire way way (Bookworm Parent Win!).
On our last morning we had to drive on a pretty windy road. She said that she was feeling nauseous, and I told her that she would have to stop reading for a few minutes. Later in the day she again said that her stomach was bothering her. I said something along the lines of: "I really hope you aren't developing motion sickness like I have." I haven't been able to read in the car in years.
Her response touched my heart, though. She sat bolt upright and said: "That would be DEVASTATING!!!"
I tried to argue that such a thing doesn't really qualify as devastating, but she didn't buy it. And really, who am I kidding? It would be devastating for me, too, if she stopped being able to read in the car. My car is basically a mobile library at this point and I love it. In addition to significantly increasing my daughter's reading time, the books in the car have brought me quite a bit of peace and quiet. These days, when I am driving her friends around, they will more often than not read, too. I find this a beautiful thing. The books also sometimes spark discussions, either between the passengers or between the kids and me. This, of course, I love, too.
And yes, we will turn to audiobooks in the car if we have to. They are a lifesaver for me when I'm driving by myself. They would have the advantage that we could listen together (instead of her shushing me because she's in her book, while I think quiet thoughts). But for now I prefer to give her lots of choices each day, to suit her particular moods. She also still favors heavily illustrated books, which don't lend themselves as well to audio. Fingers crossed that the nausea was just something that she ate, or the windy Paso roads, and not something that is going to stick.
So, here are today's growing bookworm tips, based on our recent experience:
- Stock up on books that your child hasn't read (but wants to read) before long car rides. Be sure to hide them until the child is actually IN the car, ready for the trip. Mine managed to snag one of mine, improperly hidden, the night before, and didn't have it for the trip.
- If your child starts to feel ill, have her stop reading right away. Motion sickness gets worse with each significant incident. (The threshold gets lower.) Nip this in the bud if you can by being proactive.
- Always keep a variety of books in the car. Change them out frequently. You never know what your child will be in the mood for, and you certainly never know what his friends will be in the mood for.
© 2019 by Jennifer Robinson of Jen Robinson's Book Page. All rights reserved. You can also follow me @JensBookPage. Links to be books may be affiliate links, for which I receive a small commission.